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Looking Ahead to a World of a Trillion Connected Devices

Next month welcomes Arm TechCon 2018, and during my keynote, I will layout our vision for the Infrastructure business here at Arm.
By Drew Henry, SVP, IPG Strategy Planning & Operations, Arm

By Drew Henry, senior vice president and general manager, Infrastructure Line of Business, Arm

Twelve months have zipped by since I first discussed why I joined Arm. Today, I believe even more deeply in our mission. Next month welcomes Arm TechCon 2018, and during my keynote on Tuesday morning, I will layout our vision for the Infrastructure business here at Arm. At a high-level, I will discuss how we see the foundational networking, compute, and storage infrastructure of the cloud evolving to deal with connecting, processing, and storing data generated by trillions of intelligent devices.

Our ever more “connected world” is transitioning from being simply connected to becoming complicatedly smart. Decision making is being embedded into the very systems we bring into our businesses and homes. Retail stores are a great example. For decades, stores have been outfitted with security cameras with the sole purpose of reducing inventory loss. These cameras have been “connected” in recent years, but mainly for the purposes of capturing the camera video feed on computer disks.

The far more interesting use case exploits the information that can be pulled from a video sensor, which can tell the store owner things like: How many people are in the store? When do they come and go? What are the customer demographics? What are they looking at? What is the instantaneous state of the shelved inventory? Is someone stealing something? If so, who and where are they? As the data is collected, decisions need to be made and actions recommended by these systems, but to do all of this, the data collected by video sensors (the imagery) has to be processed to extract the information desired, often in real-time. This has significant implications on how we handle the processing, storing, and sharing of this collected data. As we dig into the different ways companies are designing these new systems, we are seeing new infrastructure models emerge, which is influencing the products we bring to market.

Arm is unique in the technology world as a vast majority of companies building an IoT solution consult with us and utilize Arm IP and/or services. They all know they need to connect Arm-powered end points, and together with these and other global technology leaders, we are deeply thinking through and designing the end-to-end system architectures needed for these emerging use cases. Not only does Arm and our broad ecosystem understand the device architectures needed, we also understand how this will impact the networking, storage, and compute models needed within the cloud infrastructure. Together with our ecosystem partners (silicon, systems, and software companies) we are designing new infrastructure solutions.

As illustrated in the retail example outlined above, to control trillions of smart devices and a world of autonomous decision-making systems, compute will move to where it is most needed, data will be stored where most appropriate, and systems will be interconnected within the right security domains. The latter being critical since data security and integrity are fundamental requirements. Companies will covet and aggressively protect the information collected from their intelligent systems.

The understanding of these requirements is driving Arm to design our infrastructure solutions differently, and our roadmaps are shifting to reflect this. In my TechCon keynote, I will share Arm’s latest roadmap for the new architectures and system IP we’re bringing to our ecosystem that will power solutions spanning from compute/networking/storage servers and top-of-rack switches for new cloud solutions, to gateways and base station processors for the emerging world of 5G.

Arm is as deeply committed to developing infrastructure solutions from the cloud to edge as we are committed to powering the trillions of smart devices and autonomous machines that will soon populate the world. I can’t wait to tell you all more about it.

Want to hear more from us at Arm TechCon? Register here, and don’t miss the Arm Infrastructure Pavilion, featuring demos and experts from key partners across the Arm ecosystem.

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