What happened in IoT this April?

Real-time Ubuntu 22.04 LTS Beta

Canonical announced the real-time Ubuntu 22.04 LTS Beta kernel in the latest Ubuntu 22.04 LTS.

The beta kernel is designed to meet telco network transformation needs for 5G and serves latency-sensitive use cases in industrial automation and robotics. With the PREEMPT_RT patchset integrated for x86 and Arm64 architectures, the real-time beta kernel will provide a deterministic response time to extreme low-latency requirements.

Developers are encouraged to enable the beta kernel and file bugs via the Bug Tracker.

Arm Total Solutions for IoT

Announced in October 2021, Arm Total Solutions for IoT brings together hardware and software into a simple package to offer use-case specific IoT solutions ready to build on. Part of that cohesive package is Arm Virtual Hardware, which delivers accurate models of Arm-based SoCs, removing the need to develop on physical silicon.

This month, Arm announced the addition of new virtual devices: Arm Virtual Hardware is now available for a few Corstone platforms and Cortex-M processors and as a private beta for Raspberry Pi Model 4, NXP i.MX 8M Arm Cortex Complex and the STMicroelectronics Arm Model for the STM32U5 Discovery board.

Vodafone unveils vehicle-to-everything platform

Vodafone is targeting road safety as its next major challenge.

The Safer Transport for Europe Platform, launching in European markets “later this year”, aims for faster safety information sharing among road users. STEP will provide connected drivers with free, digital access to real-time information on road closures, accidents and speed restrictions.
Furthermore, the cloud-based, vehicle-to-everything (V2X) platform uses Vodafone Automotive apps and integrates with all in-vehicle navigation systems and third-party map apps.

Smart-home Insteon out of business

This April, Insteon’s smart home hubs went down with no prior notice or warning. The IoT company was founded in 2005 to serve the smart home market by providing electrical, lighting, and sensor communication and control solutions via its patented dual-mesh technology.

After the sudden shutdown, the company confirmed it went out of business via an announcement on its website. Mentioning the unforeseen disruption brought about by the pandemic, Insteon was assigned to a financial services firm in March to “optimize the assets of the company”.

ESP32-C2 supports the Matter WiFi Standard

The Shanghai-headquartered Espressif recently announced the new ESP32-C2 chip, targeting high volume, low data rate IoT applications.

The reduced memory footprint of 272 kB makes it a good fit for simple appliances like smart plugs and light bulbs. The WiFi 4 and Bluetooth LE 5.0 chip supports ESP-IDF, the open-source development framework for Espressif SoCs.

The ESP32-C2 release is noteworthy as it supports the Matter standard. Despite the delayed release of the first specification, increasing chip support is encouraging as it will drive the early adoption of the new protocol.

Cisco and Verizon explore edge computing over 4G-LTE

This April, Cisco and Verizon confirmed their ongoing efforts to shape the future of connected vehicles.

Current connected vehicles leverage the LTE-V2X standard, operating in the 5.895-5.925 GHz portion of the 5.9 GHz band or 30 MHz, whereas the FCC originally granted the ITS of 75 MHz.

Interference concerns further reduced the ITS band to 20 MHz. Given the inability of the 20 MHz to deliver the next-gen safety application, Cisco and Verizon partnered to study the feasibility of moving these applications to the 4G-LTE cellular network.

In the demo, Verizon and Cisco’ LTE connectivity and industrial networking technology, respectively, proved capable of supporting the low latency requirements necessary for autonomous applications when virtualizing costly roadside infrastructure.