Chip designer and intellectual property rights owner in the semiconductor industry, ARM, has made a concerted effort to embrace the future Internet of Things (IoT) in the release of its latest chipset Cortex M7. Cortex M7 was released a couple of weeks ago. The chipset is designed to increase processing power for the large number of devices that are expected to become commonplace in the connected world of the future. It is also aimed at wearable devices such as the plethora of smart watches launched recently (though those will presumably also have some heavy hitting processing power inside).
The Cortex M7 “microcontroller” doubles computing power of standard M2M chipsets while having a minimal impact on the cost of chipsets going into connected devices. The chipset will be built into modules developed by hardware manufacturers, allowing, theoretically at least, for an increased ability for devices to talk to one another in the connected world of the future.
The fact that ARM has targeted a chipset specifically at the Internet of Things speaks volumes about where the company believes future sales to be, particularly as traditional sales routes, such as smartphones, become saturated.
The market for microcontrollers is growing faster than all other areas of the market for silicon products. While its latest product may not achieve the per-unit revenues of high-end products (ARM’s A-Class chipsets are designed for mobile operating system such as Android), unit sales are expected to be high.
Indeed ARM’s new focus on IoT to some extent illustrates where the next wave of technology growth will be. Smartphone’s are peaking, though there will always be a replacement market; the IoT, however, despite an already high number of devices with low level connections, is on the up.