IOT News Roundup

Cisco introduces its IoT System; Ernst & Young gains IoT analytics know-how; GreenPeak unveils chip that supports ZigBee and Thread protocols; Icontrol, mnubo to partner on smart home analytics; Z-Wave Alliance grows member base.
By Mary Catherine O'Connor

Ernst & Young Acquires Entegreat's Consulting Business
Advisory services firm Ernst & Young has acquired the consulting arm of Entegreat, a company that helps manufacturers boost efficiency in their supply chains by analyzing data. E&Y says many of its clients in the manufacturing industry are deploying IoT systems and that, with Entegreat's services, E&Y can better serve those clients by helping them analyze and act upon datasets that they collect.

As companies in the United States begin to manufacture more products in their own stateside factories, E&Y forecasts that demand for such IoT analytics is growing. The services are aimed at helping manufacturers save energy while improving output and cutting waste. E&Y has not disclosed the terms of the deal.

GreenPeak Multi-channel Chipset Supports ZigBee, Thread Protocols
GreenPeak's new GP712 chipset, designed for use in smart home network gateways and set-top boxes, contains a single radio that works with both the ZigBee Alliance and Thread Group communication protocols for Internet of Things applications.

Both protocols are based on the IEEE 802.15.4 standard for mesh networks and physical layer communication and media access control, but each has its communication protocols (used for security and commissioning devices) built on that standard. Both also utilize Internet Protocol version 6 (IPv6), the latest IP communication protocol, but Thread uses IPv6 over low power wireless personal area networks (6LoWPAN), which means that a network node compliant with Thread can communicate with any IP-based device. ZigBee has a much longer history than the Thread protocol, but Thread has the backing of some major IoT ecosystem players. The Thread Group was founded last year by a consortium of companies, including Nest, ARM and Freescale Semiconductor.

GreenPeak says application developers and device manufacturers will want a chip that supports both protocols—meaning it can listen for both ZigBee and Thread data packets using a single radio—in one package. But the two standards groups are already starting to work toward interoperability built on existing hardware. In April, the ZigBee Alliance and the Thread Group reported that they are working together to enable ZigBee products to run Thread's mesh-network protocol via the ZigBee Cluster Library application layer.

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