What do antennas, sensors and integrated circuits all have in common in an IoT-connected device? They are all fighting for the same power supply resources. Indeed, power consumption may be the biggest challenge facing designers of mobile devices for the Internet of Things. As battery sizes shrink to allow for smaller form-factors, battery lifetime becomes critical to meeting cost, performance, and reliability requirements. Continue reading
…or so one of my friends, Professor Mark Bachman of UC Irvine said. “It’s up to you to know where to place the buckets” he continued. He made this clever comment at a recent presentation at the University of California Irvine’s Calit2 “Igniting Technology” event on the Internet of Things (IoT) November 13th.
There were presenters delivering corporate insights from Broadcom, Cisco, Frost Data Capital, and several others. The buckets comment was quoted often during the evening to a crowd that numbered well over 100. The other oft-quoted number that evening was $19 trillion in opportunity by 2020. So where are you going to place your bucket? Continue reading
Last month I had the pleasure of attending the Designers of Things conference in San Francisco. One of my favorite presentations came from Dr. Mike North — host of Discovery Channel shows Prototype This, Outrageous Acts of Science and In The Making — where he discussed the vast scope of technology’s reach in the modern world. In the video he presented, a sensor-loaded unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) responded to a cell-phone call to pin-point a swimmer in distress and deliver a life jacket to them. What we could only imagine a decade ago, is now fast becoming a reality – intelligent, autonomous, helpful machines.
The connected era, known as the Internet of Things (IoT) is here. Continue reading
With the trend to more high-performance and compact systems, EMI compliance has become a critical metric for system success in the automotive, computing, and aerospace industries. EMI issues discovered late in the design cycle can result in the entire system failing to meet regulatory EMI/EMC requirements. Addressing regulatory compliance and product debug can cost not only engineering time to investigate and mitigate issues, but can also threaten product release dates. PCB designers, therefore, need a strategy to address potential EMI issues early in their design, to ensure the system meets EMI compliance. Continue reading
Piezoelectric devices surround us in our everyday life. Our cars and trucks contain many piezoelectric devices, including fuel level sensors, air bag deployment sensors, parking sensors and piezoelectric generators in the wheels to power the tire pressure monitoring system. Your smartphones or tablet contains piezoelectric sensors that detect the motion and orientation of the device, which my kids were using to good effect to play “Need For Speed” yesterday. Many of us have ink jet printers at home, which can use piezoelectric printer heads to eject thousands of drops per second. Continue reading
The battle is on for manufacturers of automotive, medical, industrial and consumer electronics to drive new innovations, deliver exciting products, and ensure safety and reliability of the devices that proliferate our world. Mobile devices that are intended to interact with our world face unique reliability challenges such as electrostatic discharge (ESD) protection, making a robust ESD design a necessity. While we want our mobile phone, tablet and smartwatch to be “connected” and “interactive”, the number of interface ports on these devices make them vulnerable to an ESD event. Interfaces such as network connectors, USB ports, and antennas need careful planning of the location and size of ESD protection structures. Continue reading
There are already 1.9 billion devices connected to the internet — from home thermostats to fitness bands and refrigerators — with that number slated to reach over 9 billion by 2018. In terms of dollars, according to the latest forecast from IDC, the Internet of Things (IoT) market will grow to more than $7 trillion, up from $2 trillion today with wearable technology leading the way. Continue reading
Modern high-tech products using chips that are designed with the latest deep sub-micron process technologies (28nm and below) and FinFET technology offer higher performance, smaller footprint and lower power. However, power integrity analysis and reliability challenges become increasingly complex for chip package designs using these devices.
More stringent manufacturing rules present basic layout challenges and new design innovations require careful consideration of effects such as electromigration (EM), electrostatic discharge (ESD) and noise coupling through substrate, signal and power rails. Even the most thorough sign-off process can often fail to prevent tape-out hurdles or extensive redesign. Therefore, forward-thinking design teams need to address reliability and power integrity long before final sign-off, accounting for their impact during the design process itself. Continue reading