Avnet Partnerships Foster Internet of Things Development

The company has teamed up with ON Semiconductor on an IoT development framework, added Infineon's Cypress Semiconductor products to its offerings and, with Arizona State University, named Floe the winner of its IoT innovation competition.
Published: February 26, 2021

Technology company  Avnet has been working to foster the development of the Internet of Things (IoT). To that end, the firm has announced several recent partnerships related to the IoT industry.

Avnet has teamed up with  ON Semiconductor to create a framework that can help original equipment manufacturers develop Internet of Things (IoT) devices. The collaboration is intended to simplify the process of building IoT-enabled devices through rapid prototyping solutions preconfigured to connect to IoT application developers and service providers via the cloud. Avnet’s IoTConnect Platform, powered by  Microsoft Azure and the Avnet IoT Partner Program, facilitates this connection, the company reports. The first supported solution from ON Semiconductor is its RSL10 Sensor Development Kit, which features a Flash-based Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) radio and an array of environmental sensors.

ON Semiconductor’s RSL10 Sensor

Through this collaboration, Avnet reports, the two companies hope to make the IoT development process less complex, and to allow OEMs to build products and experiences around those products, as well as bring them to market faster and reduce risks. Avnet and ON Semiconductor offer pre-integrated hardware and software solutions with a range of connectivity options. Guidance on building the solution is provided for the purposes of simplifying and speeding up development, while allowing OEMs to focus on building market-differentiated solutions.

“With innovative, low-power system solutions from ON Semiconductor alongside the robust IoTConnect platform, Avnet and ON Semiconductor provide a secure development environment for jumpstarting any IoT initiative,” said Wiren Perera, ON Semiconductor’s head of IoT, in a prepared statement. “IoT presents a huge opportunity for OEMs to add autonomy to their products via sensing, connectivity and actuation, which can create new revenue streams and improve efficiencies. ON Semiconductor and Avnet can help OEMs drive innovation forward by building smarter devices that address their customers’ needs.”

An OEM may require new skillsets to launch an IoT project, Avnet explains, making it challenging for a single company to get all pieces working together seamlessly, including having to address the complexity of a diverse and global supply chain. “Avnet and ON Semiconductor are offering solutions to meet the changing needs of OEMs and their customers,” added Lou Lutostanski, the company’s VP of IoT, in the prepared statement. “We’re providing ways to help OEMs stay competitive, maximize revenue potential, and design with the right technologies to create secure IoT solutions.”

Meanwhile, thanks to a partnership with  Cypress Semiconductor, Avnet’s customers will have access to Cypress’s solutions portfolio as part of the  Infineon product line. This will enable those customers to integrate Cypress’s hardware, software and security solutions for their technology projects and initiatives, particularly in the automotive, industrial and IoT sectors. The expansion of Avnet’s Infineon product offerings follows Infineon’s acquisition of Cypress Semiconductor last year. The Infineon line will now include power semiconductors, automotive microcontrollers, sensors and security solutions.

The addition of Cypress’s lineup includes the company’s Programmable System-on-Chip (PSoC), Traveo and FMx MCU families, along with specialized memory products based on NOR, SRAM and F-RAM technologies, designed for high-growth applications. Cypress integrates wireless technologies such as Wi-Fi and Bluetooth in order to provide interoperable solutions for consumer, industrial, medical, automotive and other applications.

“Our customers rely on Avnet for a complete and diverse range of technological solutions that meet their business needs,” said Alex Iuorio, Avnet’s senior VP of supplier development, in a separate prepared statement. “The addition of Cypress Semiconductor products means that we’re now able to expand the range of solutions for our customers around the world, supported by our in-depth engineering support and expertise in complex technologies.”

Scott Jarvis, Infineon’s head of distribution partner management for the Americas, added, “Avnet is a trusted and complementary distribution partner for us. Infineon’s wide and newly expanded portfolio of semiconductor technologies, combined with Avnet’s know-how in design chain and supply chain services, further enables us to solve customers’ problems and serve their needs.”

Finally, Avnet has partnered with  Arizona State University (ASU)’s Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering and Breakthrough Energy Ventures. The company and the university have recognized  Floe as the winning team in the IoT category of their fifth annual  ASU Innovation Open (ASUio). Established in 2017 by ASU and Avnet, the competition is designed to challenge and advance university student innovators looking to develop technology ventures.

Floe, made up of a team of students from MIT and Yale, is creating a smart solution to combat ice dams, which form when ice accumulates and creates a ridge at the edge of a roof, Avnet explains. This can lead to significant water and ice damage, including collapsed roofs, but current management solutions tend to be unreliable, expensive and eco-destructive. Floe’s approach, according to Avnet, leverages smart technology to create an automated liquid deicer deposition system.

As the winner of Avnet’s $100,000 ASUio IoT prize, Floe will have the funds needed to complete accelerated product life testing, receive product certifications and additional intellectual property support, and prepare for production prior to its efforts to secure institutional investor support in the spring. In addition, Avnet will provide Floe with guidance and mentorship. The ASUio competition provides critical venture mentorship and funding for student competitors launching a hardware enterprise within a variety of marketplaces, including hardware solutions, the IoT and social enterprises, with a focus on conscious capitalism.

“The team at Floe exemplifies the initiative, creativity and forward-thinking talents that we at Avnet have come to truly value during our last hundred years of driving technology forward,” explained Dayna Badhorn, Avnet’s global VP of strategic planning and corporate marketing, in a separate prepared statement. “Floe’s system harnesses the power of IoT to offer a next-generation, cutting-edge solution to a significant problem, and we are excited to support them as they move their venture forward. We also offer congratulations to each of the finalists in this year’s competition. The ideas brought forward this year are true testaments to the importance of supporting innovation and entrepreneurship at every level.”

“The ASU Innovation Open enables us to strengthen ideas like that from Floe which bring smart solutions to real-world problems and set the course for tomorrow’s technology leaders,” added Cody Friesen,  SOURCE Global‘s founder and CEO and a Fulton professor of innovation, in the statement. “One of the best parts of the ASUio is the way it brings together entrepreneurs from across the country to drive technology forward. Even amid these unprecedented circumstances, we received a record number of entries to this year’s competition from fifty different schools. Over 60 percent were minority-led teams and a third are female-led. And each one exemplified the very best of innovative thinking and entrepreneurial spirit.”