The Internet of Things (IoT) is the interconnection of millions of autonomous devices to the internet. These devices collect data on physical parameters and processes and report those to the network. Some autonomously, or by network command, provide outputs that control other equipment and systems.
There are a wide range of applications for IoT devices including infrastructure, utilities, home automation, personal medical, vehicle, industrial and more. The full range of potential applications has not been conceived. The market for IoT devices will explode as additional applications are addressed.
There will be many new ideas in this field, and a great number of these will come from companies without background or experience in developing high-tech devices and equipment.
Many of these new IoT inventions will be implemented with a single system on a chip (SoC) to provide the highest level of integration and conservation of area. As numerous new companies enter into the market with their own ideas for IoT, many will begin to face the challenges of IoT SoC development.
One of the most important aspects of developing a custom SoC for an IoT application is differentiating your product from other competitors in the market. Figure 1 is a block diagram showing many of the typical functions that can be included in an IoT SoC design. You can see in the bottom portion of the diagram that many of the functional blocks that are used in a typical SoC are either standardized or very highly commoditized. Utilizing commercially available IP blocks for these functions brings several benefits but no differentiation. In fact, for those blocks that are completely standards driven (for example a USB interface) it is nearly impossible for there to be any differentiation.
Figure 1: Example IoT SoC Block Diagram
The high-performance analog and mixed-signal blocks, however, can be an area for customization and differentiation. Vidatronic has these various technologies available and has many years of experience in the correct implementation. Generally, grouping all of these various power management blocks together with some control circuitry and an interface for external control is what is known as a power management unit (PMU).
Most IoT SoC designs are implemented in small-geometry processes (55 nm and smaller) to take advantage of both power and die area savings. However, there are significant challenges of analog circuit design in small process linewidths due to transistor mismatch and leakage. Vidatronic has significant experience in overcoming the difficulties of designs in advanced-processes (down to 7 nm), and using our IP can help you get to market faster with lower risk and less cost than trying to design these circuits in house.
For more information on our patented technology, please contact us. To read more a more in depth introduction to power management in IoT SoC development: