IoT innovation in spotlight as prpl Foundation adds four new members

prpl Foundation, the open-source, community-driven, collaborative, non-profit foundation supporting the next gen connected devices industry, has announced the addition of four new members that will help steer the future of the Internet of Things (IoT).

The companies joining consist of ADB, the Swiss connected solutions specialist; Russian semiconductor firm Baikal Electronics; SoftAtHome, the French embedded software for the digital home company; and Intrinsic-ID, a specialist in Physical Unclonable Functions (PUF) for securing connected devices, who will also be helping with the advancement of a prpl PUF project.

“This is a really exciting time for the prpl Foundation,” said Art Swift, president of the prpl Foundation. “With the addition of these innovative companies from around the world that represent some of the best in their fields, we can continue our cutting edge projects and work that will ultimately make IoT more open, interoperable and secure – three facets that are currently missing from many of today’s connected devices.”

One such new and exciting project is working with Intrinsic-ID and other PUF technology specialists to create an open source initiative called prpl PUF. The aim for the initiative is to establish strong a hardware-based root of trust across potentially billions of devices. Using PUF technology, IoT applications can greatly simplify the provisioning and management of cryptographic keys to authenticate, and protect data across the network.

Art Swift, president of the prpl Foundation
Art Swift, president of the prpl Foundation

“The security of connected devices has come consistently come into question, whether it’s dealing with safe payments, keeping your personal information safe or protecting embedded systems in critical applications,” said Pim Tuyls, founder and CEO of Intrinsic-ID. “Since Intrinsic-ID’s PUF technology doesn’t require any change in the hardware, it can be deployed widely and inexpensively, providing the highest security at the lowest cost.

 “It is a natural choice for chip vendors addressing challenges from key provisioning, to root of trust and supply chain protection. We look forward to working with the prpl Foundation to ensure that hardware-backed security technology can be even more easily integrated in secure virtualised and portable software architectures,” he continued.

Prpl had previously worked with Baikal Electronics to build a demo platform based on their System on a Chip (SoC) which implemented the prpl security framework,

Security Guidance for Critical Areas of Embedded Computing and revealed at Mobile World Congress earlier this year. By using Baikal’s low-power, high performance processor technology, the prototype allows for multiple secure domains running in parallel on the same chip. One instance can be rebooted without affecting any of the others. 

“This revelation has many applications for the connected device industry in addition to security, such as opportunities for operators and service providers to provision new services and applications to their customers,” said Pavel Osipenko, R&D director for Baikal Electronics. “For example, home gateways and other devices can be designed with distinct containers to enable add-on services such as home automation, health monitoring, security and more.”

Under the prpl Foundation, chip, system and service providers can come together to agree on a common platform, architecture, APIs and standards in order to benefit from a unified and more secure open-source approach to development within connected devices. This industry cross-collaboration will insure that the future of IoT is one that is safer and more user-friendly for consumers of connected device technology.

Pavel Osipenko, R&D director for Baikal Electronics
Pavel Osipenko, R&D director for Baikal Electronics

SoftatHome and ADB will be key participants in a new prpl Carrier Interest Group that has the charter to ensure that the technical needs of major international carriers are represented across prpl and that potential carrier grade features are defined for key open source implementations such as OpenWrt.

“By joining the prpl Foundation we are proud to have the opportunity to foster common efforts of the industry and the OpenWrt community and build software solutions for next generation carrier-grade Home Gateways. We look forward to provide new box architectures leveraging virtualiSation, secure environments and open innovation – and in general all the ingredients required to help carriers in building their software-driven businesses,” said Wojtek Makowski, CTO of SoftAtHome.

“ADB is very happy to join prpl and actively contribute with our strong experience in broadband and IoT to create connected solutions in an open and collaborative environment that will help push further the boundaries of our industry,” said Corrado Rocca, EVP Product Management and Development at ADB.

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