The Internet of Everything (IoE), also known as "Connected Life," is not a concept born out of the 21st century mobility growth. Rather, IoE really goes back to 1988 and the few, subsequent years' research by Mark Weiser, whose understanding of "Ubiquitous Computing" laid the theoretical groundwork for what we take for granted today in our daily, smart, wireless, mobile lives. Importantly, ubiquitous computing and IoE has and continues to push us not just as users, but critically as designers, as architects, of both software and component hardware. We are pushed to use and design devices in new ways with new capabilities.
Today's ubiquitous state of mobile devices, particularly smartphones and tablets, is directly informing the direction of chip design and component architectures. This ubiquitous mobility is pushing the commoditization of architectures for mobile solutions, especially favoring System in Package (SiP) and System on Chip (SoC) designs due to power efficiencies, size, and functional processing and networking capabilities.
Why IoE is a semi driver – components to devices
IoE is the state at which the Connected Life and ubiquitous computing is realized (even in part) and seamless data transfer and M2M connectivity are leveraged for users' benefits and productivity in anywhere, anytime events. This state of seeming M2M autonomy, that is of ubiquitous computing, for users' benefits rests on next generation, collaborative application and device infrastructures. The drivers for IoE come from users' demands for increased ability to remotely manage various aspects of daily life – from work to personal events – as noted in recent Frost & Sullivan research. As F&S report, "Consumers favor technology that allows them to manage home security, energy consumption, and video streaming from anywhere, as well as engage in activities like working from home, online shopping and social interaction."
The network infrastructure for communication systems, as well as data storage and servers, is phenomenal, and, alongside of cost and standards, is the present bottleneck to realizing some next phase of IoE. It is out of the need and growth for these various infrastructures, from servers and networks to communications equipment and SWDs, that the various forecasts for billions of units begin to add up and align.
IoE drives semi market growth
In short, today's IoE is the realization of Weiser's Ubiquitous Computing. It is based on the integration of existing, relatively common devices into a connected, ubiquitous network by designing in even just rudimentary processing and ebbing technologies, because cost and availability are eminent and high-power processors are not necessary.
The challenge, as noted in this System-Level Design (SLD) article, "[…] is much less about the wonders of technology and more about basic efficiency and cost in familiar areas such as network management, I/O, integration with mobile devices and software that can fuse it all together." As the SLD author notes, "[…] flexibility is key here. […] The Internet of Things involves everything from cars to chips that will be used inside the human body or even inside livestock."
Smith's new MarketWatch Quarterly, out this week to subscribers (free subscription) presents two companion pieces, one on the component-level design changes and commoditization of System in Package (SiP) and System on Chip (SoC) structures, and the other presents a drill-down into two significant IoE growth markets – automotive and medical electronics. These two articles provide a means to understand just how IoE is driving significant growth and change at both chip-level design and in two diverse market sectors.
Connectivity is a core driver for today's semiconductor and electronics industry. The ability to personalize and thereby increase the efficiency of activities through highly individualized, anywhere, anytime M2M interactions is changing everything from infrastructures to networks, and devices to chip architectures. These changes are very positive and are tracking our industry for exciting new growth and innovation with greater market sector reach than we've seen in a while.