Samsung Electronics has launched a new open platform that it says will make developing smart devices faster and easier. ARTIK includes three circuit boards, software support, developer tools, and embedded encryption for security.
In addition to ARTIK, Alex Hawkinson, chief executive of SmartThings, which was acquired by Samsung last August, also announced SmartThings Open Cloud to help developers create apps for their devices.
The smallest module in the series, ARTIK 1, is just 12mm by 12mm. Intended for use in wearables and end nodes, ARTIK 1 includes a 9-axis motion sensor and Bluetooth low energy connectivity. Samsung claims it can run for one week on a single charge. The largest board, the ARTIK 10, has an eight-processor chip, 32 gigabytes of storage, and can handle video encoding and playback. ARTIK’s users already include Boogio, which makes sensors for shoes, and Weenat, which helps farmers monitor their fields.
ARTIK is stepping into a playing field that already includes similar platforms from rivals Qualcomm and Intel.
If ARTIK manages to differentiate, however, it can help fuel Samsung Electronics’ semiconductor business, upon which it is counting to help keep its earnings from slipping further as its smartphone business is eroded by competition from other makers like Xiaomi and Micromax.
In its 1Q 2015 earnings report released last month, Samsung Electronics said it believes it second-quarter earnings will get a boost from sales of its memory chips to other smartphone makers. Its semiconductor unit’s margins also managed to increase to 28.5 percent, compared to 20.8 percent a year ago.
Samsung Electronics, however, won’t just sell ARTIK to other companies. It also plans to use the platform to speed up the development of its own smartphones, televisions, and home appliances. Young Sohn, Samsung’s president and chief strategy officer, told the Wall Street Journal that all Samsung product divisions will now use ARTIK technology instead of choosing their own chips and software.