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You know we live in astonishing times when you can start your car by talking into your phone. But the era of the Internet of Everything--for all the great technology it has begun to enable--is filled with challenges for electronics design engineers.
Just a portion of the IoT--the smart home's systems of systems (pictured below)--gives you a sense of the challenge ahead.
What's Old Isn't New Again
How do we get there from here? As an ecosystem-as fabless semiconductor vendors, EDA and IP companies-we get there by enabling the system-design aspirations of companies.
These companies increasingly want to differentiate at the highest levels of the design flow: the system level, the software level. It's where they add value. Application-driven system design enables that. We've seen it in server design among a new class of systems houses designing their own. The approach is just as valid in the IoT. But this demands nothing less than a reconsideration of traditional electronics systems design.
For IoT and specifically natural human interface design, the answer isn't "specify-the-MCU-and-ship-it." There just isn't a single controller architecture that meets all IoT requirements, such as multiple sensor, innovative user experience, and wireless protocol support plus various security requirements.
And if that's not the answer, do we just lean on other traditional processor architectures and approaches? We can't because they aren't necessarily broadly applicable in the IoT.
The answer lies in flexibility of design and design choices, but how we get there from here requires a completely new post. Stay tuned!
Seow Yin Lim
(Seow Yin Lim is the Group Director of Marketing for Cadence's IP Group and is responsible for driving Cadence's Internet of Things (IoT) strategy. Lim, who has worked at leading SoC companies, will blog about the challenges and opportunities in the global IoT market).
--- IoT Focus: Natural User Interface Design Crucial to Success
--- Upcoming Webinar: SoC Verification Challenges in the IoT Age