Mediatek, one of the world’s foremost fabless semiconducter companies and producers of systems on a chip which feature in many mobile devices, has announced at Taiwan’s Computex show, a new platform for the Internet of Things known as Linkit.
Making use of MediaTek’s Aster SoC, the smallest currently available on the market, Linkit is designed to bring developers together to help further the wearable industry. Mediatek will also be providing reference designs that allow the creation of simple form factor products using the Aster chip that provide simple functions like an internet connection. The idea it to lay the ground work for developers and thereby allow them to really innovate.
MediaTek’s system will also support over-the-air updates for apps, and drivers, making installation and updating of apps and services in new products incredibly easy. This is all possible because of Linkit will feature a MediaTek Capsule software stack that can link up wearable products with PCs and smartphones for added functionality.
The Linkit platform will also have its own hardware development kit for further improvements by third parties.
“MediaTek is now in a unique position to assume leadership by accelerating development for wearables and IoT, thanks to our LinkIt platform,” said J.C. Hsu, General Manager of New Business Development at MediaTek. “We are enabling an ecosystem of device makers, application developers and service providers to create innovations and new solutions for the Super-mid market.”
This new development could very well help empower smaller companies and developers to create some truly new and innovative wearable devices. Currently the market is heavily dominated by big name corporations, but even some of those are starting to struggle – see Nike leaving the industry. However with a system on a chip that’s affordable and backed up by support from the host company and software/hardware development kits to encourage experimentation, perhaps we’ll see MediaTek become the dominant provider of wearable chips?
Of course Intel would probably have something to say about that and other companies like ARM and Qualcomm are said to be working on their own dedicated wearable specific chips. The true test for each of these companies will come when they all have their products in the market and developers have a real range of choice. As it stands, there aren’t many options, but that looks likely to change before long.