ARM Buys Offspark To Bolster Its Internet Of Things OS

The Internet of Things is the next big wave in the technology-driven economy of the 21st century. UK-based ARM has spent a lot of time and money developing its new mbed OS for IoT devices, and the firm doubled down on Monday by snapping up Dutch security software firm Offspark. The deal gives ARM access to Offspark’s PolarSSL technology, which the most commonly used transport layer security system for encrypting traffic between for embedded devices today.

ARM’s statement Monday noted that most of the companies using PolarSSL today also use its ARM Cortex processor.

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Polar SSL to remain open source

With the acquisition of OffSpark, ARM announced it will rebrand PolarSSL as a part of its new mbed operating system for IoT devices. The new name will be ARM mbed TLS. ARM, however, emphasizes that the technology will remain open source and still be available to developers for commercial use.

ARM’s mbed OS for IoT devices

Of note, ARM’s new OS mbed was released for free last October, with a dozen high tech partners including IBM, Freescale, Ericsson, NXP and Telefonica. The first production devices using the OS are expected this year.

ARM is planning to release the mbed OS under an Apache 2.0 licence in the fourth quarter of 2015. The updated OS will include mbed TLS, as well as Thread, the low-power, IPv6-using networking protocol that was launched last July by ARM and Samsung.

ARM also released the mbed device server to securely manage devices and make it easier for evelopers to integrate them with cloud services back in July.

Earlier in 2014, ARM also acquired Finnish IoT/cloud startup Sensinode, whose software is used to control street lighting systems, electric meters and building and home automation systems.

ARM’s statement noted that mbed TLS 1.3.10 is now available under GPL and for existing PolarSSL customers on polarssl.org.