Silicon Labs to acquire smart home technology company Sigma Designs for $282M

Silicon Labs, a semiconductor company that manufactures products for the Internet of Things, Internet infrastructure, and industrial automation use cases announced last week that it will acquire Sigma Designs for a cash transaction valued at approximately $ 282M.

In case Sigma fails to meet certain financial conditions, the deal will still go ahead as planned for a reduced amount of $ 240M.

The deal is based on Sigma’s per share price of $ 7.05, a 26 percent premium over Sigma Designs’ closing price of $ 5.60 per share on Dec. 6, 2017. Sigma Designs is a smart home company that provides Z-Wave, a leading Internet of Things (IoT) technology for smart home solutions.

The acquisition of Sigma Designs will help Silicon Labs to expand its offerings in the smart home wireless connectivity market. “The connected home represents one of the largest market opportunities in the IoT. Today, there is no single dominant wireless technology for home automation, and protocols include Wi-Fi, Bluetooth®, Zigbee®, Thread, and proprietary,” said Tyson Tuttle, CEO of Silicon Labs. Additionally, the deal will allow Sigma to expand into Smart TV market.

Postscapes: Tracking the Internet of Things

IoT Tech Expo North America 2017: Highlights from the event in Silicon Valley

The North America 2017 event welcomes 10,500+ attendees to Silicon Valley!

Firstly, we’d like to thank all those who attended the IoT Tech Expo North America 2017 which returned to the Santa Clara Convention Center, CA for the final leg of the 2017 world series with an extended agenda, larger expo, brand new topics and two co-located events covering Blockchain and AI. The event attracted an audience of 10,500+ attendees with delegates from across North America and beyond to discuss the potential of IoT, Blockchain and AI across a number of industries, with top-level speakers sharing their expertise and experiences on the subject. We hope you found the event beneficial and made some new connections.

We would also like to say a huge thank you to our sponsors, speakers and exhibitors for their involvement in the event and for making it a fascinating and diverse two days.

The two-day event hosted 15 conference tracks, an exhibition, AI start-up incubator, IoT meetup and an evening of networking. On the first day speakers including NASA, Halliburton, Boeing, Bluetooth, Cisco, State of Nevada, Ford, Schneider Electric and many more took to the stage to explore IIoT, manufacturing,  connectivity, smart factories, data privacy, interoperability, security, and more.

Day 2 welcomed the new conference tracks ‘Smart Transportation & Cities’ and ‘IoT in Enterprise’ with speakers from Thyssenkrupp, Shell, Federal Trade Commission, Visa, State of Utah, Toyota, Aviva, Compare, Seattle Reign FC and more sharing their knowledge and experiences across a range of industries and verticals.

Here are a few pictures of the show and you can share yours with us using @IoTTechExpo

If you missed the event, you can catch up on all the sessions by purchasing a Sessions Material Pass which allows you to download all the presentations and recordings from over the two days. These will be available before December 7th and paid pass holders will be emailed their log-in details.

You can also let us know what you think via this short survey, and be entered into a draw to enter 2 x Ultimate Passes to a future event of your choice.

The IoT Tech Expo World Series will be returning in 2018 with shows taking place in London, Amsterdam and Silicon Valley. You can find out more and register for each below:

IoT Tech Expo Global – 18- 19 April 2018, Olympia London

IoT Tech Expo Europe – 1- 2 October 2018, RAI Amsterdam

IoT Tech Expo North America – 28- 29 November 2018, Santa Clara, Silicon Valley

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IoT Tech Expo

AT&T plans edge computing test zone for Silicon Valley

AT&T plans edge computing test zone for Silicon Valley

US telco AT&T plans facility where partners can run edge computing experiments in areas such as self-driving cars and augmented reality.

With edge computing now firmly finding its place in the IoT, US telco AT&T has laid down plans to open an edge computing test zone in the Bay Area of northern California in early 2018.

The zone itself is intended to be a cross between a proof of concept (PoC) lab and a developer hack shop. Initial reports suggest that AT&T will invite partners to test connected applications there, such as self-driving car software, drones and augmented and virtual reality (AR/VR) innovations.

At launch, the zone will use a 4G LTE connection, but the engineering team behind the lab zone hope to upgrade to 5G once the final standards and equipment are ready.

Read more: AT&T fires up LTE-M network in the US

The next step

“Edge computing is the next step in the evolution of the network,” claimed Melissa Arnoldi, president of AT&T Technology and Operations. “As [fast] connectivity becomes ubiquitous, it also needs to become smart. Edge computing puts a supercomputer in your pocket, on your wrist, in your car, and right in front of your eyes.”

The company has suggested that edge computing’s core challenge is striking the right balance between functionality or power. For example, today, an AR app running on a smartphone can offer high-end images or longer battery life, but not both. Cranking up the visual detail burns through the battery. Reducing power consumption generally means graphics that aren’t as sharp.

The answer, then, according to the company at least, is to move processing to the cloud as the next logical step.

Read more: AT&T commits to $ 200 million investment in IoT start-ups

Where cloud comes in

The cloud computing model of service-based application delivery and data storage, processing and analytics is widely agreed to be a logical step not just for edge computing, but for the majority of IT deployments. Where AT&T may be offering additional insight is in the expertise it can draw from its heritage in network transmission technologies.

The company says that in today’s networks, physical distances between users and data centers creates latency. As requests and responses travel hundreds or thousands of miles, users often notice the delay.

“With edge computing, we’ll install graphics processors and other computers in cell towers, small cells and other parts of our network that are never more than a few miles from our customers. This is what’s known as the edge of the network. In addition, low latency is being built into 5G from the get-go. The result: you will be able to run high-end applications in the cloud, and it will feel like it’s all happening right on your device,” said the company.

Read more: Elemental Machines uses AT&T IoT tech to make lab equipment smarter

An Agile approach

Developers and other third parties will be invited to test and innovate at AT&T’s Palo Alto-based edge computing and, as with all R&D work, success is never guaranteed. But the company says its rapid innovation model (as in, Agile with a capital A) means it can move on quickly when an approach isn’t panning out and apply lessons learned to future projects.

“Our goal in this experiment is to find the right architecture, the right services and the right business value in this ecosystem,” said Igal Elbaz, head of AT&T Foundry. “It’s all about moving quickly and collaborating closely with third-party innovators and developers.”

Read more: AT&T delivers progress report on LTE-M rollout in Mexico

The post AT&T plans edge computing test zone for Silicon Valley appeared first on Internet of Business.

Internet of Business

Moving Beyond the Silicon Valley State of Mind

To steal a phrase from Anton Chekhov, the great danger of the Age of the Algorithm is that we will know everything and understand nothing. In his new book Sensemaking, a polemic defending the need for the liberal arts in business, Christian Madsbjerg, a founder of strategic consulting company ReD Associates based in Copenhagen and New York, argues that leaders shouldn’t try to know everything. Instead, they should try to make sense of something.

Madsbjerg offers up sensemaking as the antidote to algorithmic thinking — “a Silicon Valley state of mind” that relies exclusively on data for direction. Relying on data alone is taking “a journey determined by the reductions of a GPS,” according to the author. Sensemaking is the North Star: It provides the essential context for data — the rationale for collecting it and the perspective needed to gain insight from it.

In the excerpt below, Madsbjerg tells the story of Napa Valley’s Cathy Corison, comparing her approach to wine making with the data-driven approach of Leo McCloskey, founder of Sonoma, California-based Enologix, Inc., to illustrate the difference between traveling by the North Star and the GPS.

MIT Sloan Management Review

Silicon Labs deploys the first Bluetooth Mesh solution for IoT developers

Just days after we reported on the announcement of Bluetooth Mesh, Silicon Labs has become the first to introduce a comprehensive suite of software and hardware which supports the new specification.

As we noted in our previous article, Bluetooth Mesh has all the right ingredients to enable Bluetooth to become a key wireless standard due to its low-power, ubiquitousness, and now with extended range. While it can be supported on any existing devices which feature Bluetooth 4.0 or later, it will be up to manufacturers to update them.

“Bluetooth is the next frontier in mesh networking, and Silicon Labs’ new Bluetooth mesh software and tools keep us at the forefront of this rapidly emerging ‘many-to-many’ network topology,” said Richard Baxter, President and CEO of Mesh Systems, an IoT software, services and solution provider. “From easy-to-use development kits to mobile applications that help us connect devices seamlessly, we rely on Silicon Labs’ deep expertise in mesh technology to give us the hardware and software resources we need to increase productivity and speed development time so our customers can better compete in today’s IoT race.”

The quick support from Silicon Labs is hopefully a sign Bluetooth Mesh will gain some momentum. Silicon Labs’ solution consists of development tools, a software stack, and mobile apps which support the company’s wireless system-on-chip (SoC) devices and certified modules.

Using Silicon Labs’ solution, designers can:

Accelerate time to market: Their users can choose from a variety of wireless modules and SoCs, including the world’s smallest Bluetooth system-in-package (SiP) module (BGM11S) and the latest EFR32BG13 Blue Gecko SoCs. Modules with integrated antennas provide a fast, cost-effective means to design Bluetooth mesh-enabled products. Blue Gecko SoCs offer large memory options to support over-the-air (OTA) updates, as well as advanced features such as hardware security acceleration, capacitive sensing, low-power sensor interfaces, and enhanced RF performance.

Simplify development: Silicon Labs’ mobile application for smartphones allows designers to verify the operation of Bluetooth mesh-based implementations with a commercially supported Bluetooth mesh library and source code to streamline design.

Be more productive: Optimise mesh networking device designs with Silicon Labs’ Simplicity Studio software tools including patented network analysis and packet trace technology, energy profiling, and visual application configuration. Software compatibility across a portfolio of wireless SoCs and modules enables broad software reuse and reduced development time and cost.

“We expect to see a wave of new devices hit the market quickly by leveraging ubiquitous Bluetooth connectivity to create hub-less mesh networks that extend the range and reliability of Bluetooth systems,” said Daniel Cooley, Senior Vice President and General Manager of IoT products at Silicon Labs. “No matter which mesh technology developers choose to power their next IoT designs, we offer a complete portfolio of silicon, software, and solutions that gives device makers everything they need to accelerate time to market while designing secure, robust mesh networks.”

Silicon Labs’ vast experience with mesh networks makes it the perfect ally for Bluetooth Mesh. The company has shipped more than 100 million mesh networking SoCs and modules to date and has more than 15 years of experience in developing standards-based mesh networking solutions for customers worldwide.

What are your thoughts on Silicon Labs’ launch of the first Bluetooth Mesh solution? Let us know in the comments. Latest from the homepage