Jason Lomberg, North American Editor, PSD
The Internet of Things (IoT) will change the world. While the internet put the sum of humanity’s knowledge at a keystroke, the IoT will unite a plethora of systems and devices in a connected ecosystem. And the possibilities are endless – autonomous vehicles that communicate with each other to reduce accidents, a more elegant form of GPS navigation, and a host of consumer and industrial applications. We’ve paid lip service to a “connected world” before, but the IoT really will unite the globe.
The IoT requires small-form-factor power conversion devices – “the proliferation of wireless sensors supporting the numerous IoT devices has increased the demand for small, compact and efficient power converters tailored to space and thermal constrained device form factors,” notes Tony Armstrong from Analog Devices.
Armstrong discusses that and the fact that industrial and medical products – two of the biggest beneficiaries of the IoT – “typically have much higher standards for reliability, form factor and robustness.”
Cypress Envirosystems focuses on the industrial IoT (or IIoT), which “promises to revolutionize our industrial infrastructure by improving efficiency at existing power plants, refineries, off-shore oil platforms, pharmaceutical plants, hospitals etc.”
And while the IIoT stands to unlock $6.2 trillion in potential economic value by 2025, “lack of data visibility in existing plants hinders Industrial IoT deployment.” To renovate legacy industrial systems for full IoT compatibility, plants must look towards non-invasive instrumentation upgrades.
“The only way to proceed is to look for alternative ways to retrofit manual instrumentation without the associated high cost and disruption,” claims Harry Sim from Cypress.
Meanwhile, Max Wandera with Eaton delves into “5 Steps to Secure Electrical Devices in a Connected World.”
Businesses spent $964 billion last year on IoT devices, and by 2020, 31 billion devices will be part of the fabled connected ecosystem. With that many devices intertwined, cybersecurity becomes more critical than ever before.
Through their participation in UL’s Data Acceptance Program, Eaton is “helping establish measurable cybersecurity criteria for network-connected power management products and systems.”
Lastly, I’d like to highlight S3 Semiconductor’s piece, “The New Challenges of Industry 4.0” – aka, the fourth industrial revolution and a flagbearer for the IoT.
In short, “Industry 4.0 adds an extra layer of data exchange and automation to computerised manufacturing, drawing on Internet of Things (IoT) technologies to create smarter factories,” says S3’s Edel Griffith.
“The IIoT and Industry 4.0 are a natural fit. IIoT technologies are increasingly providing the capability to deploy high numbers of relatively low-cost devices, each including one or more sensors or actuators, and the ability to send that data to other devices or a central node.”
North American Editor, PSD