Fabless mobile phone chip company MediaTek Inc. (Hsinchu, Taiwan) has used its local exhibition – Computex – to announce its intention to move down in performance and power consumption to provide system chips for wearable equipment and Internet of Things (IoT).
The company made a series of announcements at the opening of the show including its signing of a memorandum of understanding with computer vendor Acer Inc. (New Taipei City, Taiwan) to cooperate on cloud and wearable technologies.
Technology-based announcements included a development platform for wearable and IoT markets called LinkIt.
LinkIt includes "Aster" an ARM-based MediaTek developed microcontroller that contains Bluetooth transceiver, power management circuitry and 4Mbytes of flash memory and 4Mbytes of SRAM, touchscreen controller and I/O interfaces. The exact core makeup has not been disclosed so far but possibly includes a Cortex-M for always on capability plus other cores to function at different levels of performance. This is an approach that has been taken by Ineda Systems Pvt. Ltd. (Hyderabad, India) has revealed details of its Dhanush family of wearable processor units (WPUs) based on multiple MIPS cores.
MediaTek calls Aster the smallest system-chip for wearable equipment because it comes in a package with an area of 5.4mm by 6.2mm. Aster supports over-the-air updates for application and driver software using a software stack called Capsule.
"We are enabling an ecosystem of device makers, application developers and service providers to create innovations and new solutions for the super-mid market," said JC Hsu, business development manager at MediaTek, in statement.
Chinese Internet company Baidu and French video game developer Gameloft SA said they were part of MediaTek's wearable and IoT ecosystem in statements published by MediaTek.
"The wearable devices era is a fascinating one for a game developer. Proliferation of devices equipped with all sorts of different sensors and measured information from human body are creating possibilities for us to develop games that are played differently and in ways that were never imagined before," said Gonzague de Vallois, senior vice president of Gameloft.
LinkIt is part of a wider developer community initiative at MediaTek called MediaTek Labs, which is due to launch later in 2014. MediaTek Labs is expected to be a repository and hub for software and community collaboration for software development kits (SDKs), hardware development kits (HDKs), technical documentation and support to the equipment maker and application development community. The MediaTek Labs portal will open in the third quarter of 2014.
Ming-Kai Tsai, chairman and CEO of MediaTek, said: "We expect wearable devices and the Internet of Things market to take off in the coming years and anticipate that MediaTek will be a big part of the growth. We pride ourselves on developing innovative and inclusive technologies that give everyone on the planet the opportunity to have technology in their life. This partnership with Acer will enable us to further fuel the impact that all kinds of devices will have in one’s life. With a keen focus on ensuring that we leverage all of our solutions and platforms across the business, we will introduce entirely new offerings such as, the LinkIt developer platform for the IoT market. Combine this with new ways to engage developers and partners with MediaTek Labs, we expect see a rise in the IoT products."
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