Consumers and professionals alike are wondering about the latest rumors surrounding new technologies from both Apple® and Microsoft®. At Parallels, we are consistently curious about the decisions and technical aspects of the iPhone®, iPod®, iPad®, and Mac® platforms. We make every effort to stay informed and always prioritize fact over fiction. In that spirit, I’ll […]
Samsung has agreed to buy San Francisco based cloud provider Joyent in an effort to diversify its product offering in declining markets, reports Telecoms.com.
Financial for the deal have not been disclosed, however the team stated the acquisition will build Samsung’s capabilities in the mobile and Internet of Things arenas, as well cloud-based software and services markets. The company’s traditional means of differentiating its products have been through increased marketing efforts and effective distribution channels, though the new expertise will add a new string to the bow.
“Samsung evaluated a wide range of potential companies in the public and private cloud infrastructure space with a focus on leading-edge scalable technology and talent,” said Injong Rhee, CTO of the Mobile Communications business at Samsung. “In Joyent, we saw an experienced management team with deep domain expertise and a robust cloud technology validated by some of the largest Fortune 500 customers.”
Joyent itself offers a relatively unique proposition in the cloud market as it runs its platform on containers, as opposed to traditional VM’s which the majority of other cloud platforms run on. The team reckons by using containers efficiency it notably improved, a claim which is generally supported by the industry. A recent poll run on Business Cloud News found 89% of readers found container run cloud platforms more attractive than those on VMs.
While smartphones would now be considered the norm in western societies, the industry has been taking a slight dip in recent months. Using data collected from public announcements and analyst firm Strategy Analytics, estimates showed the number of smartphones shipped in Q1 2016 fell to 334.6 million units from 345 million during the same period in 2015. The slowdown has been attributed to lucrative markets such as China becoming increasingly mature, as well as pessimistic outlook from consumers on the global economy.
As a means to differentiate the brand and tackle a challenging market, Samsung has been looking to software and services offerings, as creating a unique offering from hardware or platform perspective has become next to impossible. In terms of the hardware, the latest release of every smartphone contains pretty much the same features (high-performance camera, lighter than ever before etc.), and for the platform, the majority of the smartphone market operates on Android. Software and services has become the new battle ground for product differentiation.
Last month, the team launched its Artik Cloud Platform, an open data exchange platform designed to connect any data set from any connected device or cloud service. IoT is a market which has been targeted by numerous organizations and is seemingly the focus of a healthy proportion of product announcements. The launch of Artik Cloud puts Samsung in direct competition with the likes of Microsoft Azure and IBM Bluemix, as industry giants jostle for lead position in the IoT race, which has yet to be clarified. The inclusion of Joyent’s technology and engineers will give Samsung extra weight in the developing contest.
The purchase also offers Samsung the opportunity to scale its own scale its own cloud infrastructure. The Samsung team says it’s one of the world’s largest consumers of public cloud data and storage, and the inclusion of Joyent could offer the opportunity to move data in-house to decrease the dependency on third party cloud providers such as AWS.
As part of the agreement, CEO Scott Hammond, CTO Bryan Cantrill, and VP of Product Bill Fine, will join Samsung to work on company-wide initiatives. “We are excited to join the Samsung family,” said Hammond. “Samsung brings us the scale we need to grow our cloud and software business, an anchor tenant for our industry leading Triton container-as-a-service platform and Manta object storage technologies, and a partner for innovation in the emerging and fast growing areas of mobile and IoT, including smart homes and connected cars.”
Speaking at Samsung Developer Conference in San Francisco, the company has launched the service in direct competition with established platforms such as Microsoft’s Azure and IBM’s Bluemix, to capitalize on growing momentum in the IoT market.
“Our vision for the Artik platform is an end-to-end experience that reduces the obstacles, challenges, and time-to-market for IoT solutions,” said Young Sohn, Chief Strategy Officer at Samsung Electronics. “We’re excited to announce the Samsung Artik Cloud after three years of development and feedback from hundreds of developers. Unlike many other IoT cloud platforms, Artik Cloud breaks down data siloes between devices and enables a new class of IoT applications and services.
“The launch of this exciting new platform not only signals Samsung’s foray into the cloud services market but reinforces our belief that, by creating powerful open platforms, we can harness the information generated by IoT to develop new insights and new approaches to address the major global challenges of today and tomorrow.”
The company, which would generally not be considered a major player in the cloud market, claims it now offers an end-to-end solution, which will enable customers to collect, store, and act on any data from any connected device or cloud service. While the company would not appear to have the software capabilities of its now-competitors, the offering is positioned as an open cloud service positioning to counter this concern.
“The need for an open cloud solution that can work with any connected device, and with other cloud services is critical for broader consumer adoption,” said BK Yoon, CEO of Samsung Electronics. “The launch of Artik Cloud is extremely exciting because it promises to not only help Samsung connect our diverse portfolio of products, but also enable other companies to participate in a growing IoT ecosystem.”
The move does also follow a number of product launches over the last twelve months to bring Samsung into the IoT ecosystem. Last year the company launched three chips, Artik 1, 5 and 10, which were designed specifically to be embedded in IoT products. Although a new player to the market, the team also released a case study for Artik cloud with lighting company Legrand where it claimed to have saved months of development time as well as a notable amount of investment.
“To be connected to the ARTIK Cloud is another step in our openness strategy, which aims to make Legrand’s legacy devices and new smart devices interoperable with other connected products, and increases the value we deliver to our users,” said Ernesto Santini, Legrand VP Innovation and Systems.
The team would also appear to have learnt lessons from the Microsoft IoT strategy, targeting a broad range of potential customers from top-end enterprise organizations through to star-ups and also hobbyists. Hobbyists can connect up to 25 devices, collecting up to 150 messages from each device per day, for free. While Samsung does have ground to catch up when compared to the more established competitors such as Microsoft and IBM, such a flexible pricing plan will seemingly broaden the appeal of the brand.
The two partners are working with systems integrators to help industries make use of their existing systems in the cloud, modernising them to take full advantage of the new mobile and cloud and create cost efficiencies. Another joint ambition is to create a wider set of Apache Cordova plug-ins and code samples to help customers modernize their enterprise applications.
The objective, according to Young Kim, VP of the Enterprise Business Team at Samsung Electronics, is to use the cloud to create better mobile user experiences out of their collective expertise in enterprise software, mobile cloud and device features.
Samsung and Oracle want to help developers and solution providers to create the next generation of mobile applications and services and drive ‘a new frontier of productivity’ according to Kim.
Samsung and Oracle have worked with systems integrators on new cloud based mobile and Internet of Things systems, which will be unveiled at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. These include an HCL Technologies-inspired predictive maintenance system for Samsung Gear S2, the Oracle IoT Cloud Service and the Oracle Service Cloud. This digests data and uses this intelligence so that enterprises can cut the costs of high value asset maintenance. Another invention, from Sofbang’s contracts management team, speeds the management and approval of contracts through notifications on Samsung Gear S wearables. The data is protected by Samsung’s cloud-based KNOX mobile security. Another system that combines wearable devices and the cloud is L&T Infotech’s, which hooks into the Oracle IoT Cloud Service using Samsung tablets, smartphones and wearables to increase asset operating life, decrease downtime and cater for proactive maintenance.
“The support and unique additions found in Samsung hardware helped us create differentiated end user experiences in weeks with Oracle Mobile Cloud Service,” said Mia Urman, CEO at development partner Auraplayer.
It has published details, in a blog of double data rate-4 (DDR4) memory in 128-gigabyte (GB) modules. These, when installed in enterprise servers and data centres, could significantly speed the rate of processing in cloud computing applications, slashing response times, boosting productivity and raising the quality of service.
The new modules use TSV (which stands for ‘through silicon via’), which is an advanced chip packaging technology that vertically connects DRAM chip dies using electrodes that penetrate the micron-thick dies through microscopic holes. Samsung first used this when it introduced its 3D TSV DDR4 DRAM (64GB) in 2014. TSV is used again in this new dual inline memory module (RDIMM) which, claims Samsung, opens the door for ultra-high capacity memory at the enterprise level.
The 128GB TSV DDR4 RDIMM is comprised of a total of 144 DDR4 chips, arranged into 36 4GB DRAM packages, each containing four 20-nanometer (nm)-based 8-gigabit (Gb) chips assembled with TSV packaging technology.
Unlike conventional chip packages, which interconnect die stacks with wire bonding, the TSV packages interconnect through hundreds of fine holes and vertically connected by electrodes passing through the holes. This creates a massive improvement in signal transmission speeds. In addition the Samsung’s 128GB TSV DDR4 module has a special data buffer function that improves module performance and lowers power consumption.
As a result servers can reach 2,400 megabits per second (Mbps), roughly twice their normal speed at half the power usage. Samsung says it’s now accelerating production of TSV technology to ramp up 20nm 8GB DRAM chips to improve manufacturing productivity.
“We will continue to expand our technical cooperation with global leaders in servers, consumer electronics and emerging markets,” said Joo Sun Choi, executive vice president of Memory Sales and Marketing at Samsung Electronics.
Internet of Things (IoT) networking specialist Link Labs has secured $5.7m in series A funding which the company said would be used to boost its low-power wide area network (LPWAN) expansion efforts.
The funding round was led by TCP Venture Capital, which included investment from the Maryland Venture Fund, Blu Venture investors, Inflection Point Partners, and individual and existing investors.
Link Labs specialises in developing IoT networking technology based on LoRa, a standard for IoT-centric wide area networks. Its wares are popular in the intelligent manufacturing, healthcare and smart metering sectors.
The company’s Symphony Link software and hardware connects a range of IP-connected devices over long ranges, both indoors and outdoors, over both licenced and unlicensed spectrum (915 MHz ISM band and ETSI compliant for use in the 868 MHz band in Europe and are capable of deployment from 137 MHz1020 MHz).
“This round marks an important milestone for us as we shift from system development, to accelerated deployment with our early customers,” said Brian Ray, chief executive of Link Labs. “This gives us the capital to expand our distribution channel and open up additional international markets and new applications.”
Bob Proctor, founding member at Blu Venture Investors said: “Link Labs is quickly emerging as the leader in hardware and software systems for low-power, long-range communications. We were excited to provide the seed round for Link Labs last year and are proud to be a major part of the Series A round.”
Link Labs is one of a small but growing number of startups making inroads in the IoT networking space, where there is a flurry of activity around developing standards to handle the communications element.
LoRa, which is developed by Semtech, is being backed by IBM, Cisco, and Microchip among the members of the LoRa Alliance, but other include Sigfox (which is being backed by Samsung) and Neul (which is being backed by Huawei).
Giving Moore’s Law a run for its money, IBM, Globalfoundries and Samsung claimed this week to have produced the industry’s first 7 nanometre node test chip with functioning transistors. The breakthrough suggests a massive jump in low-power computing power may be just on the horizon.
IBM worked with Globalfoundries, the chip division it divested in October last year, and Samsung specialists at the SUNY Polytechnic Institute’s Colleges of Nanoscale Science and Engineering (SUNY Poly CNSE) to test a number of silicon innovations developed by IBM researchers including Silicon Germanium (SiGe) channel transistors and Extreme Ultraviolet (EUV) lithography integration at multiple levels, techniques developed to accommodate the changing nature of the rules of physics that apply at such small scales.
Most microprocessors found in servers, desktops and laptops today are developed with 22nm and 14nm processes, and mobile processors are increasingly being developed with 10nm processors, but IBM claims the 7nm process developed by the semiconductor alliance enjoys 50 per cent area scaling improvements over today’s most advanced chips.
IBM said the move could result in the creation of a chip small and powerful enough to “power everything from smartphones to spacecraft.”
“For business and society to get the most out of tomorrow’s computers and devices, scaling to 7nm and beyond is essential,” said Arvind Krishna, senior vice president and director of IBM Research. “That’s why IBM has remained committed to an aggressive basic research agenda that continually pushes the limits of semiconductor technology. Working with our partners, this milestone builds on decades of research that has set the pace for the microelectronics industry, and positions us to advance our leadership for years to come.”
The companies also said the chips have a 50 per cent power-to-performance improvement over existing server chips, and could be used in future iterations of Power architecture, IBM’s mainframe architecture which it open sourced in a bid to improve its performance for cloud and big data workloads.
IBM has in recent months ramped up silicon-focused efforts. The company is partnering with SiCAD to offer a cloud-based high performance services for electronic design automation (EDA) which the companies said can be used to design silicon for smartphones, wearables and Internet of Things devices. Earlier this month the company also launched another OpenPower design centre in Europe to target development of high performance computing (HPC) apps based on the Power architecture.
Samsung has announced the launch of a platform for the Internet of Things, “ARTIK”, which it claims is completely open and serves the entire software and hardware requirements of IoT.
Samsung Electronics’ president and chief strategy officer, Young Sohn, described ARTIK as “the industry’s most advanced, open and secure platform for developing IoT products.” Samsung claims it will enable developers to customise and deploy IoT-devices, as well as the services they deliver.
From a hardware perspective, ARTIK comes in three flavours, imaginatively titled ARTIK 1, 5 and 10 respectively. ARTIK 1 is the 144mm2 embedded module designed for small form-factor IoT applications and utilises Bluetooth/BLE technology for low-powered short range communications. ARTIK 5, Samsung says, is intended for small-to-medium size devices, such as home hubs and drones, and comes with a 1GHz dual-core processor, flash memory and on-board DRAM.
ARTIK 10 meanwhile is the full-fat module with an eight-core processor, HD video encoding/processing, 2GB DRAM and 16GB flash, and a variety of short-range, low power communications tech inside, such as wifi, Bluetooth, ZigBee. Samsung reckons it’s ideal for media applications, Industrial IoT and home servers.
“Industry requirements for IoT devices vary in terms of battery life, computational horse power and form factor,” said Sohn. “With this family of ARTIK offerings, Samsung is directly addressing the needs of the widest range of customers, uses and applications. ARTIK allows developers to rapidly turn great ideas into market leading IoT products and applications.”
ARTIK also incorporates a number of software considerations to give it credibility as a holistic IoT platform, according to Samsung. Technical aspects of the platform include security and privacy, local storage and computational capabilities, low-power architecture, small form factor, and compatility with the major connectivity protocols. Finally, the platform comes with a software stack which is intended to allow developers to go directly with application framework, thus removing the need to build low-level software
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