Most of us have become accustomed to interacting with the ubiquitous technology ecosystem daily (if not hourly). From fitness trackers, smart vacuums, and semi-autonomous vehicles to the smart home devices that wake us up every morning, there’s no denying that the internet of things (IoT) boom has proliferated every aspect of our lives. At the core of this instant, at-our-fingertips connectivity are powerful cloud computing and machine learning techniques that thrive on IoT’s ability to transfer massive amounts of information, through both wired and wireless channels, over the internet or to the datacenter.
A lot of these contextually aware and responsive IoT devices have been around for quite some time, but the practice of communicating with each other and being connected to the cloud has unlocked new potential in recent years. According to IDC, connected devices numbered 22.6 billion in 2019 and are projected to grow to 75 billion by 2025 — a foreseeable trajectory given the 180 zettabytes of data consumption expected by then.
With consumers expecting IoT devices to be increasingly compact and instantaneously responsive, system-on-chip (SoC) design engineers are often required to make tough choices between trading off features such as connectivity, security, personalization, and sensor processing for acceptable battery life.
Comprehensive IP solutions and a constant innovation cycle to develop chips that can handle efficient data processing, thrive in ultra-small form factors, and support multiple wireless connectivity standards are critical for teams to incorporate low-power insights to their designs. Today, design teams are exploring several options that were set aside in past designs to enable as much power efficiency and performance out of a design as possible. That said, we are only starting to understand the potentials of each such technique.
Read on to learn more about the need for low-power design, key design techniques to consider, challenges and opportunities to scale IoT applications, and why pervasive connectivity will drive the next generation of IoT designs.