Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Cisco to Acquire Arch Rock for Wireless Energy Sensors

Cisco agreed to acquire privately-held Arch Rock Corporation, a start-up based in San Francisco that develops IP wireless network sensors for smart-grid applications. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Arch Rock's HiNet architecture is a foundation for turning wireless sensing or metering points into IP- and web-enabled devices. The technology is designed to enable utilities to connect smart meters and other distributed intelligent devices over a scalable, highly secure, multi-way wireless mesh network based on IP standards. The company has been a lead contributor to the IETF 6LoWPAN (now RFC 4944) working group, which addresses wireless IPv6 communication over IEEE 802.15.4 low-power radios. Arch Rock was also the first company to launch the first product based on the standard.

Cisco said the deal will enable it to offer a highly secure advanced metering infrastructure solution based completely on IP standards.

"The acquisition of Arch Rock enhances Cisco's end-to-end smart-grid offerings and further positions Cisco as a strategic partner to utilities that want to better manage power supply and demand, improve the security and reliability of energy delivery, and optimize operational costs," said Laura Ipsen, senior vice president and general manager of Cisco's Smart Grid business unit. "Cisco's solutions, incorporating the Arch Rock technology, will help enable a more efficient and sustainable energy future that is based on an open, highly secure and reliable smart-grid infrastructure."

Arch Rock will become part of Cisco's industry-leading Smart Grid business unit.

  • Arch Rock was founded in 2006 and has received approximately $15 million in funding from NEA, Shasta Ventures and Intel Capital.

  • Arch Rock is headed by Roland Acra (President and CEO), who previously was President and CEO of Procket Networks, a high-end Core Internet Router manufacturer, which he successfully led to an acquisition by Cisco Systems in 2004.

  • Arch Rock's technical team includes Dr. David E. Culler (Co-Founder and CTO), who is a professor at UC Berkeley and the Principal Investigator of the Defense Advanced Research Project Agency's Network Embedded Systems Technology project (DARPA NEST), which created an open platform for wireless sensor networks based on TinyOS; and Dr. Wei Hong (Co-Founder and VP Engineering), who previously was Senior Researcher and Principal Investigator at Intel Research Berkeley, where he led the sensor network project.