According to a new report published late yesterday, Apple requires anyone making a device compatible with its HomeKit environment to buy and use a special identity chip. The revelation was one of many from a session on platforms for the Internet of Things at last week's ESC SV event here. Michael Anderson, chief scientist of PTR Group, stated in his talk that he knew "a lot of people who have been surprised by this requirement and had to re-spin boards for the chip. A lot of manufacturers are up in arms [about the] Apple silicon [that makes their] device more expensive." The revelation was one of many from a session on platforms for the Internet of Things at last week's ESC SV event.
Anderson added that "There's no clear story what the chip does but I expect it is involved with access to the cloud and may have triggers for geo location. "There's not a lot known about HomeKit since it was first launched in iOS 8 because Apple's got it under wraps."
Apple did not answer three requests from EE Times about the chip's function and cost. HomeKit is just one of as many as seven consumer IoT platforms, Anderson discussed.
It was reported by MacRumors back in November that "As part of the certification process for Apple HomeKit, manufacturers must purchase their Bluetooth and Wi-Fi chips from Apple-approved chipmakers like Marvell, Texas Instruments and Broadcom." At the time there was no mention of a custom Apple ID chip.
At what point was this supposed new HomeKit ID chip introduced? At this time it's unknown and some even think that Michael Anderson's statement is false. If you're a HomeKit developer and know of this ID chip, please make note of what you know about it in our comment section below.