Samsung Announces Artik Platform As Bridge Into Internet Of Things Market

Samsung on Tuesday pushed into the lucrative Internet of Things market, unveiling its new Artik System on a Chip (SoC) series during Internet of Things World in San Francisco.

Artik is an open platform that includes processor chips and circuit boards, along with memory, software and other services "designed to help accelerate development of a new generation of better, smarter IoT devices," according to Samsung.

Samsung did not disclose pricing or availability for its new Artik platform.

[Related: PlumChoice: The Internet Of Services Is More Important Than The Internet Of Things]

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Samsung's newest IoT products complement the South Korean company's pledge to completely connect all its products and electronic devices, from smartphones to household appliances like refrigerators and washing machines, by 2020.

With market research firms like Gartner predicting that Internet of Things-connected functioning devices will top 25 billion in 2020, that goal might just be possible.

Kent Tibbils, vice president of marketing at ASI, a Fremont, Calif.-based system builder partner and Samsung SSD and memory partner, sees Samsung's move into the Internet of Things as practical because of the massive opportunity in the space.

"I think when we see all these companies launching new chips targeting the Internet of Things market, it really demonstrates their opinion about the potential for growth," he said. "For the channel, it’s really about the experience associated with the device and what type of value it can deliver as well as how the reseller can incorporate the capabilities of the device into their overall solution, whether it be tracking analytics, remote home management [or] retail point of sale."

Tibbils added: "In the end, more competition is better for everyone, particularly in an emerging market that has so much room for growth. We are clearly just seeing the beginning."

Artik comes in three configurations to meet varying requirements of different devices, from wearables to home automation, according to Samsung.

These configurations will include Artik 1, a small IoT module that combines Bluetooth connectivity and a nine-axis sensor for low-power, small form factor IoT applications, as well as Artik 5, which is manufactured for high-end wearables and drones. The final configuration is Artik 10, which delivers high-performance IoT functions through an 8-core processor.

While Samsung is entering a market flush with opportunity, in the processor end of the Internet of Things space, there are already hard-hitting, well-established players.

Chipmaker Intel last year launched a new Internet of Things platform along with an array of IoT-focused chips and circuit boards for wearables and connected devices. Qualcomm also has an existing solution portfolio in the IoT market, focusing on automotive, smart home, smart cities and wearables.

Patrick Moorhead, founder and principal analyst at market research firm Moor Insights & Strategy, acknowledged that Samsung was facing tight competition from these other SoC vendors because of their top-of-the-market chip quality and performance.

"I think Samsung will have a hard time competing with other providers," Moorhead said.

Samsung has an existing manufactured semiconductor portfolio. Its Exynos chip sets, which are SoCs based on ARM licenses, are prevalent in its Samsung Galaxy S phone series and Galaxy Note.