IBM Seals Deal With ARM Holdings
In another major shift for IoT development, news broke recently that IBM has signed a deal with ARM Holdings, a British company that designs microprocessors and other hardware architecture. Though ARM (Acorn RISC Machine) architecture is among the most widely used system architectures in the world — seen in smartphones, tablets, and digital televisions — this collaboration with IBM will allow for a more direct engagement with data management, data exchange from system to connected system, and will make it easier to design, maintain, and code connected hardware and software.
IBM Cloud Data and mbed
ARM's mbed platform, which is based on 32-bit processors, is essential to most hardware, so how can this be applied to IoT more than it already is? mbed, an operating system designed by ARM, is designed specifically with interconnected devices in mind; microprocessors are often specific to particular hardware parts. Through this partnership, in which IBM will use cloud software to store data from these processors, software and hardware developers will be able to analyze and interpret data and data exchange more efficiently, and eventually in real-time.
mbed was designed for microcontrollers' diverse and hardware-specific operating systems. Since each microcontroller has its own unique OS, integration and interconnectivity can be a difficult procedure, especially with extremely large and powerful computers. This is made even more difficult with integrating computers into everyday “things”, such as infrastructure technologies and wearables. With each controller and processor communicating with each other already, having this data sent directly to a reliable data cloud (courtesy of IBM) will allow consumers, programmers, and software designers alike to have more easily accessible data on hand.
Interconnectivity and Transparency
One of the most significant offerings of IBM's IoT data cloud is the cloud working directly with the cross-hardware unity that mbed utilizes. Again, not only is the data more transparent to both end users and developers, but the data cloud will be more seamlessly integrated with security systems, allowing for necessary maintenance to be completed quicker and more accurately.
The collaboration will also feature exclusive integration between ARM microcontrollers and IBM's Bluemix. This cloud PaaS (Platform as a Service) allows for DevOps in multiple programming languages (Java, Ruby, PHP, Python) to be built and edited in real-time via cloud interface. Doing this will not only speed up and strengthen security measures, but can also allow for immediate patches to software remotely.
Combined with the instant flow of data from machine to cloud, communications like these can aid Internet of Things technologies in infrastructure and industry in particular. When cities and urban infrastructures (transit, parking, commercial spaces) become increasingly connected with IoT technologies, this interconnectivity will prove to be incredibly useful for emergency responses, lower labour costs, fewer logistical issues, and an overall more reliable Internet connectivity with infrastructure.
Technologies like Bluemix will prove to be crucial to the development of IoT technologies — it is a market estimated to reach 50 billion connected things worth $19 trillion USD by 2020. It is not enough to simply track the data in real time, so Bluemix and similar cloud programming interfaces, along with IBM's data cloud, will help to make interconnectivity a sustainable, reliable reality.