Electronic devices — with well-designed signal integrity (SI) — have transformed the way we communicate, work, learn and entertain. Around the globe, we find smart phones, fiber-optic and wireless networks, pocket-size computers, LED screen displays that mimic paper and unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) that deliver packages. Automobiles are filled with electronics that control engine functions, keep wheels from skidding, avoid accidents, direct our travel routes and, now, drive themselves. Aircraft are equipped with radar, fly-by-wire systems and airborne communications. And the innovations keep coming…
Today we live in a hyper-connected world, surrounded by smart products. If industry forecasts are correct, by 2020 — just 2 short years from now — there will be over 28 billion internet-connected devices. Beyond smart phones and autonomous vehicles, smart cities, smart factories, and smart homes are also quickly emerging as promising opportunities that could help improve how we live, work and play.
While these new capabilities will be a delight to us as consumers, they are a nightmare for engineers and product designers. With hundreds of sensors, microprocessors, and wired and wireless communication components, engineers face immense challenges in ensuring reliability and performance. In the complex web of electronic circuitry, something, somewhere that is left unaddressed could lead to failure. One of the big challenges confronting product designers is electromagnetic interference, or EMI.
Full-wave model of communications channel
- The Internet of Things is going to be big; very big!
- Success requires partnerships.
- IoT is about monetizing data.
- Engineering simulation is essential.
The Internet of Things is going to be big!
At the just concluded Design Automation Conference in Austin, speaker after speaker stressed this.
Silicon Labs CEO, Tyson Tuttle, noted that there will be 70 billion Internet connected devices by 2025 with accompanying semiconductors to power them. He repeated McKinsey’s forecast the the Internet of Things will drive between $4 -11 trillion in global economic impact by 2025. Continue reading
About a year ago, my colleague, Eric Bantegnie, wrote a blog that described how we, along with our partners PTC, NI and HPE, had created a digital twin of a pump and one of its valves. We showcased this at PTC LiveWorx. I’m happy to announce that work continues with our partners on a new and expanded version of the digital twin of this pump and its valves to its motor and electric drive.
Why is this exciting and important? This enhanced digital twin demonstrates a multi-domain system including fluids, electromechanical, electromagnetics and thermal aspects, coupled with a user friendly Human Machine Interface (HMI), to solve a challenging problem that faces motor designers and operators — determining, monitoring and maintaining the optimal temperature at which to operate the motor and its components on a consistent basis. Why does this matter? Every 10 degree Celsius increase in operating temperature of the motor and components over their optimum temperatures decreases the life of the motor by half! Continue reading
Since the 1960s, Dr. Gordon Moore’s prediction that computing performance will double every 12 to 18 months has held true. More recently, the gains in computing performance have been enabled by a combination of hardware and software technologies, such as multi-core, multi-threaded designs. The conveniences of the modern world — ubiquitous communication through internet-enabled phones, electronic payments and digital streaming, to name a few, are partly due to continuous engineering innovations delivered through cheaper, faster, more-precise electronics. Continue reading
Recently, service providers and home appliance manufacturers have launched a new initiative to bring the concept of smart homes to reality allowing subscribers to remotely manage and monitor different home devices from anywhere via smart phones or over the web with no physical distance limitations. Continue reading
Digital twins, supported by sensors and communication infrastructure, are rapidly changing the business models at many companies and are expected to create trillions in global economic value. In 2014, at the 3rd Annual Minds & Machines Conference, General Electric Chairman and CEO Jeffrey Immelt declared, “If you went to bed last night as an industrial company, you are going to wake up in the morning as a software and analytics company.” He announced that GE would make its Predix operating system for powering the industrial internet to any company in 2015. Yet, despite the excitement that year data from Accenture shows that only 10 percent of market leaders understand the underlying business models and long-term implications of IIoT and digital twins. Continue reading
For over 30 years, ANSYS has been supplying GE with sophisticated first principle modeling tools that have enabled virtual prototyping of some of the worlds most complex products. The relationship continues to mature as the two explore the marriage of GE’s Predix Platform with ANSYS’ Simulation Platform to create the potential to enhance the monetization of asset health monitoring and the industrial internet of things. This marriage further enables closed loop feedback with engineering to accelerate NPI and drive costly warranty costs out.
The ANSYS Simulation Platform utilizes a variety of parameters sensed, collected and sorted by the Predix Platform, parameters such as temperature, pressure and vibration to create a simulation based physics model that represents a digital twin of an asset that can be used to accurately predict asset health. Continue reading
The Gartner Hype Cycle charts are a peek into the future. They graphically project where various technology trends are along a maturity timeline. The most recent Hype Cycle identifies several megatrends, including digital business technologies and new design and innovation approaches, such as IoT product design.
Antennas are the lifeblood of connected, mobile and many emerging IoT products. Consumers expect a reliable connection every time; anything short can kill a product launch or, worse yet, tarnish a corporate brand. That’s the market reality. The engineering reality is that there are significant engineering challenges associated with designing antennas and radio systems, including providing reliable connectivity and maintaining reasonable performance within an ever shrinking design footprint. Many of today’s devices need to operate in an increasingly crowded radio spectrum with the possibility of co-site conditions, operation near the human body and other challenging installed environments. Continue reading