While top-flight bed & breakfasts would no doubt do a world of good for many IoT developers, the “B&B” in the title refers to BANDWIDTH and BATTERIES. Given all the ink spilled on IoT, these are two topics that do not receive the attention they deserve. The third important yet underserved topic is IoT security, and that will get a separate article of its own.
IoT bandwidth falls into the growing category of “challenges that need to be solved, and the sooner the better.” Many IoT devices rely on Bluetooth (BT), which will work until it doesn’t and that point is rapidly approaching. BT was invented and has evolved as a reasonable solution for a personal area network (PAN). The prime use model is your mobile phone and earpiece, heart-rate monitor, fitness band, cycling cadence-speed sensor, smartwatch, and the like.
Unique Resistive Technology Set to Challenge NAND Flash
I gotta say, memory chips are boring.
And that’s coming from a guy who lives and works in the chip business. Sure, I can get all excited about microprocessor chips. I can generally keep my eyes open through a discussion of interface chips. I’ve even been known to nod occasionally when the topic turns to cryptography chips. But memory? Give me some toothpicks for my eyelids.
But out in the real world of non-technical humanoids, “memory chip” is about the only semiconductor-related phrase that average people know. They pick it up from TV, movies, and science-fiction shows, I assume, and are given to understand that “memory banks” are something the bad guys hack. Those old enough to remember watching 2001: A Space Odyssey recall that HAL’s memory was stored in something that looked like clear-glass audio cassette cases. Sigh.
From Intelligent Design to Evolution in Engineering
I once had a colleague who defined a “system” as “the thing one level of complexity higher than you can understand.”
I always thought there was a bit of profound insight in that definition.
We humans have a finite capacity for understanding, and that capacity does not benefit from the bounty of Moore’s Law. Our brains don’t magically think twice as fast every two years, or have the capacity to consider exponentially more factors each decade. Our limited brains also don’t compensate well for the layer upon layer of encapsulated engineering accomplishments of our predecessors. Even comparatively simple examples of modern technology can be deceptively complex - perhaps more complex than a single human brain can fully comprehend.
The IIoT Leverages Legacy Plant
There is no such thing as “the Internet of Things (IoT).”
I’m gradually coming around to the conclusion that this entity, as something integral, is an over-simplification. At the very least, there are two IoTs: the consumer one (which I’m starting to refer to as the CIoT) and the industrial IoT (commonly referred to as the IIoT).
This gives me some sympathy for a complaint certain players have had for a while: “The IoT is nothing new; it’s just a new name for M2M (machine-to-machine).” Although this statement, in and of itself, is also over-simplistic, since it still maintains that there is one IoT, by a different name, and that it’s not new.
In fact, there’s plenty that’s new, but, the more I get exposed to products dedicated to the IIoT, the more I realize how different it is from the CIoT. You could also argue whether the IIoT includes medical and automotive, but, whether or not it does, my sense is that medical and possibly even automotive share more in common with the IIoT than they do with the CIoT.
Adventures for a New Day
Fish Fry: the Final Frontier. In this episode, we journey to a world where our analog is programmable (ok, configurable) and our food is replicated (complete with a full serving of your nutritional needs). First, we delve into the bits, bobs, and ADCs of Maxim's new PIXI configurable analog with Martin Mason. Martin and I discuss the details of this new configurable analog, and why the PIXI is better (and more flexible) than a big ol' pile of discreet components. Also this week, we check out Nestlé's new "Iron Man" program that aims to reshape our kitchens and resupply the world's nutritional needs. (Spoiler Alert: A true Star Trek food replicator may be closer to reality than we know.)
We're giving away five PIXI kits (courtesy of Maxim Integrated Products) but you'll have to listen to the podcast to find out how to enter to win!
New MEMS Accelerometers from mCube are World’s Smallest
Most startups have no product. This one has shipped 60 million products before coming out of stealth mode.
Say hello to mCube, probably the most successful chipmaker you’ve never heard of. In keeping with the company’s low profile, mCube makes little bitty motion sensors. Accelerometers, magnetometers, and even teensy gyroscopes. Most of those little chips have been sold to Chinese cellphone makers, but the company hopes that its fortunes will soon change.
Cellphones are just the beginning, says mCube CEO Ben Lee. The real volume is in the “Internet of Moving Things (IoMT).” (Oh, good, another marketing initialism. At least they’ve got that part of the startup strategy figured out.)