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ARM is buying Offspark in a bid to assure Internet of Things developers its platform is secure

ARM is buying Offspark in a bid to assure Internet of Things developers its platform is secure

ARM has agreed to acquire Internet of Things security specialist Offspark for an undisclosed sum. The move comes less than two weeks after ARM rival Intel made an IoT-focused acquisition of its own.

Netherlands-based Offspark specialises in Transport Layer Security (TLS) solutions that effectively bring SSL-style encryption to IoT devices, anything from smartphones to connected street lamps, and the acquisition will see Offspark’s flagship offering PolarSSL will be rebranded as ARM mbed TLS and form the core of ARM’s mbed communication security and IoT cryptography strategy.

Last year the firm introduced the mbed OS, a free operating system for IoT devices, with a server-side application that enables a range of services across IoT networks including data aggregation for analytics, enabling firmware updates across nodes, and the like.

“We have always said that security must be the foundation of any IoT system and the acquisition of Offspark is evidence of us making that happen,” said Krisztian Flautner, general manager, IoT business at ARM.

“PolarSSL technology is already deployed by the leading IoT players. The fact that those same companies also utilize ARM Cortex processor and software technologies means we are now able to provide a complete bedrock solution for the industry to innovate from,” Flautner said.

Paul Bakker, chief executive officer of Offspark said: “ARM is undeniably the front-runner in the embedded world and combining with them is the perfect way of scaling our business. Security is the most fundamental aspect in ensuring people trust IoT technology and that is only possible with a truly tailored solution. Together, ARM and Offspark can provide security to the edge of any system and we look forward to working with our partners to help them deliver some exciting new projects.”

The company said it plans to release a version of the mbed OS for smart devices with Offspark’s technology pre-integrated sometime “toward the end of 2015.”

ARM has aggressively targeted IoT as of late, not the least of which because Intel has steadily moved forward with IoT-focused plans of its own.

In December last year Intel launched its own platform to unify gateway connectivity and security components between connected devices, and earlier this month bought German networking chip specialist Lantiq to strengthen its smart home networking capabilities.