How IoT will help your business grow
Welcome to the Internet of things! Its expansion is leading in a new era of ubiquitous connectivity, which allows things to connect, interact and exchange data – always and everywhere. As digitally connected devices like smartphones, wearables, vehicles and home appliances become omnipresent at home and at work, networking infrastructure platforms turn out to be an increasingly important area of interest. And as the IoT has impact on every industry, more applications and devices will join that list.
How Computer Controls will help your IoT business grow
Whatever industry and appliance is affected, the key factors for sensitive IoT applications are always the same: long-wireless ranges, low-energy consumption, and long-life cycles.
To meet these key demands Computer Controls Group delivers hardware solutions to build wireless and low power sensor nodes. The development and market introduction of wireless, battery-powered sensor nodes require the right choice of semiconductor components, development tools and measurement instruments.
To keep up with the increasing dynamics in today’s markets, a concise development cycle is the key to success. Hardware and firmware development need to go hand in hand while test and measurement tasks should be performed throughout the entire development cycle to ensure longevity of the battery and to pass regulatory requirements, such as EMI certification and compliance with wireless transmission standards.
Computer Controls Group is more than just an electronics component distributor. Our professional expert services help you finding the most efficient modules and semiconductor devices. We offer validation tools for measuring and managing battery life as well as development and debugging kits for your embedded firmware.
As we provide you with every aspect of IoT design and technical support we uniquely boost your products to seamlessly connect to and consistently succeed in the IoT cosmos. We at Computer Controls assist you throughout your entire design cycle with:
- our deep design & development know-how,
- our wide range semiconductor components portfolio
- our ready-to-start embedded development tools, and
- our profound expertise in test and measurement.
>Objectively evaluate and compare MCU alternatives to achieve the lowest possible system-level power consumption
Choosing the right semiconductor components for a low-power IoT sensor node is mission critical and has strong influence on the battery life of the final device. You need to make the right choice of a microcontroller matching the requirements of your device such as current consumption, number of inputs/outputs and number of bits. Among the broad choice of microcontrollers from SiLabs and Maxim, there is certainly one that fits your application.
When it comes to the wireless interface of the sensor node, the main decision to take is create or buy. Buying off the shelf has several advantages: There is no need for designing and validating the radio frequency part of the transceiver, the module already implements the communication stack and is ready to use. Employing a complete transceiver module is a great way to reduce time to market. SiLabs leadership in wireless communication modules gives a broad choice of different protocols: Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, Thread, and Zigbee – just to name a few.
A further key part of an IoT sensor node are the sensors themselves. Whether you are working on a medical device, consumer sensor node, position sensor node or environmental parameter sensing device, you should find the right sensor. Computer Controls’ selection of optical, temperature, humidity, capacitive touch, biometric, magnetic or oximetry sensors will certainly match your application. We also assist you with design-ins.
>Extend battery life by detecting design weaknesses, optimizing power consumption, and speeding up your product development cycle
Measurements accompanying the development cycle are mission critical for a successful IoT sensor node design. To ensure the longevity of the battery writing the firmware to make use of the different states (sleep, active, transmit) of the devices is just one side of the coin. Test and measurement solutions from Keysight validate current consumption to gain necessary insights for optimizing your firmware. Since the current levels at sleep, active and transmit state span a tremendously large dynamic range, dedicated test and measurement solutions are a MUST. Conventional measurement devices cannot cope with these dynamical requirements.
A further aspect is electromagnetic interference (EMI) certification and also a crucial part for CE marking. Pre-compliance measurements throughout the design cycle of the sensor node are necessary to stay in line with the time to market plan. Early detection of potential EMI issues helps to reduce redesign costs, keeps the costs for EMI certification under control and ensures a swift time to market.
In case you decided to go with our own radio frequency design for the transceiver part or you use proprietary protocols, testing the RxTx performance is important to make sure that the device will resist the rigors of a crowded environment and act properly even in remote areas with low signal. Our broad range of signal generators, signal analysers and dedicated software suits for a broad range of wireless protocols help you to do the job in a short time with high confidence.
>Design, debug and implement with one integrative development environment for advanced firmware tailored to requirements
Time to market is the make it or break it criteria. Every so often the window of market opportunity is small, and competition breathes down your neck. For such circumstances a broad choice of development kits is useful: You don’t need to select the components first, but you are able to write the firmware for your sensor node right away. Access to the schematics and bill of materials makes it easy to get rid of unnecessary parts on the development kit and adjust it to your desired form factor.
Writing the firmware for a sensor node is an important task and has a huge influence on the power consumption of the design. Using an embedded development environment, such as Keil’s uVision from MDK Arm, allows you to program, flash and debug in real time the embedded firmware. Such an approach is a great way for hardware-near programming and get insights into the hardware behavior.
Hardware-near programming is a key ingredient for achieving a low-power sensor node. The firmware controls and enables different activity levels, such as sleep, active or transmit state of the system. A sophisticated and optimized sequence of these states reduces unnecessary battery drain. When it comes to debugging the firmware, the real-time debug mode is a great tool to evaluate the registers and states of the microcontroller if an unwanted behavior occurs.
>Start empowering your business with our professional IoT services
If you enrich device data in near real time with context data, you have a very powerful set of data from which you can build business rules to generate actions and measurable outcomes. I am sure you can think of many more examples of highly interesting rules that could be created with this new rich data set.
IoT 4.0, which is already emerging, will add machine learning and artificial capabilities to the connected-customer value chain to make customer experiences truly seamless and part of everyday life.
The challenge? According to surveys, 75 percent of IoT projects will take up to twice as long as planned.
The biggest concern against IoT is the lack of standardization. It makes the adoption and development process slower and holds several threats. An even bigger risk is sending sensor data directly to the cloud or datacenter because it can create latency, drive costs, and can open up security risks.
Need a reliable IoT solution?
Start empovering your business with our professional IoT services: we provide you with technical support from the very first step to the manufacturing of the end product.
Check out our services page for more information and references.
RELATED TO THIS TOPIC