Arm targets any number of devices and any type of data

August 09, 2018 //By James Morra
Arm targets any number of devices and any type of data
Arm designed the blueprints for more than 100 billion chips installed in everything from smartphones and thermostats to industrial sensors and touchscreens in cars. But since its $32 billion acquisition by Softbank, the company has been pushing to develop chips that can connect a trillion devices over the next two decades. The challenges it faces are related to more than hardware.

Many companies are having trouble sorting through reams of data to make their operations more efficient. Others could tire themselves out sorting through all the different technologies used in factories, buildings and cities. Unless things change, companies may pull back on investments in the Internet of Things, which would cut into sales of Arm-based microcontrollers and other chips.

Under chief executive Simon Segars, Arm is taking matters into its own hands. The company is building software that can connect any number of devices regardless of how they are connected, what type of processor they have, what type of data they produce, or where the data is located. The software could lower what it costs to automatically connect and update millions and potentially billions of devices.

The company’s plans were underscored last week with its acquisition of Treasure Data, which develops data management tools for businesses. The Mountain View, California-based company can combine raw data from Internet of Things devices like sensors installed in store shelves, wind turbines or factory floors so that it can be analyzed. Arm’s chief marketing officer Joyce Kim declined to comment on the terms of the deal.

The deal dovetails with Arm’s other software investment. In June, the acquisition of Stream Technologies gave it software that reduces the costs and inconveniences of establishing connectivity. Before that, the company acquired Simulity to expand into hardware that can confirm whether an electronic device is allowed to access a certain wireless network and software that can alter the device’s credentials remotely.

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