Imagination Introduces Next Step in Flow Technology for Connected Embedded Systems
Imagination Technologies Group, a leading multimedia and communications technologies company, released FlowWorld, a key component of its Flow Technology cloud connectivity platform, at ESC Silicon Valley 2011.
FlowWorld is a configurable portal technology enabling the connection of devices to the cloud. Used alongside Imagination’s METAflow connected processor technology it enables an end to end solution for delivery of services and content between service providers and users through the cloud.
FlowWorld and the METAflow processor underpin Imagination's Flow Technology, a comprehensive and unique IP platform that establishes a new benchmark for connecting devices to the Cloud utilising both internet and broadcast channels.
Says Tony King-Smith, VP marketing, Imagination Technologies: "With Imagination's Flow Technology, we will enable the next wave of ubiquitous connectivity in all manner of embedded products across consumer, industrial and enterprise segments. Using the platform it is possible for a wide range of developers, large and small, to prototype and deploy truly connected products and solutions without requiring the incredibly broad range of engineering and commercial know-how and resources usually only found in the biggest industry players.”
Unlike other portal technologies, FlowWorld’s unique ‘fit’ to the METAflow connected processor enables a much higher degree of efficiency, consistency and utility for developing devices delivering real-time and ‘always connected’ services. Flow Technology’s powerful and growing, yet simple to implement, APIs enable a diverse range of embedded applications supported by web services to be rapidly developed and deployed by Imagination’s Flow ecosystem partners.
Continues King-Smith: “Flow Technology will enable the growth and acceleration of markets for products featuring connectivity across an increasingly diverse range of applications such as home automation, security, entertainment, toys, and health care. New categories will be created and old ones revitalised by this ubiquitous connectivity technology, which enables embedded devices to deliver their functionality using an optimal mix of local and internet resources. Just as we helped to revolutionise the use of graphics across the mobile and embedded markets we intend to do the same for connected embedded devices with Flow Technology.”
Flow Technology comprises:
• METAflow platform hardware IP, advanced processor IP based on Imagination’s META and UCC technologies
o Support for Imagination’s MeOS embedded RTOS for small memory footprint, highly cost-optimised solutions
o Full support for Linux and Android-based applications platforms
o Hooks for Flow Technology’s essential device management functions
• Flow Technology APIs enabling the delivery of:
o Essential ‘product’ services for METAflow processor based devices including software update (FlowUpdate), unique device identification, registration etc.
o A continuously growing portfolio of Flow APIs and embedded services from the ecosystem of Flow Technology partners
• The FlowWorld portal (www.flowworld.com)
o High performance, scalable portal with growing capabilities
o Device management services enabling device manufacturers to update, track, and manage products in the field
o Consumer-facing capability with a configurable web-based interface enabling delivery of suitable user experience with minimal effort from end product developers
o Can be customised for and integrated with other portals
• An ever growing portfolio of services provided both by Imagination and an ecosystem of Flow Technology service partners
o Initial services include FlowPay (with Mi-Pay), FlowSongs (with 7Digital), FlowRadio (Imagination) and FlowSounds (Imagination)
Flow Technology in detail
Imagination's Flow Technology includes highly integrated licensable METAflow IP platform hardware based on Imagination's market leading silicon IP and supporting software solutions. This is complemented by a range of internet-based enabling technologies and a rapidly expanding portfolio of cloud-based resources, services and from Imagination’s growing ecosystem of partners.
Imagination's METAflow Connected Processor family combines the META multithreaded processor, which boasts real-time, general-purpose and DSP capabilities, with ENSIGMA UCCP connectivity solution which includes Wi-Fi technology. METAflow supports a range of operating systems including full Linux, Android and the MeOS embedded RTOS from Imagination.
MeOS is a compact real-time operating system (RTOS) ideal for connected embedded systems. MeOS delivers a comprehensive set of facilities for multi-tasking software designs, while avoiding complex features that increase code size and reduce performance. It has been successfully deployed in hundreds of products and millions of shipped systems.
Flow Technology includes both essential baseline ‘product’ services, like FlowUpdate for in-field robust software update, and enhanced services, like FlowRadio, for adding advanced features to end products.. FlowWorld delivers both baseline and enhanced services using a series of APIs through which partners can centrally control and manage service configurations for any METAflow based connected product.
Thanks to an advanced template-based implementation FlowWorld can be configured to deliver a highly tailored and bespoke portal enabling service providers to make maximum use of Flow Technology’s reach and services while creating a highly customised user experience, whilst also retaining compatibility with all other Flow Technology based products.
Initial software services delivered by the ecosystem of Flow Technology partners include: FlowRadio, delivering thousands of radio stations; FlowPay for secure purchase of services and content; and FlowSongs, a huge library of premium music content ready for delivery to Flow devices.
Proven in market
Flow Technology is already in use from consumer electronics brand PURE, part of Imagination Technologies. FlowWorld powers the PURE Lounge cloud music service, which delivers radio, streaming, apps, and more to PURE’s META and UCCP enabled radios.
Says Paul Smith, GM, PURE: "A major contributing factor of the commercial success of PURE’s connected audio products has been the content, services and infrastructure enabled and provided by Imagination's Flow technology, and especially the FlowWorld technology which enables our Lounge radio and music service. Having this solution available to the wider industry is certain to accelerate the growth of the overall internet-connected product market, and we anticipate significant growth in customers for our connected audio products and services as a result."
About Imagination Technologies
Imagination Technologies Group plc (LSE:IMG) – a global leader in multimedia and communication technologies – creates and licenses market-leading processor cores for graphics, video, multi-threaded embedded processing/DSP and multi-standard communications applications. These silicon intellectual property (IP) solutions for systems-on-chip (SoC) are complemented by platform level IP and services, a strong array of software tools and drivers and extensive developer and middleware ecosystems. Target markets include mobile phone, handheld multimedia, home consumer entertainment, mobile and low-power computing, and in-car electronics. Its licensees include many of the leading semiconductor and consumer electronics companies. Imagination has corporate headquarters in the United Kingdom, with sales and R&D offices worldwide. See: www.imgtec.com.