Tag Archives: ARM Microcontrollers

Atmel Studio 7 is now live!


Atmel Studio 7 accelerates MCU designs for both developers and Makers alike, bridging the gap between the MakerSpace and MarketPlace.


For those who may have attended the recent World Maker Faire in New York, this announcement should come as no surprise. However, if you were unable to get to the New York Hall of Science to swing by the Atmel booth or sit in on one of our panel discussions over the weekend, we’ve got some great news. The highly anticipated Atmel Studio 7 is now live!

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Atmel Studio is a comprehensive, free integrated development environment (IDE) for microcontroller design using both Atmel | SMART ARM-based and AVR MCUs. What’s more, we are also excited to be launching Atmel START — a new, extremely intuitive graphical platform for creating and configuring embedded applications that allow developers to build custom software platforms.

Due to increased complexity and more demanding requirements, embedded developers are turning to IDEs to deliver more intelligence, performance and ease-of-use. Based on the latest Microsoft Visual Studio Shell, Atmel Studio 7 dramatically reduces overall design time by delivering significant performance enhancements for developing and debugging with a simple user interface, improved responsiveness for consumer, industrial and Maker markets, and much more. Plus, the brand-spankin’ new IDE provides real-time application data and power visualization to better optimize application performance and power utilization.

Ideal for the Maker community, the IDE lets Arduino developers quickly port their sketches created in the Arduino environment as C++ projects, and seamlessly migrate their prototypes into the professional Studio 7 environment. This will further streamline a Maker’s ability to help migrate their projects from ‘the MakerSpace to MarketPlace.’

Given the rise of the Internet of Things market and the projected billions of devices to follow, high quality, well integrated embedded software is key to enable designers to devise robust, smart solutions based on today’s connectivity and security standards. Cognizant of this, we are pleased to launch Atmel START which is a web-based tool that helps developers easily integrate basic software building blocks and focus on their own applications rather than having to deal with the headache of configuration and integration.

“Atmel Studio 7 IDE and Atmel START extend our commitment to bridge the gap between the Maker and professional environments, accelerating time-to-market for developers of all levels,” says Steve Pancoast, Atmel Vice President of Applications, Software and Tools. “Our new, innovative development tools and software provide Atmel’s customers with solutions for embedded system designs in low power and wireless communications such as our power visualizer and Atmel START. We are committed to bringing the best tools to market, enabling developers of all levels — from professionals to students, hobbyists and Makers — to get their projects quickly to market.”

Atmel START gives software developers the ability to graphically select software components and configure them for Atmel’s large family of evaluation boards or for their own custom hardware. Developers can build software platforms consisting of low-level drivers, advanced middleware, Real Time Operating Systems (RTOS), high-level communication stacks and more, as well as download the configured software package into their own IDE and make their application.

Atmel START supports graphical configuring of pin-muxes, along with clock trees, and the configured software package can be downloaded for a variety of supported development environments, such as Atmel Studio 7, IAR Embedded Workbench and Keil µVision. In addition to all that, the tool is entirely web-based so no installation is required before you get started — and the downloaded code will always be up-to-date.

“The Atmel START platform makes it easy for developers to get projects off the ground quickly and obtain the most benefit from working with ARM Keil MDK tools,” adds Reinhard Keil, ARM Director of Microcontroller Tools. “By using CMSIS, Atmel has once again proven the value of creating a platform built on a standards-based approach. Atmel START creates a robust and portable software management system that makes it easy for developers to deploy applications in any environment.”

Interested? Atmel Studio 7 is free of charge and is integrated with the Atmel Software Framework (ASF) — a large library of free source code with 1,600 project examples. Those wishing to get started with the IDE can head over to its official page here, as well as explore Atmel START in more depth by downloading the latest white paper on the platform.

Atmel and IoT and Crypto, oh my!

One of the companies that is best positioned to supply components into the Internet of Things (IoT) market is Atmel. For the time being most designs will be done using standard components, not doing massive integration on an SoC targeted at a specific market. The biggest issue in the early stage of market development will be working out what the customer wants and so the big premium will be on getting to market early and iterating fast, not premature cost optimization for a market that might not be big enough to support the design/NRE of a custom design.

Latest product in Atmel's SmartConnect family, the SAM W25 module

Here is Atmel’s latest product in the SmartConnect family, the SAM W25 module

Atmel has microcontrollers, literally over 500 different flavors and in two families, the AVR family and a broad selection of ARM microcontrollers ad processors. They have wireless connectivity. They have strong solutions in security.

Indeed last week at Electronica in Germany they announced the latest product in the SmartConnect family, the SAM W25 module. It is the industry’s first fully-integrated FCC-certified Wi-Fi module with a standalone MCU and hardware security from a single source. The module is tiny, not much larger than a penny. The module includes Atmel’s recently-announced 2.4GHz IEEE 802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi WINC1500, along with an Atmel | SMART SAM D21 ARM Cortex M0+-based MCU and Atmel’s ATECC108A optimized CryptoAuthentication engine with ultra-secure hardware-based key storage for secure connectivity.

Atmel at Electronica 2014

Atmel at Electronica 2014

That last item is a key component for many IoT designs. Security is going to be a big thing and with so many well-publicized breaches of software security, the algorithms, and particularly the keys, are moving quickly into hardware. That component, the ATECC108A, provides state-of-the-art hardware security including a full turnkey Elliptic Curve Digital Signature Algorithm (ECDSA) engine using key sizes of 256 or 283 bits – appropriate for modern security environments without the long computation delay typical of software solutions. Access to the device is through a standard I²C Interface at speeds up to 1Mb/sec. It is compatible with standard Serial EEPROM I²C Interface specifications. Compared to software, the device is:

  • Higher performance (faster encryption)
  • Lower power
  • Much harder to compromise

Atmel has a new white paper out, Integrating the Internet of Things, Necessary Building Blocks for Broad Market Adoption. Depending on whose numbers you believe, there will be 50 billion IoT edge devices connected by 2020.

Edge nodes are becoming integrated into everyone’s life

As it says in the white paper:

On first inspection, the requirements of an IoT edge device appear to be much the same as any other microcontroller (MCU) based development project. You have one or more sensors that are read by an MCU, the data may then be processed locally prior to sending it off to another application or causing another event to occur such as turning on a motor. However, there are decisions to be made regarding how to communicate with these other applications. Wired, wireless, and power line communication (PLC) are the usual options. But, then you have to consider that many IoT devices are going to be battery powered, which means that their power consumption needs to be kept as low as possible to prolong battery life. The complexities deepen when you consider the security implications of a connected device as well. And that’s not just security of data being transferred, but also ensuring your device can’t be cloned and that it does not allow unauthorized applications to run on it.
IoT Design Requirements - Software / Development Tools Ecosystem

IoT design requirements: Software / development tools ecosystem

For almost any application, the building blocks for an IoT edge node are the same:

  • Embedded processing
  • Sensors
  • Connectivity
  • Security
  • And while not really a “building block,” ultra-low power for always-on applications

My view is that the biggest of these issues will be security. After all, even though Atmel has hundreds of different microcontrollers and microprocessors, there are plenty of other suppliers. Same goes for connectivity solutions. But strong cryptographhic solutions implemented in hardware are much less common.

The new IoT white paper is available for download here.

This post has been republished with permission from SemiWiki.com, where Paul McLellan is a featured blogger. It first appeared there on November 19, 2014.

Exploring Atmel’s new microcontrollers, IoT and wearables

More and more companies, regardless of their vertical, are trying to get closer to their customers and see various aspects of the internet of things (IoT) as the way to do so. For a good example, here is Salesforce Wear Developer Pack which, as they say:

..is a collection of open-source starter apps that let you quickly design and build wearable apps that connect to the Salesforce1 Platform. Millions of wearable devices connected to the cloud will create amazing new application opportunities.

Since Salesforce.com cuts across all industries this has potential impact in many different market segments.

And, the wearable devices that they list are Google Glass, Android Wear, Samsung Gear Watch, Myo Armband, Nymi Bionym, Pebble Watch, Jawbone UP, Epson Moverio, Vuzix Smart Glasses, Oculus Rift, Meta Glasses.

This combination brings home that the internet of things isn’t just about the things, it is about connecting the things back to the cloud so that the data generated can be aggregated where it has much greater value.

I am sure that people will design SoCs for various aspects of IoT, but even if they do I think it will be in old processes, not even 28nm, so they can integrate sensors and analog and wireless on the same chip. But more likely a lot of these will be small boards with microcontrollers, wireless and sensors on different chips. For example, take a look at the iFixit teardown of the Fitbit, which in its current incarnation is about one inch by quarter of an inch.

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An important aspect of doing this sort of design is having enough microcontrollers with the right combination of features. You can’t afford to have twice as much flash as you need or too many unused functions. The Atmel microcontroller product finder shows that at present they have 506 different ones to choose from.

The most recent two are SAMA5D4, and SAMD21 which are specifically targeted towards wearables and IoT projects. These are the latest two products in the Atmel SAM D family.

One area of especial concern in this market is security since it is too dangerous to simply try and do everything in software on the microcontroller. Keys can be stolen. Software can be compromised if it is in external RAM. An area of particular security concern is to make sure that any JTAG debug port is secure or it can be used to compromise almost anything on the chip.

So what are these chips?

The SAMA5D4 is an ARM Cortex-A5 device with a 720p hardware video decoder. It has high security with on-the-fly capability to run encrypted code straight out of external memory, tamper detection, secret key storage in hardware, hardware private and public key cryptography and ARM TrustZone. It supports both 16 and 32 bit memory interfaces for maximum flexibility. It is targeted at applications that require displays, such as home and industrial automation, vending machines, elevator displays with ads, or surveillance camera playback.

The SAMD21 is the latest Atmel microcontroller based on the ARM Cortex-M0+ but in addition to the features on earlier cores it also has:

  • Full speed USB device and embedded host
  • DMA
  • Enhanced timer/counters for high end PWM in Lighting and motor control – I2S
  • Increased I2C speed to 3.4Mbit/S
  • Fractional PLL for audio streaming

As you can deduce from the feature set it is target at medium end industrial and consumer applications, possibly involving audio and high power management.

And, to show that this sort of market is starting to become real, at the salesforce Dreamforce event earlier in the week a keynote was given by will.i.am of the Black Eyed Peas (and a founder of Beats that Apple recently acquired). In a chat with Marc Benoiff, CEO of Salesforce.com, he has already leaked that he will introduced a wearable wrist computer that doesn’t require a phone to piggy-back on (unlike the Apple Watch).

Watch the chat:

Looking for more information on the SAMA5D4It can be found here.

This post has been republished with permission from SemiWiki.com, where Paul McLellan is a featured blogger. It first appeared there on October 17, 2014.

ARM unveils 32-bit Cortex-M7 processor for the Internet of Things

ARM has unveiled a new 32-bit Cortex-M processor that delivers double the compute and digital signal processing (DSP) capability of today’s most powerful ARM-based MCUs. The ARM Cortex-M7 is targeted at high-end embedded applications used in next generation vehicles, connected devices, and smart homes and factories. Atmel has been named one of the early lead licensees of the Cortex-M7 processor, enabling us to deliver exciting new products to the market in the forthcoming months.

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“The addition of the Cortex-M7 processor to the Cortex-M series allows ARM and its partners to offer the most scalable and software-compatible solutions possible for the connected world,” explained Noel Hurley, General Manager of ARM’s CPU Group. “The versatility and new memory features of the Cortex-M7 enable more powerful, smarter and reliable microcontrollers that can be used across a multitude of embedded applications.”

The Cortex-M7 achieves an impressive 5 CoreMark/MHz. This performance allows the Cortex-M7 to deliver a combination of high-performance and digital signal control functionality that will enable MCU silicon manufacturers to target highly demanding embedded applications — including next-generation vehicles, connected devices and smart homes —  while keeping development costs low. System designers can therefore take advantage of extensive code reuse which in turn offers lower development and maintenance costs. Through these products, the benefits delivered by the Cortex-M7 processor will be evident in our increasingly connected world.

Cortex-M7 summary

Enabling faster processing of audio and image data and voice recognition, the benefits delivered by the Cortex-M7 processor will be immediately apparent to users. The core also provides the same C-friendly programmer’s model and is binary compatible with existing Cortex-M processors. Ecosystem and software compatibility offers simple migration from any existing Cortex-M core to the new Cortex-M7.

“The Cortex-M7 is well positioned between Atmel’s Cortex-M based MCUs and Cortex-A based MPUs enabling Atmel to offer an even greater range of processing solutions,” said Reza Kazerounian, Atmel Senior Vice President and General Manager, MCU Business Unit. “Customers using the Cortex-M-based MCU will be able to scale up performance and system functionality, while keeping the Cortex-M class ease-of-use and maximizing software reuse. We see the ARM Cortex-M7 addressing high-growth markets like IoT and wearables, as well as automotive and industrial applications that can leverage its performance and power efficiency.”

WhiteGoods cortex-M7

In today’s connected world, future devices will be getting smarter in order to operate more efficiently using minimal energy and resources. As ARM notes in its blog, these next generation products are moving to more sophisticated displays, advanced touchscreen panels, and advanced control motors to include field-oriented control algorithms in their motor driver control in order to operate more efficiently. Some of these also need to run communications software stacks to interface with other appliances and interface with the outside world to provide billing information, power usage and maintenance information.

All of these requirements demand more performance from a microcontroller, which lies at the heart of the appliance… and Cortex-M7 based MCUs will deliver that performance.

“The day the refrigerator talks to the milk carton, that’s in a gimmicky category. But to have the dishwasher and refrigerator coordinate their cycles to reduce the electricity load — that becomes useful,” ARM CEO Simon Segars told Reuters.

Cortex-M7-chip-diagramLG

Key features of the ARM Cortex-M7 core include:

  • Six stage, superscalar pipeline delivering 2000 Coremarks at 400MHz in a 40LP process
  • AXI interconnect (supports 64-bit transfer) and fully integrated optional caches for instruction and data allowing efficient access to large external memories and powerful peripherals
  • Tightly coupled memory interfaces for rapid, real-time response
  • Extensive implementation configurability to enable a wide range of cost and performance points to be targeted
  • Optional full instruction and data trace via the Embedded Trace Macrocell enabling greater system visibility
  • An optional safety package and built-in fault detection features contribute toward ASIL D and SIL 3 compliance, meaning Cortex-M7 is the perfect choice for companies targeting safety-related markets including automotive, industrial, transport and medical applications
  • Widest third-party tools, RTOS, middleware support of any architecture, provided by the ARM Connected Community of complementary partner companies.

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From building automation to smart metering to wearables and other Internet of Things (IoT) applications, a new generation of connected products are increasingly powering our lifestyle. Internet and wireless enabled devices embedded with processors give these once-ordinary “things” new powers. Atmel continues to make it easy for designers to create a more intelligent, more connected world through its Atmel | SMART family. This lineup of ARM-based MCUs drive smart, connected devices in the era of IoT, wireless, and energy efficiency. These solutions include embedded processing and connectivity — as well as software and tools — designed to make it faster and more cost-effective to bring smart products to market. Atmel | SMART MCUs combine powerful 32-bit ARM cores with industry-leading low-power technology and intelligent peripherals.

To learn more about the newly-unveiled, high-performance processor, you can read ARM’s entire press release here.

Atmel introduces next-gen SoC solution for smart metering

Atmel recently announced the introduction of its latest Power Line Communication System-on-Chip (SoC) solution designed for smart metering applications.

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The Atmel SAM4CP16B is an extension of Atmel’s SAM4Cx smart energy platform built on a dual-core 32-bit ARM® Cortex®-M4 architecture. Fully compatible with Atmel’s ATPL230A OFDM physical layer (PHY) device compliant with PRIME standard specification, this highly flexible solution addresses OEM’s requirements for various system partitioning, BOM reduction and time-to-market requirements by incorporating independent application, protocol stack and physical layer processing functions within the same device.

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“We continue to build on the success of our industry leading SAM4Cx platform and offer best-in-class embedded connectivity, flexibility and cost structure for high-volume smart metering deployments,” said Andres Munoz, Atmel Marketing Manager, Smart Energy Communications. “Furthermore, additional enhancements developed to meet PRIME standard specifications provide unprecedented performance in rigorous environments.”

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As part of the Atmel® | SMART™ family, the solution includes integrated low-power driver, advanced cryptography, 1Mbytes of embedded Flash, 152Kbytes of SRAM, low-power RTC, and LCD controller. Additional key features include:

  • Application/Master Core
    — ARM Cortex-M4 running at up to 120 MHz
    — Memory Protection Unit (MPU)
    — DSP Instruction
    — Thumb®-2 instruction set
    — Instruction and Data Cache Controller with 2 Kbytes Cache Memory
  • Co-processor
    — ARM Cortex-M4F running at up to 120 MHz
    — IEEE® 754 Compliant, Single precision Floating-Point Unit (FPU)
    — DSP Instruction
    — Thumb-2 instruction set
    — Instruction and Data Cache Controller with 2 Kbytes Cache Memory
  • Symmetrical/Asynchronous Dual Core Architecture
    — Interrupt-based Interprocessor Communication
    — Asynchronous Clocking
    — One Interrupt Controller (NVIC) for each core
    — Each Peripheral IRQ routed to each NVIC Input
  • Cryptography
    — High-performance AES 128 to 256 with various modes (GCM, CBC, ECB, CFB, CBC-MAC, CTR)
    — TRNG (up to 38 Mbit/s stream, with tested Diehard and FIPS)
    — Classical Public Key Crypto accelerator and associated ROM library for RSA, ECC, DSA, ECDSA
    — Integrity Check Module (ICM) based on Secure Hash Algorithm (SHA1, SHA224, SHA256), DMA assisted
  • Safety
    — 4 Physical Anti-tamper Detection I/O with Time Stamping and Immediate Clear of General Backup Registers
    — Security bit for Device Protection from JTAG accesses
  • PRIME PLC embedded modem
    — Power Line Carrier Modem for 50 Hz and 60 Hz mains
    — 97-carriers OFDM PRIME compliant
    — DBPSK, DQPSK, D8PSK modulation schemes available
    — Additional enhanced modes available: DBPSK Robust, DQPSK Robust
    — Eight selectable channels between 42kHz to 472kHz available
    — Baud rate Selectable: 5.4 to 128.6 kbps
    — Four dedicated buffers for transmission/reception
    — Up to 124.6 dBμVrms injected signal against PRIME load
    — Up to 79.6 dB of dynamic range in PRIME networks
    — Automatic Gain Control and continuous amplitude tracking in signal reception
    — Class D switching power amplifier control
  • Shared System Controller
    — Power Supply
    — Embedded Core and LCD Voltage Regulator for single supply operation
    — Power-on-Reset (POR), Brownout Detector (BOD) and Watchdog for safe operation
    —Low Power Sleep and Backup modes

Interested in learning more about Atmel’s new comprehensive smart energy platform? You can check out our recent deep dive on the subject here.

Baskin-Robbins only has 31 flavors, Atmel has 505

Actually these days even Baskin-Robbins has more, but not 505 like Atmel. That’s a lot. While some are AVR, both 8-bit and 32-bit, others are various flavors of ARM (all 32-bit) ranging from older parts like the ARM9 to various flavors of Cortex ranging from the M0 (tiny microcontroller with no pipeline or cache) up to A5. Of course, the ARM product line goes all the way up to 64-bit Cortex-A57 and so on — but they are not in any sense of the word microcontrollers and are really only used in SoCs and not standalone products.

But with 505 choices, how do you pick one? Fortunately, Atmel has made it easy for you to navigate the various flavors. With the help of the company’s MCU product finder, you now have the ability to input your hard constraints, while the tool will narrow down the choices. For example, if you want your microcontroller to have at least 64 Kbytes of flash, then there are only 257 out of the 505 that will suit your needs. For each parameter, users can set minimums and maximums — except for the yes/no choices.

When it comes to the selection process, there are several things that you can constrain:

  • Flash memory (0 to 2Mbytes)
  • Pin count (6 to 324)
  • Operating frequency (1 to 536MHz)
  • CPU architecture (pick from 8-bit AVR, 32-bit AVR, ARM 926 and 920, ARM Cortex M0, M3, M4, A5)
  • SRAM (30 bytes to 256 Kbytes)
  • EEPROM (none to 8 Kbytes)
  • Max I/O pins (4 to 160)
  • picoPower (yes or no)
  • Operating voltage (various ranges from 0.7V to 6V)
  • Operating temperature (various from -20oC to 150oC)
  • Number of touch channels (none to 256)
  • Number of timers (1 to 10)
  • Watchdog (yes or no)
  • 32KHz real time clock (yes or no)
  • Analog comparators (0 to 8)
  • Temperature sensor (yes or no)
  • ADC resolution (8 to 16 bits)
  • ADC channels (2 to 28)
  • DAC channels (0 to 4)
  • UARTs (0 to 8)
  • SPI (1 to 12)
  • TWI (aka I2C) interface (none to 6)
  • USB interface (none, device only, host+OTG, host and device)
  • PWM channels (0 to 36)
  • Ethernet interfaces (none to 2)
  • CAN interfaces (none to 2)

Wow, that’s a lot of options! But after a couple of dozen selections, you can narrow down your choice to something manageable. Here’s how the interface will appear:

Say for instance, I wanted to pick a microcontroller, an ARM Cortex of some flavor. Already choices are down to 189. I want 32K to 128K of flash (now down to 73 choices). I want it to run at an operating frequency of at least 64 MHz (now down to 10). I want 4K of SRAM (turns out all 10 choices already have that much). I need 4 timers. I am now down to 2 choices:

These two choices are the ATSAM3S1C and the ATSAM3S2C — both ARM Cortex-M3s. The first has 64K of flash and the second 128K. I can click on the little PDF icon and access a full datasheet for these microprocessors. If I don’t like the choices and I have some flexibility on specs, then obviously I can go back and play with the parameters to get some new options.

I can click on the “S” to order samples. However, in order to do this, you must already have an Atmel account. Or, with just another click on the shopping cart icon, I can obtain a list of distributors throughout various geographic regions, where I can actually place an order. It even tells me how many each of them have in stock!

For those of you ready to start searching, you can find the Atmel Microcontrollers Selector here.

This post has been republished with permission from SemiWiki.com, where Paul McLellan is a featured blogger. It first appeared there on March 2, 2014.

IoT analogous to undifferentiated silicon stem cells

One could say that any term with the word “thing” in it is vague — by definition. So, one could also assume that the term “Internet of Things” (IoT) is also vague by definition. Why is it that the tech and investor communities cannot define IoT? Maybe it’s because the IoT is indefinable — by definition.

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In order to try and define something, it helps to analyze is compsition. There appears to be an emerging consensus among engineers, industry analysts, authors, tech executives, and others about the fundamental pieces that will make up the IoT; namely, the following items:

  • Intelligence
  • Communication
  • Sensing
  • Security

puzzle

Ultra-low power drain and miniaturization are other aspects. So, perhaps a definition of the IoT today could be the following: “Low power, ultra-small things inside other things that sense more things and communicate (securely) between these things and other things.”

Obviously, that’s not a meaningful definition, and rightfully so, because the problem of defining the IoT is that today the IoT is not any ‘thing.’ Certainly not anything specific. The IoT is a generality — by definition. The only true specifics are the component pieces as noted above, and once those components are assembled and programmed, they differentiate into real things.  

The point here is that the IoT is analogous to undifferentiated silicon stem cells, and these silicon stem cells can differentiate into a spectrum of specific, tangible, and identifiable…

Si stem cells

The differentiated devices would address a wide spectrum of specific, diverse solutions for use in an even wider range of equipment and applications. Most of the eventual applications and solutions have not even been dreamed up yet. This is a similar situation to world of cellphones back in 2006 before anyone outside a certain city in Silicon Valley knew that a new device would eventually turn everyone’s phone into a smart black rectangle for years. IoT potentially will have similar power to transform the world on a large scale as well — far beyond mobile communications. We just don’t know exactly how the silicon stem cells will differentiate yet… but we will.

Each of the main IoT functions — communications, control, sensing, and security — will surely undergo micro and macro integration. Micro integration is putting the component subsystem pieces together into low power, small, integrated physical platforms. Companies with microcontroller, sensor, communication, and security IP will be best positioned. (Do any come to mind?)

Macro integration refers to creation of ecosystems. It is easy to visualize what those will be, like a medical ecosystem with biometric sensors of various types connected to one’s body and the cloud through smartphones. Another could be an automotive ecosystem that senses the location, speed, and direction of your car and other cars near you and reports that data to each other (V2V communications). One more automotive ecosystem could sense and control the systems inside a car, such as entertainment, information, and mechanical. Yet another would be mobile ecosystems that include wearable products that sense biometrics, interface with automotive and home entertainment systems, control home automation, perform electronic transactions, and a plethora of other functions. It is easy to envision a world where mobile handsets, tablets, glasses, watches, and other things that people wear or carry automatically interact with sensors and screens sprinkled throughout the environment. Some refer to the sensors spread all around as “sensor dust.” Now you can see why.

The irony is that by the time that the component pieces of the silicon stem cells differentiate into specific things, they cease being just things. And that means that the IoT starts to fade away, product by product.

To put this in a Dr. Seuss sort of way, “When a thing starts becoming something, it starts stopping being a thing.”

Thing two

To be a leader in the post-IoT universe where things are not just things anymore, silicon providers must put all pieces in place and stimulate differentiation before the other guys do. It’s all about vision… but that is a topic for another day.