Unleashing the power of IoT – IoT World Today

Unleashing the power of IoT – IoT World Today

The opportunities created simply by connecting to the cloud have the potential to transform virtually every application.

By Thomas Rosteck, Division President, Secure Connected Systems, Infineon Technologies

In the last two years, digitization within our homes has seen a tremendous boost. Accelerated by the pandemic, everyone has gotten used to being ‘connected’; our daily activities, from work to play, now depend more and more on being online. In addition to the growing number of connected devices per home, we have also seen disruptive changes in smart home applications, including range, functionality, and performance. By 2026, ABI Research predicts that the market for smart home devices and appliances will reach $474 billion US dollars. The compound annual growth rate of smart home equipment revenue, including devices such as smart door locks, cameras and smart appliances, is expected to grow at an annual rate of 22 percent or more. Specifically, the smart home market is likely to nearly triple in size.

However, we are only at the beginning of the digital transformation process, where devices will increasingly communicate independently of each other to get the job done, while humans will set the tone.

Imagine the benefits of a self-regulating system to optimize energy use in and around the smart home. The photovoltaic system, the wall box and other energy consumers, for example, would allow electric cars to be charged with green energy in the most efficient way.

Or think of older people who could live longer independently in their own homes thanks to a plethora of smart home devices supporting them and health solutions that monitor vital signs and connect to the doctor in an emergency.

The opportunities created simply by connecting to the cloud have the potential to transform virtually all applications, not just our homes. We will see this development grow in other areas as well, such as smart city, industrial internet and mobility, to name a few. We know today that these opportunities will also offer significant social and economic value in the future. In fact, McKinsey recently estimated that IoT could enable US$5.5 trillion to US$12.6 trillion worth of value globally by 2030, including the value captured by consumers and customers of IoT products and services.

However, for IoT to work, there are some challenges that need to be properly addressed, whether it is a single product or a more complex solution. What we need to consider from the beginning of the design process are key parameters including:

  • robust connectivity
  • Reliable data collection and analysis
  • Secure device identification from the edge to the cloud
  • Data privacy, especially for consumer IoT, coupled with data security
  • And finally, the interoperability of IoT devices and ecosystems

This is where Infineon fits in. Semiconductors make devices and machines smart, safe, and energy efficient.

“Smart” by using sensors that match core application requirements, such as radar, when privacy is key. Wi-Fi and microcontrollers that meet the performance demands of a device with bandwidth, computing speed, or low power consumption. Artificial intelligence and machine learning algorithms that tell a device when to analyze data at the edge and when to upload data to the cloud, such as for Big Data calculations. Furthermore, “smart” also includes devices that can connect and work with each other seamlessly, using the same communication standards.

However, with billions of connected devices, security becomes paramount. Connected devices must have secure identities and protection measures that grant access only to authorized users. They must provide data confidentiality and be available for updates and upgrades throughout a reasonable life cycle. To be clear: without security, IoT will not work!

Last but not least, to protect our environment, energy efficiency becomes key. Connected devices and systems should be as energy efficient as possible to prolong battery life as well as reduce the power consumption of wired devices and systems.

To give our customers, the device manufacturers, the freedom to innovate, we at Infineon work on the key semiconductor components and software for any IoT application. We look beyond the product level – engaging with policy partners and regulators to support the development of IoT standards that keep ecosystems running smoothly.

More information on how Infineon makes the Internet of Things possible.

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