Over the past few years, “Internet of Things” (IoT) has become an industry buzz word. Not surprisingly, IoT was also the main theme of the Freescale Technology Forum (FTF) held earlier this month in Dallas, Texas. FTF brings together embedded designers, as well as innovation enablers, like Freescale and Micron, to discuss current industry topics. This is my fifth year attending FTF—and it turned out to be one of the most exciting events yet!
|Opening general session with Gregg Lowe, Freescale’s president and
What Is IoT Anyway?
Currently, more than 9 billion devices around the world (like computers and smartphones) are connected to the Internet. That number is expected to grow massively in the next decade to 50 billion devices—ultimately reaching more than 1 trillion connected devices. Virtually everything we touch will be connected.
Imagine a world made up of smart homes, smart health, smart energy, smart cities, smart grids, smart lighting, and smart cars. The idea is that, in this “smarter” world, we’ll be able to make more intelligent decisions with data gathered from IoT devices—making our lives easier, safer, and all around better.
IoT Devices Enhance Our Lives
Check out these photos I snapped at FTF—they capture a few of the many amazing IoT devices that are already beginning to change our everyday lives.
|The popular health/fitness band is a wearable device that tracks daily
activity, calories burned, sleep, weight, and more.
|The smart watch is a wearable computing device that does much more
than tell time; it can be a standalone device or used as an extension
of a smartphone.
|The smart, connected car has advanced driver assistance
and infotainment systems, enabled by various
|The smart home enables features like automated lighting,
appliances, security, and heating/cooling systems to be
remotely controlled by a mobile device.
|A variety of smart health devices can be used to monitor
the health status of patients remotely.
A Connected Beer Keg Too?
Beer lovers can rest assured that they won’t be left out of the IoT party either—thanks to the connected beer keg (also shown at FTF)! It has a variety of sensors to monitor beer temperature, levels, brand, etc., for store/restaurant owners—and even home brewers—to track from their computer or smartphone.
Ok, so the connected keg may seem a bit excessive, but it’s a perfect example of just how widespread IoT’s reach is expected to be. Solution providers like Micron and Freescale have to prepare for this explosive growth. Almost every IoT device will need controllers, radio frequency (RF) capability, sensors, and memory devices—that’s a massive amount of supporting components for the 1 trillion connected devices expected to come online in the future.
How We Differentiate Our IoT Solutions
Micron is creating reliable, high-performing, and flexible memory solutions that we know are essential to IoT innovations. Our partnerships with leading chipset suppliers, like Freescale, help us to ensure that our products are well aligned with other key components of IoT infrastructure (like processors, microcontrollers, sensors, and analog front ends) before they reach the end customer. Whenever possible, this compatibility is both readily visible and easy to evaluate via our partners’ demonstration platforms that run Micron’s memory. These partner collaborations are extremely helpful in assisting our customers with rapid design prototyping, which can help them get to market quicker.
Our solid collaboration efforts with Freescale allowed us to demo our NOR Flash, NAND Flash, DDR3 DRAM, and e.MMC devices—working with Freescale’s i.MX6 processor and Kinetis microcontroller—at FTF. These collaborative solutions will better enable IoT devices, both now and in the future.
|Micron’s booth in the FTF Technology Lab featured live demos running
Micron’s memory on Freescale’s platforms.
Has the sheer potential of IoT got your brain ticking too? Please leave your comments or questions below, and let’s discuss IoT!