New tools from MediaTek Labs should lead to cheaper and smarter IoT-connected devices coming soon
Chipmaker MediaTek created new tools, which it hopes will help accelerate the creation of devices able to connect to the Internet of Things (IoT).
The MediaTek LinkIt Connect 7681 development platform will give developers and device manufacturers with the tools they need to create simple and affordable Wi-Fi enabled IoT devices that can be controlled from smartphones or the Internet.
The new tool, from the company’s in-house MediaTek Labs R&D arm, is based on MediaTek’s MT7681 Wi-Fi System on Chip (SoC). It features a Software Development Kit (SDK) for Microsoft Windows and Ubuntu Linux which enables developers to compile and upload the firmware needed to control an IoT device in response to instructions received wirelessly.
There is also a Hardware Development Kit (HDK) co-designed with Seeed Studio, which enables micro-USB connections and pins for various I/O interfaces.
“The world is rapidly moving towards connecting every imaginable device in the home, yet developers often have to spend too much effort on making their products Wi-Fi enabled,” said Marc Naddell, VP, MediaTek Labs. “The MediaTek LinkIt Connect 7681 platform simplifies and accelerates this process so that developers can focus on making innovative home IoT products, whatever their skill level.”
The IoT is set to be a major growth area for chipmakers such as MediaTek over the next few years, as more and more items in the world get connected.
Analyst firm Gartner has said that it anticipates that the number of connected ‘things’ across the world to hit 25 billion by 2020. Overall, 4.9 billion connected things will be in use in 2015, up 30 percent from 2014, the firm said.
The Taiwanese company is best known for its low-cost mobile processors, which recently hit the headlines in powering Google’s Android One smartphones for developing markets, but it has made several moves towards expanding further into other markets.
MediaTek Labs, which focuses on wearables and Internet of Things (IoT) devices, was first launched last September. It offers a range of tools for developers, including software development kits (SDKs), hardware development kits (HDKs), and technical documentation, as well as technical and business support.
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