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Introducing the Industrial Quotient: the new “IQ” needed for success in Industrial Internet of Things

Introducing the Industrial Quotient: the new “IQ” needed for success in Industrial Internet of Things

The IIoT Phenomenon

During the past 15 years, the Internet revolution has redefined business-to-consumer (B2C) industries such as media, retail and financial services.  In the next 10 years, the Internet of Things revolution will dramatically alter manufacturing, energy, agriculture, transportation and other industrial sectors of the economy which, together, account for nearly two-thirds of the global gross domestic product (GDP).1

Dubbed the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT in the US, or Industrie 4.0 in Europe), it’s enabling new business models and workflow innovations in nearly every industrial vertical like smart cities, factories, transportation, surveillance, energy management, building management, healthcare, retail, etc.  It’s estimated that >20B new smart connected devices will be deployed over the next decade in these markets to enable this transformation. 

The Important Role of Hardware Devices

In IIoT use cases, these hardware devices are merely enablers to selling services, and moving forward to monetizing data and analytics derived through those products.  To enable that, proper investment must be made up front in the device and solution design process. Take for example, for every dollar spent on an industrial device, Micron estimates that over ten dollars is being spent on developing software and business services around it. The best devices will allow these businesses to run more efficiently, need the least amount of maintenance and enable the least possible downtime.

Don't Fall Victim to the Mobile Effect

But when it comes to devices these days, there is a race to make them cheaper and faster than ever before. This is primarily due to the mobile and consumer platforms that are quickly water falling into industrial verticals.  This desire for quick connectivity and customization is creating a significant contradiction with the fact that most IIoT devices require longer term reliability, product up time and availability for the business to be successful given their use cases versus typical mobile device usage.  IIoT product designers are far better off thinking about full life-cycle cost of the product and how they can deliver a lower total cost of ownership (TCO) to their end customers than just the initial bill of material (BOM) of the device. 

What is Truly at Risk?

I briefly mentioned that the use cases for IIoT Devices differ from consumer/mobile use cases. This past year alone has provided multiple stern reminders of the long term impact that design decisions can have not only on a product line, but the company or brand itself.  Case in point: Xiongmai surveillance camera modules security flaw that was exploited to create the biggest Internet denial of service attack in the history that brought down 25% of internet traffic in the US, GoPro Karma drone recall due to possibility that it might lose power while in flight and potentially cause personal or property damage, or Diesel-gate’s impact on Volkswagen brand/market capitalization.

These are a few examples of why we at Micron firmly believe that developing and delivering successful IIoT products that enable massive new economy requires a new IQ. That IQ—Industrial Quotient—is the mindset to make intelligent choices in your industrial product design that help you meet not only the functional product requirements, but ensure long term quality and reliability of your product, in wide range of rugged environment or industrial use cases, while keeping simple the product life cycle management.  

IQ is Much More Than IT

Often the industry confuses and correlates that an Industrial Temperature (IT, -40 to 85C) component is all that’s needed for Industrial use case product designs. However, that’s rarely the case, as temperature is one of the many considerations for Industrial use cases. An Industrial Temperature (IT) marking on a vendor’s portfolio is not indicative of true industrial grade quality/reliability/ruggedness/longevity that’s truly necessary in these applications. In fact, there are many industrial applications like medical devices or in-flight infotainment systems that may not even need industrial temperature because of controlled environment, but still require a very high level of reliability/endurance and ruggedization like vibration/shock/thermal cycling etc. 

Memory and Storage solutions play a critical role in bill of material (BOM) for these devices, and intelligent component/vendor choice upfront is essential to limit potential business disruption due to hardware field or lifecycle issues, in turn delivering a better TCO to your customers.  Designers should stop thinking IT, instead start with “IQ” needed to be successful.

IQ Matters

Micron has been collaborating and servicing industrial customers for over 25 years. We bring to market a mindset and portfolio that delivers sustainable value to our customers.  The above chart and descriptions below demonstrate how we do this and what we think is important for IIoT designs:

  • Application specific product tuning: Extensive collaboration with global customers to develop in-depth understanding of specific their application use cases, and deliver products and features to meet those specific application needs. 
  • Ruggedized Products: A wide range of product enhancements that allow for consistent performance across extreme environments, including extended temperature, thermal cycling, shock, humidity, etc.  
  • High Reliability: Design and testing processes that make for a high level of endurance and reliability throughout the lifetime of our devices for use in our customers’ long lasting embedded applications.   
  • Extensive Quality Testing: Rigorous testing to deliver consistent performance across products and processes, necessary in embedded and mission-critical applications.
  • Product Longevity: Standard lifecycle support and extended support for eligible products via our Product Longevity Program (PLP), which goes one step further to suit long-life applications. 

See more information and sample case studies, white papers on this topic on our IQ Matters page

Micron is the 6th biggest semiconductor company in the world with expansive technology portfolio and manufacturing scale. We are the world leader in Automotive and Industrial memory markets, and have industry’s broadest portfolio covering memory and storage products needed for the IIoT.  We collaborate with ecosystem partners worldwide to provide our mutual customers with leading-edge solutions, proven compatibility and faster time to market. And we have a global footprint with sales and embedded application specific technical support available in all key countries and through worldwide distribution channel partners.

And most importantly, we bring to the market a mindset to deliver sustainable value to our customers—because we firmly believe that IQ matters in our customers’ success in IIoT.

1 http://www3.weforum.org/docs/WEFUSA_IndustrialInternet_Report2015.pdf

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