Nvidia and Arm partner to meld AI and IoT in major evolutionary step

30 Mar 2018

IoT devices such as this strawberry picker could become a lot smarter. Image: Zapp2Photo/Shutterstock

Nvidia and Arm team up to make a wealth of IoT consumer devices substantially more intelligent, while the connected clothing market shows no signs of wearing out.

The big news this week from an internet of things (IoT) perspective was China-based iPhone supplier Foxconn announcing it was to acquire Belkin – one of the largest IoT device providers globally – for $866m.

Foxconn plans to establish a new smart home division combining Belkin’s Linksys and Wemo businesses with its own IoT assets.

Nvidia and Arm pair up for smart IoT

Two of the biggest processor giants in the business – Nvidia and Arm – announced this week that they are to enter a partnership to make it easier for chipmakers to embed deep-learning capabilities into their hardware.

According to TechCrunch, Arm will integrate Nvidia’s open source Deep Learning Accelerator (NVDLA) architecture into its recently announced Project Trillium hardware, allowing for artificial intelligence (AI) to be put into any smart device.

“Accelerating AI at the edge is critical in enabling Arm’s vision of connecting a trillion IoT devices,” said Rene Haas, EVP and president of the IP Group at Arm.

“Today we are one step closer to that vision by incorporating NVDLA into the Arm Project Trillium platform, as our entire ecosystem will immediately benefit from the expertise and capabilities our two companies bring in AI and IoT.”

Nanosatellite start-up secures $15m in Series A funding

Myriota, a spin-out of the University of South Australia, has big plans to bring IoT into space, and now is one step closer to achieving its dream.

The company announced that it has secured $15m in Series A funding led by Australian VC firms Main Sequence Ventures and Blue Sky Venture Capital, and including Boeing HorizonX Ventures, Singtel Innov8 and Right Click Capital.

The lucrative deal makes it one of the largest made in the IoT-in-space sector so far.

Myriota plans to accelerate its growth by launching more satellites, delivering large-scale IoT deployments and expanding its global operations.

The expansion follows the recent announcement that Myriota will open a $2.7m IoT innovation lab.

“[IoT] has a major connectivity problem: hundreds of millions of devices that need to communicate but don’t have cost-effective, battery-friendly networks to do so. Myriota solves this problem,” said CEO Dr Alex Grant.

Connected clothing sector to be worth $1bn by 2020

It seems wearables as we know them have had their day, with a new report released by Juniper Research showing that industry trends are now rapidly shifting towards actually making our clothing smart.

The report entitled Smart Wearables: Competitor Strategies, Opportunities & Forecasts 2018-2022 forecasts that the total smart wearables market will reach nearly 350m devices shipped and will be worth a total of $1bn by 2020.

Ranking the fastest-growing sectors, Juniper said connected clothing is expected to see a compound annual growth rate of 102pc, followed by smart glasses (98pc), smart jewellery (55pc), smart headphones (31pc) and smartwatches (31pc).

The massive growth in connected clothing is down to developments in conductive fabric, alongside smart sportswear from companies such as Sensoria, Lumo and Under Armour, the report said.

This sector will ship more than 7m connected clothing items by 2020, reaching nearly 30m in 2022.

Calls for stricter rules on autonomous cars

The death of a pedestrian earlier this month involving an Uber autonomous car has put the brakes on the development of the technology for many companies, as lawmakers and advocates call for stricter regulations.

According to AFP (via Phys.org), Catherine Chase, president of the Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety in the US, called for an overhaul of existing autonomous driving legislation as well as tougher standards from the federal government.

“Having some basic rules of the road that everyone follows will benefit everyone because if one company fails at ensuring safety, it will affect all companies and consumer support,” she said.

She also criticised the message being put forward by auto companies that incidents caused by humans are a greater threat numerically to pedestrians than those involving AI.

When discussing the US Department of Transportation’s role in issuing legislation, Chase said it had issued “only voluntary guidelines, which are toothless and result in companies handing in what are essentially glossy brochures for their vehicles”.

She added: “We believe this doesn’t go far enough to ensure safety, reliability and consumer confidence.”

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Colm Gorey was a senior journalist with Silicon Republic