Proving the Business Case for the Internet of Things

Avnet partners Octonion to bring AI to the edge

Steve Rogerson
November 20, 2018



IoT companies can leverage artificial intelligence to help speed the development process through a product being developed by Avnet and Octonion, a Switzerland-based intelligent edge IoT software provider.
 
The two companies are creating a category of IoT called meta-sensing that combines hardware and software that will allow engineers at any level to develop and deploy IoT products built with AI in as little as six to eight months. The first meta-sensing product, SmartEdge Agile, that will be built by Avnet and powered by an STM32 microcontroller from ST Microelectronics, is an IoT device integrated with Octonion’s Brainium AI software to enable AI and security at the edge.
 
“Brainium is AI at the edge,” said Philippe Fremont (pictured), vice president of Avnet Silica, speaking at last week’s Electronica trade show in Munich where the two companies previewed the technology using product demonstrations.
 
Because of the proliferation of the IoT, Fremont said that Avnet had created an IoT team across its different business units to develop ways to accelerate IoT market penetration.
 
“We are using the traditional core businesses of Avnet, taking the strengths of each one,” he said.
 
A priority, he said, was security at the edge. “We have at the edge the same level as security as you have on a Visa card,” he said. “We have the best in class security. When we do security, we do it at the edge, but we need to manage the certificate. Our partner in this is Idemia. They are number one in security in the world.”
 
Octonion was created in 2014 in Switzerland and has since raised €16m from Foxconn, Ginko Ventures, Orkos Capital, Swisscom and Almaz Capital. Its team has built an AI framework and developed an edge computing architecture. This allows its clients to deploy a connected project in six months as opposed to the 18 to 24 months needed with many other platforms. Its major achievement to date has been the launch of the PIQ Sport intelligence brand with partners such as Everlast, Babolat, Rossignol and North Kiteboarding.