IoT is Now!

The Internet of Things (IoT) is gaining a huge amount of attention – again. From considerable traction being made in low-cost sensors, cloud-based services and big data analytics to having significant prominence at CES, the IoT hype is back.

Here are some one-liners, of my experience walking the floor at CES 2016:

  • Drones – Storming the Horizon
  • Automotive – Hot! Hot! Hot!
  • Virtual Reality (VR) & Augmented Reality (AR) – VR more prominent than AR
  • Robotics – Different form factors moving around
  • 3D Printers – Getting serious
  • 3D TVs without 3D glasses/eye-wear – Emerging and getting bigger
  • Smart Home – Tons of gadgets showing up
  • Wearables and Smart-garments – No cover-up here! Starting to blend with VR/AR

It is important to recognize that the IoT goes beyond the “Things”. The associated market opportunity extends to the Networks to carry the data traffic, and the Data Centers to harness the data, and run analytics to transform the raw data to faster decision-making insights and outcomes.

Internet of things is Beyond Things

The IoT applications and use-cases that span Things, Networks, and Data Centers drive new requirements for semiconductors including ultra low power, ultra low leakage, smaller and denser packaging, and cost effectiveness. These requirements are at the heart of the IoT platform technologies developed by semiconductor Foundries that are power efficient, optimized, and cost-effective for IoT nodes. This “under-the-hood” differentiation at the semiconductor level enables the enhanced end-user and application experiences for IoT.

Based on the market and customer trends, the prevalent process technologies for the Low and Mid-end IoT nodes are 55nm and 40nm. From 2017-18 onwards, we’ll see the shift to leading edge 28nm, 22nm, and 14nm and beyond, and a growth in edge-node computing.

The best way to utilize changing technology is to forge the right strategic partnerships. How we partner with our customers – whether they’re supernovas coming from consolidation, or startups, which are the stars that are being born – will help define the IoT.

Foundries understand they have a tremendous role to play in realizing the Internet of Things. By forging and strengthening partnerships with key customers, working to develop more efficient and effective technologies and ensuring excellence in execution – high yields and on time delivery – each and every one of us has a direct role to play in realizing the full potential of this critical opportunity. By any measure, this is the largest technology opportunity of our lifetime.