ARM TechCon 2016 Keynote Live Blog

12:27PM EDT – I’m here at the Santa Clara Convention Center for ARM’s annual TechCon conference

12:27PM EDT – This year’s focus is expected to be on IoT devices

12:28PM EDT – Of particular interest, Masayoshi Son of ARM’s new owner Softbank will be speaking

12:29PM EDT – Softbank’s acquisiton of ARM still has an air of mystery to it. So hopefully we get a bit more insight here

12:30PM EDT – And here we go

12:31PM EDT – First up is Simon Segars, CEO of ARM

12:33PM EDT – ARM partners shipped 15B chips last year. About $50B in sales

12:34PM EDT – Big change for ARM this year is of course their buyout

12:34PM EDT – A deal that was closed in 7 weeks

12:35PM EDT – What’s it going to do for ARM? What’s it going to do for ARM’s partners?

12:37PM EDT – “But why is it that Softbank bought ARM?”

12:39PM EDT – Masayoshi Son

12:40PM EDT – He wastes no time in his opening statement, reiterating that ARM’s direction isn’t changing

12:43PM EDT – Son is opening up with a somewhat unconventional analogy between evolution, the first species with eyes, and sensors

12:45PM EDT – Biological sensing made a massive difference

12:46PM EDT – Just like the Cambrian explosion, there will be an IoT explosion

12:47PM EDT – So why buy ARM? Because this is the explosion of IoT, and Softbank wants to be there for it

12:49PM EDT – Billions and billions of IoT devices over the next 20 years

12:49PM EDT – Adding up to a trillion devices

12:50PM EDT – “Deep learning will make us super smart”

12:51PM EDT – But to have this IoT future, IoT devices need to be secure

12:51PM EDT – At this point it’s more important than performance

12:52PM EDT – Hundreds of chips in a modern car, with very little security. There is no encryption

12:55PM EDT – AI is already exceeding humans in some areas

12:56PM EDT – The Singularity

12:56PM EDT – (ed: Kurzweil’s dream)

12:57PM EDT – “Whether we like it or not, technology will evolve”

12:59PM EDT – We want to make life better for everyone. And this revolutioln cannot happen by just one company (e.g. ARM needs its partners)

12:59PM EDT – So no concrete details on tech, but a vision for why Softbank needs ARM

01:00PM EDT – Now Q&A time

01:01PM EDT – ARM partners already sells billions of microcontrollers, but what happens when they’re all connected?

01:04PM EDT – Son: “I do not intend to micromanage”

01:05PM EDT – Son is reiterating that he’s in this for the long haul. Decades, not quarters

01:10PM EDT – And that’s a wrap on the Q&A

01:11PM EDT – Now for a bit more of a tech focus

01:11PM EDT – ARM’s Future Technology Research Group will be presenting on the future of scaling

01:13PM EDT – Some people say 28nm was the best node ever. ARM agrees

01:13PM EDT – However right now we need multiple patterning, and that gets expensive

01:14PM EDT – Where do we go from here?

01:14PM EDT – What can we do besides finer pitches?

01:16PM EDT – Steppers are getting faster

01:17PM EDT – If we don’t get a good EUV tech for 5nm, there will be trouble

01:19PM EDT – Going below 5nm will be about materials engineering. A replacement for silicon

01:21PM EDT – Beyond transistors and wires. Find something better than SRAM

01:24PM EDT – A lot of these boosters are one-time tricks

01:24PM EDT – So are they worth it if it only helps once?

01:26PM EDT – ARM joined the IMEC consortium this year

01:28PM EDT – More discussion of what groups ARM is working with as of late on continuing Moore’s Law

01:29PM EDT – In summary, Moore’s Law will struggle with pitches. But scaling boosters can help keep things going

01:29PM EDT – (Chip design is about to get a lot less traditional)

01:32PM EDT – But on the plus side, scaling up until now is what has made IoT possible

01:32PM EDT – Final speaker for today is Mike Muller, ARM’s CTO

01:35PM EDT – Mike is focusing on wearables, and what they can be used for

01:36PM EDT – An interesting discussion given the recent news that smartwatch sales have taken a large hit this year

01:37PM EDT – Mike is reflecting on how things have changed for him in the last 16 years

01:39PM EDT – The medical field is a key change

01:39PM EDT – Now, how can modern IoT-type tech be used to improve this furter?

01:42PM EDT – Can you use recent research to detect cancer early and cheaply?

01:43PM EDT – More present day: using tiny sensors to measure inter-cranial pressure

01:47PM EDT – “There are 1001 vertical segments for IoT”

01:47PM EDT – “We are currently in the feature phone era”

01:48PM EDT – “The product works well, but it’s a vertically integrated solution”

01:48PM EDT – What’s coming next: the smartphone revolution for ioT

01:49PM EDT – Being announced today on the product side:

01:50PM EDT – Cortex-M23 and M33

01:50PM EDT – CrytoCell-312

01:50PM EDT – CoreLink SIE-200

01:51PM EDT – And Cordio, the link layer RTL for wireless communications

01:52PM EDT – nved Cloud: ARM’s software-as-a-service cloud infrastructure for IoT devices

01:52PM EDT – All with a focus on security and encryption

01:54PM EDT – Where does securitty meet privacy in IoT?

01:57PM EDT – Moving on, machine learning will change how data is correlated. Discovering correlations humans couldn’t find before

01:58PM EDT – “innovation is not always about technology”

01:59PM EDT – We need to provide seucirty. We need to work on privacy so that users trust us with the data

01:59PM EDT – And that’s a wrap. Off to some more Q&As

02:00PM EDT – 🙂

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