The blog post is based on a part of the keynote presented by Tyson Tuttle, CEO of Silicon Labs, at 2014 IIC CEO Summit in Shanghai. At the summit, Tyson introduced Silicon Labs’ broad portfolio of low power solutions for Internet of Things (IoT) applications and how IoT will impact embedded designers and consumer markets under the title of “How the IoT Will Change Our World.”
The technologies required to enable the IoT vary somewhat for each different type of connected device application. But fundamentally the technologies come down to sensing, actuation, processing and wireless connectivity.
Connected devices need to be able to sense environmental conditions such as light, temperature, humidity, motion, human proximity and power consumption. Silicon Labs provides a wide range of optical and environmental sensors that can be used in many connected device applications.
Depending on the use case, such as a wireless sensor node for a home security system, a sensor may generate a very small amount of data that has to be communicated at very low power, processed locally and then aggregated.
Actuators are also needed in many IoT applications to turn things on or off.
Beyond sensors and actuators, data often must be processed locally in the connected device end node. We believe that microcontrollers based on the ARM processor core will be incorporated into all connected devices to enable this local processing capability.
And these microcontrollers need to be very energy efficient. So the MCU architecture as it is implemented in the connected device must enable ultra-low power consumption.
Connected devices also require very robust wireless networks based primarily on ZigBee but also Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and sub-GHz technologies. Silicon Labs is the leading provider of ZigBee devices today, as well as a leading sub-GHz IC supplier.
Bluetooth also plays a key role in interoperable wireless networks depending on whether the connected device is communicating with a smartphone or connected to a more powerful network, such as the smart grid, that is serving the Internet of Things.
All of the semiconductor components incorporated into a connected device application are typically based on mixed-signal CMOS technology. These components – sensors, microcontrollers and wireless chips – must be very energy efficient, cost efficient and flexible enough to serve a broad range of IoT applications.
Continue to read the keynote – Internet of Things Keynote 14: What’s Next: The Internet of Things SoC
Visit our Internet of Things page to learn more about our low power embedded solutions.