The Internet of Things (IoT) refers to a future world where all types of electronic devices link to each other via the Internet. In 2009, there were 2.5 billion connected devices; most of these were mobile phones, PCs and tablets. By 2020, there will be over 30 billion connected devices of far greater variety.
Recently, the folks at BestComputerScienceDegrees put together a comprehensive infographic depicting the rapidly growing IoT.
As Reza Kazerounian, Senior VP and GM of the Microcontroller Business Unit at Atmel notes, the IoT is a combination of multiple market segments, tens of thousands of OEMs and hundreds of thousands of products.
“It is seen by many as the next wave of dramatic market growth for semiconductors. If you look at the different estimates made by market analysts, the IoT market will be worth trillions of dollars to a variety of industries from the consumer to financial, industrial, white goods and other market segments,” he told EEWeb in February. “Companies that provide cloud-based services, service providers and semiconductor companies will also benefit from this market. The number of small or new companies that are showcasing connective devices has increased – there will be 50 billion connected devices by 2020. These nodes will have characteristics such as low-power embedded processing, a human-machine interface and connectivity.”
Reza also noted that Atmel views microcontrollers (MCUs) as an essential building block for every PC, consumer device, industrial machine, home connectivity device and automobile. To be sure, MCUs are playing an increasingly critical role in the lucrative space.
“As the semiconductor industry has transitioned from PCs to mobile, IoT will now rise to become the predominant market,” he explained. ”This transition will favor ultra-low power and integration of microcontrollers, wireless connectivity, security, touch technologies and sensor management products. Atmel is uniquely positioned and fully committed to maintaining our leadership position in the microcontroller industry – and to do so requires winning in the IoT.”
Atmel’s Kaivan Karimi expressed similar sentiments during a recent a Tech on Tour (ToT) panel discussion in San Francisco’s SoMa neighborhood. More specifically, he focused on how rapidly the Internet of Things is evolving by integrating various connected capabilities in our daily lives that range from consumer and health to intelligent, autonomous Google cars.
“For the IoT to thrive, the industry must continue to consolidate standards across multiple connected segments. In addition, security and privacy can definitely make or break the IoT, at least from a mass market perspective,” he said. ”Of course there are always going to be people with evil intent. That isn’t the question. Rather, the challenge is how to best manage and protect the terabytes of valuable data generated by various IoT devices. I personally believe the need for comprehensive security and privacy policies are so pressing that it will prompt our legislators to take appropriate action.”
According to Karimi, future IoT models will likely see individuals opting in and out of specific data collection options, ranging from devices tasked with glucose monitoring to platforms like real time breathalyzers and wearables that measure physical responses to specific activities.
“In addition to wearables, cars are also going through a massive transformation, no less significant than the migration from analog to digital,” he added. “We are entering an age where drivers will not only step up their interaction with their vehicles, but cars will also start talking to each other to avoid fatalities, as well as monitor the weather in real time and even alert drivers to natural disasters such as tsunamis and flooded roads.”
Interested in learning more about Atmel and the IoT? You can check out our article archive on the subject here.