A short post today on a few interesting articles I came across on IoT chip businesses over the past few weeks. 1) IoT business small but growing fast and profitable This article talks about Intel’s IoT group (used to be called the Intelligent Systems Group) and its profitability. The group’s revenue grew from $1.6B in 2012 to $1.8B in 2013, and is expected to surpass $2B in 2014. While this is small compared with Intel’s total revenue of $53B (2013), the group’s operating income was a very impressive 31% (Intel’s total operating income was 23% in the same year). The author says this high profitability is due to the company’s ability to leverage existing technology and high margin on related software sales. 2) New chips that serve the needs of IoT Some IoT devices need to operate in a very different environment from PCs and smartphones. Many of them have limited access to power (ie. iBeacons) and some need to operate in harsh environments. Adesto Technologies announced a new memory chip called CBRAM that consumes 1/100 less energy and can withstand high levels of gamma rays and electron beam sterilization treatments, meaning “it can be used in a surgery room, even after sterilizing”. A new line of sensors from Spansion can harvest its own energy from the sun, vibration, or heat. Company spokesman says that the chips could operate “for a decade to 30 years, perhaps even more”. Chip makers have been eager to find future applications beyond PCs and smartphones to drive their next growth. Will IoT fill that role? The industry sure hopes so as we’re seeing forecasts that say IoT will surpass PCs, smartphones, and tablets around 2020. Check out our full scan of IoT on the Venture Scanner website!
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