Intel is known primarily for its stellar work in the CPU space, the company has undergone a massive transformation and has been pushing hard to make its mark in the Internet of Things (IoT) area as well. Speaking to Tech2, Kavita Mohammad, Director Sales, IoT/SmartCities, Intel, Asia-Pacific, Japan, and Srinivas Tadigadapa, Director, Enterprise Solutions, Intel, tells us about Intel’s plans in this segment.

What can you tell us about the Intel IoT roadmap?

We have an IoT platform that’s based entirely on our ecosystem and our plan is to provide end-to-end solutions to customers. Everything from the actual hardware to the backend and database systems are designed to work as one. We’re bringing innovations to these products so people can build on the IoT platform.

To get IoT to work, we require low-power devices, networking access and systems that can talk to each other. Efforts are ongoing in that direction.

So this is with Intel’s Quark processor?

Intel Quark

Yes, that’s what the gateway is based on. That’s where you collect data from the sensors, aggregate it, analyse it, send it to the back-end application.

How is Intel’s IoT approach different from ARM?

Let me put it from an Intel perspective. Intel is involved in the end-to-end solution as compared to being an embedded platform. As a result, we have a much broader ecosystem. We work with ODMs (Original Design Manufacturers) and system builders to build products. They’ve taken a part of the solution build-up. Our focus is not just on building chips, it’s on enabling an ecosystem and building solutions around it.

So how does it work? Someone approaches Intel with a problem and you design a product/service for them?

We proactively engage with the client and solutions provider and help them to build a solution around them, using our products. We give toolkits, reference architecture, etc. to accelerate the process. We’re also strong in analytics. And we’re focussed on analytics, which is a key part of the solution process.

How are you integrating sensors?

Our focus is to work with sensor providers with different standards and make. We’re not designing our own sensors, just integrating them into our platform.

What are your targeted growth areas?

We’re looking at 4-5 verticals as growth areas, including industrial, transportation, energy and e-governance.

What about self-driving cars and smart watches?

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We’re working on platforms to collect data, such as personal health-care devices. A doctor can remotely access health information and diagnose a patient remotely for example. We’re building innovative solutions around such concepts.

Tell us about your work on Smart Cities. We hear that you’re doing some interesting work at BKC (Bandra-Kurla Complex, Mumbai) for example.

BKC has 4 parts of the solution. WiFi, smart lighting (street lighting), smart parking, air quality monitoring. These are 4 key elements of the solution.

The government is planning a 100 Smart Cities in India and they announce 20 every 6 months. Each city has to approach the centre with a proposal for approval. On approval, a token amount is given as support and a credit line is extended. The cities are free to approach others for funding.

The cities want to create a special purpose vehicle, where no single department is responsible for the smart city. Multiple functions have to come together and interact seamlessly and the vehicle ensures that everyone bears responsibility and are collaborating.

A program manager is placed in charge of designing, building and operating the smart city. The manager is responsible for ensuring that infrastructure and tech is laid out, and he’s also responsible for tenders. Developing a smart city will take 6-7 months or more and the first ones won’t be operational before 2017.

Most companies only offer a particular solution to a particular problem or offer solutions that have already been implemented abroad. This becomes expensive and may not always be the best solution.

We’re working with ODM and OEMs that create sensors, people we’ve been working with for over 50 years. Intel has also been acquiring a lot of tech these last 4-5 years and this gives us the unique advantage of creating and offering end-to-end architecture.

Another advantage is that we don’t advocate any particular product or manufacturer. We provide a blueprint based on the provided specifications and multiple vendors can come and bid on it. We offer the best-in-class architecture and it’s up to you if you want it. You’re not tied to any vendor and can build on what we provide.

This is resonating very well with our customers and this is because our systems are open and open-sourced. Our work with ecosystems mean that we’re looking at a holistic solution.

Publish date: April 29, 2016 3:45 pm| Modified date: April 29, 2016 4:32 pm

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