Samsung unveils Artik chipset for connected home, devices

Samsung unveils its latest move in the burgeoning Internet of Things free-for-all.
Written by Rachel King, Contributor

SAN FRANCISCO---Smart machines are going to make our lives better, promised Young Sohn, president and chief strategy officer for Samsung Electronics.

For Samsung, the next step to turning those ambitions into reality comes in the form of a new family of chips, dubbed Artik, produced specifically for connected devices and data.

"We want you to leverage the same technology in our phones in the IoT market," Sohn said.

The size of a ladybug, Artik One is the entry-level option with a 250MHz dual-core processor with 4MB of flash memory, 9-axis motion sensor, Bluetooth Low Energy support. Samsung touted Artik One as ideal for BT location-based beacons, activity trackers, smart bands, and other IoT end nodes.

The Artik Five, roughly the size of a quarter coin, is a bit more powerful with a 1GHz dual-core processor, 512MB DRAM and 4GB flash memory (ePOP), a video decoder and encoder. Samsung suggested Artik Five as ideal for smarthome hubs.

Artik 10 is meant to be the complete system for home servers and personal clouds with a 1.3GHz Octacore processor, 2GB DRAM and 16GB flash memory, the HD encoder and decoder, 5.1 audio and local intelligence.

"Technology can do something about how we live," said Sohn, highlighting last year's debut of SimBand and a connected healthcare dashboard tapping into massive amounts of data for preventative healthcare.

Samsung has committed approximately $15 billion to the research and development of better chips, displays, connectivity and complete products, according to Sohn, describing this investment as spending "our dollars and resarch efforts in areas that matter."

Beyond the chip level, Samsung has established an open source-based developer platform and starter kit, which Sohn told the keynote audience would become available immediately.

Alex Hawkinson, CEO and co-founder of SmartThings, stressed the opportunity devices between devices (rather than just embedded on the devices themselves) amid the debut of the SmartThings Open Cloud, a new data-drive development environment with open APIs, websockets for real-time data ingestion, and SDKs for Java, Android, iOS, PHP and Python.

Hawkinson said SmartThings Open Cloud should make it easier and faster for device makers and wireless providers alike to come up with applications making use of these devices and sensors.

Though IoT has become one of the most (if not the most) buzzworthy topics in tech over the last year, Sohn acknolwedged these advancements didn't happen overnight.

Speaking at a multi-day Internet of Things (IoT) World summit on Tuesday, Sohn outlined four overall "eras" of the technology evolution, starting with the personal computer in the 1980s, continuing on into the Internet in the 1990s, smart mobile technology in the 2000s, and now the IoT movement.

Hinting at Samsung's greater worldwide ambitions, Sohn specified the benefits of IoT aren't just limited to executives on Wall Street or consumer markets in the United States and Europe, but also growing mobile user bases in Africa and other developing areas.

Nevertheless, Sohn admitted there are a number of global challenges, including shifting demographics, urbanization, and climate change.

"These are all mega challenges that we have to think about," Sohn reflected.

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