You may have noticed us talking more about “Flow Technology” over on www.imgtec.com over the past year – but what is it?
Flow is an end to end infrastructure for connecting devices to cloud-based services: the idea is that while providing on-chip Wi-Fi (and ultimately other connectivity standards) enables a device to connect to the cloud – what do you actually connect to? Flow is initially targeting the myriad devices that need to get connected, but where the companies making them simply don’t have the resources to figure that out. What URL do they connect to? How do you set up a user account? How do I update software? How do I control the device from a browser or app in the Cloud? How do I stream content, and where do I get content from? Each of these is a big and complex issue – so we’ve solved it all with Flow.
Flow enables devices to easily talk to cloud services: as part of Flow technology we’ve developed what is known as the ‘Flow APIs’. These enable anyone writing an app on a connected device to do all the functions I mentioned above, and many more. And they can access services too, not just from IMG but from a growing ecosystem of 3rd parties. We’ve got plans advancing fast for partners providing payment systems, streamed content, healthcare, security, and more.
Flow is a key tool to get the best out of our Meta and Ensigma IPs – the MetaFlow ‘connected processor’: Flow technology is initially only available on MetaFlow processors, which combine a Meta HTP or MTP processor running Linux (and ultimately MeOS, Android and other 3rd party OS’s too) with a highly optimised Ensigma communications IP core running at least 802.11 Wi-Fi. This enables us to create a new class of connected processors to power the ‘M2M revolution’ – machine to machine communications that is expected to drive the next 10 billion connected products! And we already have our first MetaFlow devices in production: Toumaz’ Xenif TZ1090. So it’s more than a great idea – it is here now!
Flow takes the technology developed within PURE in conjunction with Ensigma to a much bigger market. The initial Flow range of radios, and the Lounge portal, have enabled PURE to enter new markets and geographies. We’re now moving those services to become part of the Flow technologies portfolio, together with the 3rd parties such as 7DM (content) and MiPay (payment) that help us provide those services. We’ve also taken the substantial investment we’ve made in The Lounge and made that a new portal that is a key pillar of Flow Technologies: FlowWorld.
Flow technology is a major new longer term initiative that we intend to broaden our reach into new markets and customers.