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ST, Alibaba develop Chinese Cloud-to-Node IoT Platform

William Payne
October 19, 2017

Swiss based semiconductor firm STMicroelectronics is partnering Alibaba Cloud, the cloud computing arm and business unit of China's Alibaba Group. The two companies are working to develop a complete cloud-to-node IoT solution. The aim is to allow any designer to easily create IoT nodes and gateways using ST's key semiconductor building blocks for the IoT, run Alibaba's IoT operating system AliOS on the node, and seamlessly connect with the Alibaba Cloud for faster time-to-market of large-volume IoT applications.

Alibaba has also rebranded its YunOS operating system AliOS, with a design focus on providing an operating ecosystem for mobile, industrial and IoT devices.

With the release of AliOS, ST has made the operating system available to run on its STM32 microcontroller (MCU) platform, a portfolio of Arm Cortex-M MCU technologies which is used by many Chinese IoT designers.

Beyond processing, designers will get access to ST's complete portfolio covering all the key building blocks for the IoT, including connectivity, security, sensors, power management, and signal conditioning. ST's modular and interoperable IoT development platform spans state-of-the-art semiconductor components, ready-to-use development boards, free software tools, and common application examples.

According to a statement put out by the two companies, the ST/Alibaba collaboration will increase development efficiency.

The companies are describing the solution as the first Chinese IoT turnkey platform. They say it will bring greater convenience and productivity to developers when creating IoT nodes and to integrators when connecting to the Alibaba Cloud. Customers will also get a head-start on time-to-market with AliOS's pre-validation of all software components on the platform, easing security provisions and field device upgrades.

“By collaborating with Alibaba, we can provide developers in China with the STM32 platform to build IoT nodes running AliOS. This gives customers a head-start to using the combination of AliOS Node-to-Cloud complete vertical solution and the broad portfolio of ST's IoT technologies that includes sensors, processing, security, connectivity, and power,” said Arnaud Julienne, Vice President, Microcontroller, Memory, and Secure MCU & IoT, Asia Pacific Region, STMicroelectronics.

“Alibaba, a rich and powerful platform for everyone to conduct business, will help different IoT market players, both large and medium/small businesses, to find their customers or vendors. Alibaba is cooperating with ST to build joint solutions from Cloud to Node, to include security in applications, and we definitely believe AliOS and ST chipsets can help customers achieve their targets in the IoT mass-market,” said Ku Wei, general manager of IOT BU of Ali Cloud BG.