Renesas Electronics Corp. announced several key partnerships at this week’s developers conference, Renesas DevCon 2015, all designed to drive collaboration and development in the Internet of Things (IoT) market. The semiconductor manufacturer recently launched its IoT platform – Renesas Synergy Platform - that combines microcontrollers (MCUs), software and development/starter kits, addressing the key pain points of developers – time to market, total cost of ownership and barriers to entry.
The IoT is opening up new business opportunities for vendors across industries. A recent IDC report forecasts the global IoT market to reach $1.7 trillion in 2020. Devices, connectivity, and IT services are estimated to account for more than two-thirds of the worldwide IoT market in 2020. These opportunities will be big, particularly for those vendors that develop partnerships across the supply chain that bring integrated solutions to market.
In the case of Renesas, its new partnerships include collaborations with companies such as Icon, Verizon and Zebra Technologies. Icon’s partnership centers around security, while the relationships with Verizon and Zebra focus on cloud connections.
To further drive these and other partnerships, Renesas announced the availability of the first products in the Renesas Synergy Platform. The platform’s first products include the S7G2 and S3A7 MCUs, which target connected human machine interface (HMI) and power-efficient control applications used in industrial, healthcare, home appliance and metering products. Development kits featuring the two MCU groups, software development tools, and the Renesas Synergy Software Package (SSP) are available now from the Renesas Synergy Gallery, an online resource for users.
“With the launch of this beta program, we are now providing our customers, partners and distributors the tools, hardware and software they’ll need to experience the speed and ease with which they can develop new IoT products using the Renesas Synergy Platform,” said Peter Carbone, vice president of the IoT Business Unit, Renesas Electronics America, in a statement. “With mass production parts scheduled for availability in December 2015, we’re excited to see the innovative new IoT products they are creating with the Renesas Synergy Platform.”
The company also expanded its Alliance Partner Program to include new training and education resources for its customers. The new “Renesas Synergy-Trained” independent design house (IDH) partners and new Certified Training Centers (CTCs) give customers expanded access to design resources and product training.
For software developers, Renesas announced a program for the development of third-party software applications and services to support the Renesas Synergy Platform. The Renesas Synergy Verified Software Add-on (VSA) Program member companies will provide software that is plug-and-play compatible with the Renesas Synergy Platform and fully verified by Renesas as compatible with current and future platform products. Participants will be able to market the products directly to Renesas’ customers.
At this time, eleven companies are working with Renesas to provide software for this program. These include Alpwise, Bug Labs, Cypherbridge Systems, Clarinox, Express Logic, FDI, Gainspan, Icon Labs, IS2T,Serious Integrated and Skkynet. Evaluation versions of the software and services from these vendors will be available free to customers via the Renesas Synergy Gallery starting in January 2016.
As security continues to be a big issue – and requirement – for IoT applications, Icon Labs, a provider of embedded and IoT security technology, has integrated its Floodgate security products with Renesas’ R-IN32M3 industrial network controller ICs and the Renesas Synergy Platform. This solution provides a secure platform for IoT and industrial automation and extends Icon’s Internet of Secure Things initiative into industrial control systems.
The Internet of Secure Things Initiative defines a platform for developing secure, connected devices, Icon said. “The platform ensures that security is intrinsic to the architecture of the device itself and incorporates security management, visibility, device hardening, data protection and secure communications. These capabilities provide the foundation for the Industrial Internet of Secure Things. Natively securing the devices simplifies protection, audit, and compliance - independent of the secure perimeter, reducing the need for expensive and complicated security appliances.”
The integration between Icon Floodgate products and Renesas’ hardware platform provides several key security measures, including integrated embedded firewall, Modbus protocol filtering, intrusion detection, secure communication, authentication, small footprint crypto libs, and integration with security management systems (security policy management and event and command audit log reporting).
The Renesas and Verizon Communications partnership centers around IoT cloud connections. The two companies jointly announced they are collaborating to help product designers connect their systems to the cloud using integrated design platforms. Centered on IoT-enabled networks, the partnership will leverage Renesas’ embedded IoT technologies and Verizon’s network infrastructure.
“The Renesas Synergy Platform and Verizon’s network infrastructure can enhance a designer’s ability to create and deliver end-to-end IoT-enabled products to market,” Renesas said. “The API-based platforms allow embedded system product designers to focus their resources on designing innovative and differentiated applications rather than spending large amounts of time on the lower level programing of infrastructure.”
Also established to simplify IoT product design, Renesas and Zebra Technologies Corporation, a global provider of products and solutions that provide real-time visibility into organizations’ assets, people and transactions, are working together to deliver a development platform that speeds time-to-market for IoT applications. The partnership leverages the Renesas Synergy Platform and Zebra’s Zatar IoT Cloud Service, providing an easier way to architect end-to-end solutions for embedded devices, including cloud-enabled asset and people tracking enterprise systems.
“The three technology megatrends of cloud, mobility and IoT offer businesses and institutions a unique opportunity to differentiate themselves in the market. Embedded designers are at the forefront of leveraging IoT and our Zatar IoT Cloud Service to streamline their work and improve the experience of their end users,” said Anders Gustafsson, CEO, Zebra Technologies, in a statement. “We have been a customer and partner of Renesas for many years, and together we are driving the delivery of enterprise asset intelligence to the embedded world.”
To help inspire the next generation of engineers, Renesas also announced its 2016 season sponsorship with FIRST® (For the Inspiration and Recognition of Science & Technology), an international K-12 not-for-profit organization. “As part of the multi-level sponsorship established with FIRST in 2012, Renesas employees have played a fundamental role as mentors and volunteers to students participating in the FIRST Robotics Competition, with Renesas sponsoring more than 20 teams across the U.S. and Brazil,” the company said.