Oct 04 2017

Intel Unveils Tool to Make IoT Deployments Easier

The chipset giant's new solution promises to make it easier to securely and automatically provision Internet of Things devices at scale.

Deploying a few dozen Internet of Things devices in an office can be challenging. Imagine provisioning tens of thousands of them. Intel announced a new solution earlier this week to make that easier and do so in a secure and automated way.

The silicon company unveiled a solution called Intel Secure Device Onboard, or Intel SDO. “This technology securely automates and brings IoT devices online within seconds rather than hours,” the company says in a statement. “Intel SDO is being offered to IoT platform providers as a service they can provide to customers who wish to onboard thousands of connected devices.”

Today, to deploy IoT devices, companies need to coordinate between installation technicians, IT network operations and operational technology teams, Intel notes, a process that can typically take more than 20 minutes for a single device. That means large-scale deployments can take months, and all of those devices then need to be secured.

Gartner predicts there will be 20.4 billion connected devices worldwide in 2020. IHS forecasts there will be 30.7 billion. Yet Intel executives think that to get there, it will need become a lot easier for companies to securely deploy IoT gadgets.  “We are not seeing customers deploying,” Dipti Vachani, vice president and general manager for the Internet of Things Group at Intel, tells TechCrunch. “We are seeing rock-star proofs of concept, but can they get into the factory and deploy those things [at scale].”

Intel SDO’s “zero touch” model allows devices to dynamically discover a customer’s IoT platform account at when they power on so they can be automatically registered. It offers “a one-to-many, one-time enablement solution that can be integrated into almost any device or IoT platform, thereby eliminating the need to custom pre-load provisioning configurations for each IoT implementation,” Intel says in a statement.

Further, Intel SDO also leverages Intel’s Enhanced Privacy ID (EPID) solution “to anonymously authenticate the device and establish an encrypted communication tunnel, thereby preventing hackers from tracing the device from factory to owner.”

Other silicon providers like Infineon, Microchip and Cypress Semiconductor will embed the EPID identity capability in their hardware, according to Intel. And cloud service platform and device management software providers like Google Cloud, Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure and Intel’s Wind River Helix Device Cloud intend to provide integration to support Intel SDO’s zero touch model.