New chip connects blockchain to industrial IoT devices

January 18, 2018 // By Rich Pell
New chip connects blockchain to industrial IoT devices
Industrial internet solutions startup Filament (Reno, NV) has unveiled a chip that lets industrial IoT devices communicate with blockchains.

Offered as a low-cost, IoT-optimized Trusted Execution Environment with a small footprint and less than coin-cell power requirements, the Blocklet chip will allow any industrial device to communicate and interact with multiple blockchain technologies. With the chip, says the company, connected devices and equipment can complete transactions on their own and create contracts that are recorded on a blockchain based on rules and procedures set by their operator.

Examples might include connected shipping containers that could autonomously record, share data with all stakeholders, and arrange much of their own transit, including payments through the shared blockchain; or manufacturing equipment that could record and share information on its usage and supplies, and even use a blockchain to order additional supplies on its own.

"This is a big step in digital transformation as Blockchain solves long-standing problems in the technology world," says Filament CEO Allison Clift-Jennings. "Our new products demonstrate and validate the inherent trust that Blockchain ledgers create. And with devices in the field today, we are quickly proving that blockchain as a technology is bigger than its first and most famous application, Bitcoin."

The Blocklet chip is part of the company's blockchain-based IoT solutions, which use custom hardware paired with software to connect devices to a blockchain. The company's Blocklet software is a secure contract system designed for embedded devices that manages a cryptographic chain-of-custody from individual components through printed circuit board (PCB) assembly, product manufacturing, delivery to customers, and on-site provisioning.

According to Business Insider , Filament's solutions use the open-source Hyperledger Sawtooth blockchain. However the company, which was founded in 2012, is said to be also looking into supporting the Ethereum blockchain ledger, as well as Hyperledger Fabric, which could ultimately enable support for Bitcoin-based microtransactions.

The Blocklet chip and associated software are currently in beta. The company says that it is actively looking for outside companies to deploy pilot programs with.

For more, see the company's white

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