​IBM teams with TI on 'silicon tokens' to authenticate the Internet of Things

IBM has announced a new cloud-based 'silicon token' authentication service to manage the identity of embedded devices from cradle to grave.
Written by Liam Tung, Contributing Writer

Having pledged $3bn to built its Internet of Things (IoT) unit, IBM has announced a host of new IoT software programs and a tie-up with Texas Instruments to manage IoT devices.

The next phase of IBM's IoT ramp-up will see the company attempt to build an IoT ecosystem in which its cloud infrastructure and software would be key to orchestrating IoT devices. To do this, it's partnering with Texas Instruments, which itself has been busy building its own ecosystem with a bevy of cloud companies, including IBM, ARM, LogMeIn, and Spark, which provide managed services for IoT applications.

IBM is working with TI to develop a cloud-hosted system for securely managing IoT devices throughout their lifecycle, from provisioning, activating, registering, de-registering to eventually retiring IoT assets.

Securing and eventually killing off deployed IoT devices is expected to be a challenge for organisations with an IoT program. Analyst firm Gartner expects there will be five billion connected 'things' - small devices with embedded systems - deployed this year. It also expects that by 2017 20 percent of organisations will be spending on security services to manage IoT deployments.

To this end, IBM says it's working with Texas Instruments to create a Secure Registry Service for IoT devices - an authentication service for silicon embedded in devices and other systems.

The service will be hosted in IBM's cloud, and will rely on a silicon token that will help securely manage the identity of devices. It will also facilitate the transmission of data from IoT sensors in the field back to its cloud.

In line with its previous IoT announcement, IBM also revealed two vertical IoT products, including one for the airline sector called IBM Aviation Maintenance, which is meant to optimise and maintain the safety of aviation components. The second, called Product Line Engineering, is intended to help engineers customise product designs.

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