& cplSiteName &

Arch Rock Racks $5M for Sensors

James Rogers
LR Mobile News Analysis
James Rogers

Wireless technology startup Arch Rock Corp. has clinched $5 million in Series A funding to support the development of sensor technology to protect servers and storage. The round, which included New Enterprise Associates, Shasta Ventures, and Intel Capital, is Arch Rock's first foray into VC funding.

The company was founded last year by David Culler, a professor of Computer Science at the University of California, Berkeley, and Wei Hong, the former principal investigator at Intel Research. Culler is now Arch Rock's CTO, and Hong serves as the startup's vice president of engineering.

Arch Rock is focused on the power and cooling issues that are currently the bane of IT managers' lives. With the rise of ultra-dense blade servers over the last few years, many CIOs are struggling to cope with a set of new heat and power demands. (See Data Center Heat Wave, It's All Cool, Battling With Blades, and NewEnergy Chops Its Blades.)

Arch Rock claims to offer specialized sensors attached to servers and storage devices that can measure for heat and power spikes. Data from the sensors is then reported back to IT managers via a wireless network.

"Data centers are probably the most acute place where temperature, airflow, and heat dissipation are critical to the equipment," explains Culler. "This technology gives you the opportunity to take information from the physical world and bring it into the rest of the environment."

Arch Rock, which is still deep in stealth mode, is giving little away on what these sensors actually involve. But Roland Acra, the firm's CEO, tells Byte and Switch that the sensor devices, which are also known as "motes," will likely range from the size of a coin to a two-inch cube.

The motes could contain a microprocessor from any number of vendors, including Intel [ed. note: surprise!], Texas Instruments, and Motorola, according to Acra, and will use the 802.15.4 radio standard to send data back to a larger "gateway" device. Information will then be converted into a database called TinyDB, which was developed by Culler.

Both the motes and the gateway device will use Arch Rock's TinyOS operating system, and users will have access to the information via a Web service. Customers, according to Acra, will be able to point their browser, "directly at the mote."

At least one analyst warns that TinyOS will need to be extremely flexible to cope with the myriad uses of sensor technology, from heat and light monitoring through to device vibration. "One of the gotchas that they have to deal with is that there's a variety of applications," says Harry Forbes, senior analyst at ARC Advisory Group. "You could have someone using [sensor technology] for environmental monitoring, you could have someone using it for perimeter security, and you could have someone using it for military purposes."

Although he would not commit to a specific date, Acra says the San Francisco-based startup's first products will be launched this year. The Series A funding, he adds, will go to building up the 10-person firm's sales and engineering teams to support the product launch.

Other firms also have their eye on this market. IBM, for example, has already worked with the U.S. Army to develop a wireless sensor system and has a team dedicated to the technology at its Zurich Research Labs. (See US Army Chooses IBM.)

Intel, for its part, has trialed wireless sensors to monitor conditions at an Oregon vineyard and has also fitted a processor manufacturing plant with 200 sensors that monitor vibration levels on factory equipment.

But Acra told Byte and Switch that Arch Rock is not simply an extension of Intel's research labs. "Intel is an investor in the company, but there's no mixup in intellectual property in either direction," he says. "Intel is a partner, as are many other chip vendors."

— James Rogers, Senior Editor, Byte and Switch

Organizations mentioned in this article:

  • Arch Rock Corp.
  • IBM Corp. (NYSE: IBM)
  • Intel Capital
  • Intel Corp. (Nasdaq: INTC)
  • Intel Research
  • Motorola Inc. (NYSE: MOT)
  • New Enterprise Associates (NEA)
  • Texas Instruments Inc. (NYSE: TXN)

    (0)  | 
    Comment  | 
    Print  | 
  • Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View        ADD A COMMENT
    Light Reading’s Upskill U is a FREE, interactive, online educational resource that delivers must-have education on themes that relate to the overall business transformation taking place in the communications industry.
    Wednesday, October 26, 1:00PM EDT
    Security: Tackling DDoS
    Gary Sockrider, Principal Security Technologist, Arbor Networks
    Friday, October 28, 1:00PM EDT
    Security: The Plusses and Minuses of Open Source Software
    Nick Feamster, Acting Director, Center for Information Technology Policy, Princeton University
    Wednesday, November 16, 1:00PM EST
    SDN 101
    John Isch, Practice Director, Network & Voice, Orange Business Services
    Friday, November 18, 1:00PM EST
    SDN & Open Source
    Christopher W. Rice, Senior Vice President of AT&T Labs, Domain 2.0 Architecture and Design
    in association with:
    From The Founder
    Light Reading today starts a new voyage as part of a larger Enterprise.
    Flash Poll
    Live Streaming Video
    Charting the CSP's Future
    Six different communications service providers join to debate their visions of the future CSP, following a landmark presentation from AT&T on its massive virtualization efforts and a look back on where the telecom industry has been and where it's going from two industry veterans.
    LRTV Custom TV
    Next-Generation Technology Beyond DOCSIS 3.1

    10|20|16   |     |   (0) comments

    At SCTE 2016, Huawei's Liu Jianhua speaks with Alan Breznick for an exclusive interview.
    LRTV Custom TV
    Hybrid Video Solutions to Change TV, Change Future

    10|20|16   |     |   (0) comments

    At SCTE 2016, Huawei's Ian Locke speaks with Alan Breznick for an exclusive interview.
    LRTV Custom TV
    Huawei Future-Oriented Giga Coax Network

    10|20|16   |     |   (0) comments

    At SCTE 2016, Huawei's Allen Wang speaks with Alan Breznick for an exclusive interview.
    LRTV Custom TV
    Huawei at SCTE 2016

    10|20|16   |     |   (0) comments

    Join Alan Breznick of Light Reading and take a sneak peek at the Huawei booth at SCTE 2016.
    LRTV Custom TV
    Assuring Network Quality in a Rapidly Changing Environment

    10|20|16   |     |   (0) comments

    As the rate of change and complexity increases in agile networks, the importance of introducing DevOps methodologies for integrating active test and assurance solutions throughout the full service lifecycle becomes critical to ensure that customers are experiencing the service quality they demand. The industry landscape is changing, and software-based test and ...
    Telecom Innovators Video Showcase
    A10 Networks on Service Providers' Industry Needs

    10|20|16   |     |   (0) comments

    Light Reading's Steve Saunders hears how A10 enables service providers to accelerate, secure and optimize their application delivery to drive down costs, enhance service availability, and better respond to customer requirements, so they can improve customer satisfaction, monetize their network, and grow revenues.
    LRTV Custom TV
    New NFV Use Cases for Cable TV

    10|19|16   |     |   (0) comments

    A large number of NFV use cases are focused on the enterprise domain, looking at virtualization of customer-premises equipment (CPE). To date, there has been little focus on the use cases and business case for virtualization of the video content delivery networks required to deliver unicast and streaming video to consumers. Amdocs commissioned Analysys Mason to ...
    Women in Comms Introduction Videos
    Meet the Future Workforce: New Faces, Expectations & Motivations

    10|19|16   |   5:33   |   (1) comment

    Millennials and their younger peers, Gen Z, expect more out of their network and more out of their work. Intel's Lynn Comp shares how the industry can prepare for this new generation of workers.
    LRTV Custom TV
    ZTE Global Services User Congress 2016 Highlights

    10|19|16   |     |   (0) comments

    ZTE held its 2nd Global Service User Conference in Dusseldorf on October 13-14. Representatives from network operators, leading industry analysts and ZTE senior expertsattended the event, exploring the best practice in managed services and the vision to transform network operations into the operations center of the future (OpCF) in the software-defined networking ...
    LRTV Custom TV
    Cliff Grossner on Cloud & Network Synergy From Carrier Service

    10|18|16   |     |   (0) comments

    Local carriers offer the collaborated cloud and network service that benefits from their understanding of the regulations operating in different vertical markets.
In this interview, Cliff Grossner from IHS Technology talks about how this advanced service can support business agility and flexibility.
    LRTV Custom TV
    VeEX: Live from SCTE Cable-Tec Expo 2016

    10|17|16   |     |   (0) comments

    Cyrille Morelle, VeEX's President and CEO, talks with Light Reading's Alan Breznick live from the SCTE Cable-Tec Expo 2016. They discuss DOCSIS 3.1 technology, deployments and early lessons learned. New products on display include the CX350s-D3.1, CX380s-D3.1, CX310, AT2500-3G, FX150 OTDR and MTT WiFI Air Expert.
    LRTV Custom TV
    Smith Micro's Carrier-Grade WiFi Component

    10|17|16   |     |   (0) comments

    Join Carol Wilson of Light Reading as she interviews the CTO of Smith Micro, Dave Sperling.
    Upcoming Live Events
    November 3, 2016, The Montcalm Marble Arch, London
    November 30, 2016, The Westin Times Square, New York City
    December 1, 2016, The Westin Times Square, New York, NY
    December 6-8, 2016, The Westin Excelsior, Rome
    May 16-17, 2017, Austin Convention Center, Austin, TX
    All Upcoming Live Events
    Hot Topics
    Attacks Have Major Internet Sites on the Ropes
    Brian Santo, Senior editor, Test & Measurement / Components, Light Reading, 10/21/2016
    Trump: Dump AT&T/TW & Comcast/NBC
    Alan Breznick, Cable/Video Practice Leader, Light Reading, 10/24/2016
    Layer3 TV Comes to Town, Hints at Future
    Mari Silbey, Senior Editor, Cable/Video, 10/21/2016
    Verizon Wants More Data on Yahoo Breach
    Alan Breznick, Cable/Video Practice Leader, Light Reading, 10/20/2016
    WiCipedia: Grace Hopper Promotes Diversity, Girl Scouts Code & How to Thrive
    Eryn Leavens, Special Features & Copy Editor, 10/21/2016
    Like Us on Facebook
    Twitter Feed
    BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
    Join us for an in-depth interview between Steve Saunders of Light Reading and Alexis Black Bjorlin of Intel as they discuss the release of the company's Silicon Photonics platform, its performance, long-term prospects, customer expectations and much more.
    There's no question that, come 2020, 5G technology will turn the world's conception of what mobile networking is on its head. Within the world of 5G development, Dr. ...
    Animals with Phones
    Live Digital Audio

    A vital part of increasing the number of women in comms is transforming the ways companies can support and empower women. While progressive company policies that support both men and women in achieving work-life balance are a step in the right direction, creating a company culture that supports those policies can at times be more challenging.

    During this show, we'll talk to Lynn Comp, Senior Director of Industry and Sales Enabling (ISE) in the Network Platforms Group at Intel, about why those challenges exist and how companies can overcome them. She'll provide insight into how Intel has worked to create a culture that supports work-life balance, and provide steps and guidance for other companies wishing to do the same. We will also leave plenty of time to get your questions answered live on the air.