Samsung seeks to jumpstart IoT with Artik platform

Samsung Electronics is trying to help everybody move faster to deliver on the Internet of Things (IoT), unveiling its set of Artik-branded modules that contain the processors, memory, communications chips and software required for device makers to create connected devices.

The Artik 5 is envisioned for smart home hubs and drones. (Source: Samsung)

Announced at IOT World in San Francisco, the Artik platform is designed for development of new enterprise, industrial and consumer applications, according to Samsung. An open platform, Artik will compete with similar products from Intel and Qualcomm.  

"We are providing the industry's most advanced, open and secure platform for developing IoT products," said Young Sohn, president and chief strategy officer at Samsung Electronics, in a press release. "By leveraging Samsung's high-volume manufacturing, advanced silicon process and packaging technologies, and extensive ecosystem, Artik allows developers to rapidly turn great ideas into market leading IoT products and applications."

The Artik platform includes three circuit boards and related software. The smallest module is the Artik 1, which measures 12 millimeters by 12 millimeters, or about the size of a Skittle. It combines Bluetooth/BLE connectivity with a nine-axis sensor and best-in-class compute capabilities and power consumption. With ARTIK 1, a smartwatch can last three weeks on a single charge while being kept in always-on mode and paired to a smartphone.

Samsung says the Artik 5 is ideal for home hubs, drones and high-end wearables. It comes with a 1 GHz dual-core processor and on-board DRAM and flash memory. It's a little larger than a quarter.

At the high end is the Artik 10, which includes Wi-Fi, Bluetooth/BLE and ZigBee connectivity and is designed for use with home servers, media applications and industrial settings. It has an eight-core processor, full 2080p video decoding/encoding, 5.1 audio and 2 GB DRAM, along with 16 GB flash memory.

Sohn told The Wall Street Journal that previously, each Samsung product division typically chose its own chips and software to add features like computing and communications. Now they will standardize on Artik technology in hopes of getting new and updated products to market faster. "We have lots of stuff to connect," Yoon Lee, vice president of Samsung's smart home and digital appliances business, told WSJ.

Samsung joins a growing list of companies jostling for position in the IoT space. Last year, Intel announced its Intel IoT Platform designed to serve as an end-to-end reference model to unify and simplify connectivity and security for the IoT. Intel said it was delivering a roadmap of integrated hardware and software products to support the Intel IoT Platform. Spanning from edge devices out to the cloud, the roadmap included API management and service creation software, edge-to-cloud connectivity and analytics, intelligent gateways and a line of scalable processors. Like Samsung, its roadmap also addresses security.

Of course, Qualcomm is making its way into everything from smart cars to smart light bulbs as well. Qualcomm Technologies' Internet of Everything Connection Manager (IoE CM) is an application-level connectivity framework designed to make it easier for system designers and application developers to use Qualcomm Gobi 3G/ 4G LTE modem chipsets.

For more:
- see this WSJ story (sub. req.)
- see The Verge story
- see this Bloomberg story
- see this press release

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