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

Top 10 Technology Trends for 2018: IEEE Computer Society Predicts the Future of Tech

Top 10 Technology Trends for 2018: IEEE Computer Society Predicts the Future of Tech

Top 10 Technology Trends for 2018: IEEE Computer Society Predicts the Future of Tech

Tech experts at the IEEE Computer Society (IEEE-CS) annually predict the “Future of Tech” and have revealed what they believe will be the biggest trends in technology for 2018.

The forecast by the world’s premier organization of computing professionals is among its most anticipated announcements.

Jean-Luc Gaudiot, IEEE Computer Society President, said:

“The Computer Society’s predictions, based on a deep-dive analysis by a team of leading technology experts, identify top-trending technologies that hold extensive disruptive potential for 2018.”

“The vast computing community depends on the Computer Society as the provider for relevant technology news and information, and our predictions directly align with our commitment to keeping our community well-informed and prepared for the changing technological landscape of the future.”

Dejan Milojicic, Hewlett Packard Enterprise Distinguished Technologist and IEEE Computer Society past president, said:
“The following year we will witness some of the most intriguing dilemmas in the future of technology. Will deep learning and AI indeed expand deployment domains or remain within the realms of neural networks? Will cryptocurrency technologies keep their extraordinary evolution or experience a bubble burst? Will new computing and memory technologies finally disrupt the extended life of Moore’s law? We’ve made our bets on our 2018 predictions.”

The top 10 technology trends predicted to reach adoption in 2018 are:

1

Deep learning (DL)

Machine learning (ML) and more specifically DL are already on the cusp of revolution. They are widely adopted in datacenters (Amazon making graphical processing units [GPUs] available for DL, Google running DL on tensor processing units [TPUs], Microsoft using field programmable gate arrays [FPGAs], etc.), and DL is being explored at the edge of the network to reduce the amount of data propagated back to datacenters. Applications such as image, video, and audio recognition are already being deployed for a variety of verticals. DL heavily depends on accelerators (see #9 below) and is used for a variety of assistive functions (#s 6, 7, and 10).

2

Digital currencies

Bitcoin, Ethereum, and newcomers Litecoin, Dash, and Ripple have become commonly traded currencies. They will continue to become a more widely adopted means of trading. This will trigger improved cybersecurity (see #10) because the stakes will be ever higher as their values rise. In addition, digital currencies will continue to enable and be enabled by other technologies, such as storage (see #3), cloud computing (see B in the list of already adopted technologies), the Internet of Things (IoT), edge computing, and more.

3

Blockchain

The use of Bitcoin and the revitalization of peer-to-peer computing have been essential for the adoption of blockchain technology in a broader sense. We predict increased expansion of companies delivering blockchain products and even IT heavyweights entering the market and consolidating the products.

4

Industrial IoT

Empowered by DL at the edge, industrial IoT continues to be the most widely adopted use case for edge computing. It is driven by real needs and requirements. We anticipate that it will continue to be adopted with a broader set of technical offerings enabled by DL, as well as other uses of IoT (see C and E).

5

Robotics

Even though robotics research has been performed for many decades, robotics adoption has not flourished. However, the past few years have seen increased market availability of consumer robots, as well as more sophisticated military and industrial robots. We predict that this will trigger wider adoption of robotics in the medical space for caregiving and other healthcare uses. Combined with DL (#1) and AI (#10), robotics will further advance in 2018. Robotics will also motivate further evolution of ethics (see #8).

6

Assisted transportation

While the promise of fully autonomous vehicles has slowed down due to numerous obstacles, a limited use of automated assistance has continued to grow, such as parking assistance, video recognition, and alerts for leaving the lane or identifying sudden obstacles. We anticipate that vehicle assistance will develop further as automation and ML/DL are deployed in the automotive industry.

7

Assisted reality and virtual reality (AR/VR)

Gaming and AR/VR gadgets have grown in adoption in the past year. We anticipate that this trend will grow with modern user interfaces such as 3D projections and movement detection. This will allow for associating individuals with metadata that can be viewed subject to privacy configurations, which will continue to drive international policies for cybersecurity and privacy (see #10).

8

Ethics, laws, and policies for privacy, security, and liability

With the increasing advancement of DL (#1), robotics (#5), technological assistance (#s 6 and 7), and applications of AI (#10), technology has moved beyond society’s ability to control it easily. Mandatory guidance has already been deeply analyzed and rolled out in various aspects of design (see the IEEE standards association document), and it is further being applied to autonomous and intelligent systems and in cybersecurity. But adoption of ethical considerations will speed up in many vertical industries and horizontal technologies.

9

Accelerators and 3D

With the end of power scaling and Moore’s law and the shift to 3D, accelerators are emerging as a way to continue improving hardware performance and energy efficiency and to reduce costs. There are a number of existing technologies (FPGAs and ASICs) and new ones (such as memristor-based DPE) that hold a lot of promise for accelerating application domains (such as matrix multiplication for the use of DL algorithms). We predict wider diversity and broader applicability of accelerators, leading to more widespread use in 2018.

10

Cybersecurity and AI

Cybersecurity is becoming essential to everyday life and business, yet it is increasingly hard to manage. Exploits have become extremely sophisticated and it is hard for IT to keep up. Pure automation no longer suffices and AI is required to enhance data analytics and automated scripts. It is expected that humans will still be in the loop of taking actions; hence, the relationship to ethics (#8). But AI itself is not immune to cyberattacks. We will need to make AI/DL techniques more robust in the presence of adversarial traffic in any application area.

Existing Technologies: We did not include the following technologies in our top 10 list as we assume that they have already experienced broad adoption:

A. Data science
B. “Cloudification”
C. Smart cities
D. Sustainability
E. IoT/edge computing

IEEE-CS technical contributors include Erik DeBenedictis, Sandia National Laboratories; Fred Douglis, systems researcher and member of IEEE-CS Board of Governors; David Ebert, professor, Purdue University; Paolo Faraboschi, Hewlett Packard Enterprise Fellow; Eitan Frachtenberg, data scientist; Phil Laplante, professor, Penn State University; and Dejan Milojicic, Hewlett Packard Enterprise Distinguished Technologist and IEEE Computer Society past president. The technical contributors for this document are available for interview.

The post Top 10 Technology Trends for 2018: IEEE Computer Society Predicts the Future of Tech appeared first on IoT Business News.

IoT Business News

SoCalGas invests in fiber optic technology for detecting gas leaks

SoCalGas invests in fiber optic technology for detecting gas leaks

Early warning sensors will help prevent pipeline damage from unauthorized construction work and detect leaks at Californian utility SoCalGas.

Fiber optic technologies are playing an increasingly important role in communicating the condition and performance of smart grids, enabling utilities companies to provide safe and reliable energy to homes and businesses.

With those goals in mind, Southern California Gas Company (SoCalGas) has just announced it has broken ground on a fiber optic cable installation that will enable it to monitor the condition of high-pressure transmission pipelines in real time.

The fiber optic technology is being installed along a new, seven-mile section of natural gas pipeline in Bakersfield, California and will serve as an early-warning system to detect unauthorized construction work that could damage the pipeline as well as changes in pressure that could indicate a leak in the line.

It’s an important step forward in SoCalGas’s mission to modernize its infrastructure, enhance safety and reduce its carbon footprint, according to Deanna Haines, director of gas engineer at the company. “This technology provides our engineers with a critical early warning system that can prevent damage to our lines and help us mitigate leaks more quickly.”

Read more: Utilities and manufacturing lead IoT adoption

Changes to light signals raise the alert

The technology uses fiber optic cables that run alongside a pipeline and transmit data across long distances. The system operates on the principle that, when a fiber optic cable is subject to vibration, stress or an abnormal change in temperature, the light signals that pass along it will change – indicating a possible gas leak or an impact to the line. The fiber optic system can pinpoint to within 20 feet where a problem may be developing.

When a threat is detected, information is sent along the fiber cable to a remote monitoring station within seconds, where operators can interpret the signal changes to determine the nature of the problem. It could be the unauthorized use of heavy equipment near the pipeline, for example, an unexpected earth movement or other physical impacts, like structural stress from broken water mains.

The operators can also let first responders know about the unfolding situation. In the case of this installation, for example, “Firefighters will be able to respond quickly to an emergency and work with SoCal Gas to stop the problem from escalating,” said Kern County Fire Chief Brian Marshall.

Read more: Smart meter provider creates app store for utilities using IoT edge devices

Leaks must be stopped

Natural gas is often considered an environmentally friendly fuel for generating electricity, since it emits around half as much carbon dioxide when burning, as compared to burning coal. However, it has a major downside, in that it is prone to leaking. Plus, it comprises about 95 percent methane – a greenhouse gas that traps 86 times as much heat as does carbon dioxide over a 20-year period. So natural gas leakages need to be tackled for the sake of the planet. 

SoCalGas claims to be one of the first natural gas utilities in the country to use fiber optic technology in natural gas transmission and high-pressure pipeline system operations. The company plans to install fiber optic cable along all new and replacement pipeline segments 12 inches and greater in diameter and in excess of one mile long.

But another local utility has also shown its willingness to try new smart grid technologies recently. In December 2016, Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E) said that it was piloting a laser methane detection system developed by San Francisco start-up Acutect at one of its natural gas storage facilities in northern California. This uses sensors and cloud technologies to identify the presence of escaped methane along pipelines.

Read more: Life of PI for OSIsoft as smart grids start to roar

The post SoCalGas invests in fiber optic technology for detecting gas leaks appeared first on Internet of Business.

Internet of Business

Align Technology And Talent To Leverage The Internet Of Things

Part 4 of the “Manufacturing Value from IoT” series

In my last blog, I talked about the necessary investments manufacturers must make to gain a full IoT transformation. Here, I will talk about the critical collaboration between IT and OT departments to further increase profits and productivity.

The Internet of Things (IoT) is delivering substantial returns for those applying intelligence into their plants and processes. Some 72% of manufacturers report that application of IoT technologies to operations increased productivity in the past year, and 69% report that use of the IoT increased profitability. Yet most companies could get more bang for their IoT bucks if their operations technology (OT) and information technology (IT) departments would collaborate.

Why? Because even in companies with capable IoT initiatives, problems among technology employees can cripple an organization’s ability to:

  • Establish plant-to-enterprise connections: Secure networks are required to move plant-floor data to executives who need it. OT and IT staff must coordinate efforts — and budgets — to build these data highways.
  • Link IoT plant data to enterprise systems: OT and IT staff must work together to transform real-time plant and machine data into actionable information for enterprise resource planning and manufacturing execution systems.
  • Channel enterprise information to business analytics applications: OT and IT staff need to facilitate the smooth transfer of information into big-data applications that provide the basis for informed decisions.

Unfortunately, many manufacturers’ OT and IT staffs rarely collaborate. For example, just 43% report that their OT and IT staffs work together in linking operations data with business analytics.

OT and IT do not often collaborateSource: “Leveraging the Internet of Things Takes Talent — and Collaboration,” SAP, 2017.

This lack of coordination means that employees who could use IoT information to improve performance — quality, equipment reliability, safety, timeliness, productivity, etc. —  can’t:

  • Only 34% of manufacturers say that all corporate executives who need IoT-enabled data can access it.
  • Only 13% of manufacturers say that all customers who need IoT-enabled data can access it.
  • Only 13% of manufacturers say that all suppliers who need IoT-enabled data can access it.

Manufacturers leveraging the IoT are understandably focused on the technologies to make this happen — smart devices, controls, sensors, networks, etc. But they must also:

  • Break down OT/IT siloes
  • Recruit collaborative IoT technology talent
  • Drive cultural change in technology departments, changing their roles from IT rule-makers/problem-fixers to providers of value-added services and support

How well do your OT and IT departments collaborate?

Stay tuned for more on how IoT can increase your profitability and productivity. In the meantime, download the report “Catch Up with IoT Leaders” to learn why it is challenging for many manufacturers to get the right data to the right executives in the right format.


Internet of Things – Digitalist Magazine

Gemalto supplies eSIM technology for new Microsoft Surface Pro with LTE Advanced

Gemalto supplies eSIM technology for new Microsoft Surface Pro with LTE Advanced

Gemalto supplies eSIM technology for new Microsoft Surface Pro with LTE Advanced

Advanced integration of eSIM into Windows 10 delivers an enhanced user experience.

Gemalto, is supplying the eSIM (embedded SIM) solution for Microsoft’s Surface Pro with LTE Advanced, the most connected laptop in its class1 which will begin shipping to business customers in December 2017.

Gemalto’s partnership with Microsoft enabled Surface to become the first fully integrated embedded SIM PC in the Windows ecosystem.

Gemalto’s advanced technology supports seamless activation of mobile subscriptions for users of the innovative Surface Pro with LTE Advanced. This smooth experience leverages Gemalto’s remote subscription management solution in conjunction with Windows 10. Surface customers expect their products to deliver advanced technology and with Gemalto’s eSIM solution, all possible connectivity options are available out-of-box, including the purchase of cellular data from the device itself.

Compliant with the GSMA Remote SIM Provisioning specifications, Gemalto’s eSIM solution is fully integrated with Windows 10. This integration enables the Gemalto solution to have a complete servicing model so that patching and lifecycle management features are available as the technology and standards evolve over time. This capability extends the value promise of Surface as new experiences and capabilities will be available to today’s purchasers of the Surface Pro with LTE Advanced.

“The Surface Pro has redefined the laptop category,” said Paul Bischof, Director, Devices Program Management at Microsoft. “Gemalto’s eSIM solution is helping us to materialize our vision of an uncompromised customer experience.”

Frédéric Vasnier, executive vice president Mobile Service and IoT for Gemalto, said:

“Adoption of eSIM technology is growing rapidly. Mobile operators recognize the potential of seamless connectivity and increased convenience as a way of expanding their customer reach to additional devices. We are at the beginning of a significant technology transformation and the Surface Pro with LTE Advanced represents the start.”

Disclaimers:
1. Comparison of supported bands and modem speed for Surface Pro with LTE Advanced vs. 12″ and 13″ LTE-enabled laptops and 2-in-1 computers. Service availability and performance subject to service provider’s network. Contact your service provider for details, compatibility, pricing and activation. See all specs and frequencies at surface.com.
2. Service availability and performance subject to service provider’s network. Contact your service provider for details, compatibility, pricing, and activation. See all specs and frequencies at surface.com.

The post Gemalto supplies eSIM technology for new Microsoft Surface Pro with LTE Advanced appeared first on IoT Business News.

IoT Business News