Kaivan Karimi is the executive director – Global Strategy and Business Development for the Microcontroller group at Freescale Semiconductor. In this role, he is responsible for defining and driving the technology, product and business strategies related to the Internet of Things. With over 19 years of experience in the semiconductor industry, and ample experience in wireless and networking technologies, he is best poised to introduce us to the Internet of Things (IoT). Janani Gopalakrishnan Vikram caught up with him to ask some questions that might be on your mind too…
JGV: How do you think the definition of the Internet of Things has evolved in the past decade? At one time, it was just RFID, but now with the Cloud catching up and a range of mobile applications, 7it seems to have taken on a whole new evolved face. What do you think?
KK: I absolutely agree. It used to be more about asset tracking and basic remote command and control functionality, and now it has morphed to an elaborate connected “neural network in the sky” that will compass many aspects of life, from connected homes and cities to connected cars and roads (yes, roads) to devices that track an individual’s behavior and use the data collected for “push” services. Some industry analysts and pundits have mentioned one trillion Internet-connected devices by 2025 and define mobile phones as the “eyes and ears” of the applications connecting all of those connected “things.”
Fig 1 gives a basic picture of how we have moved from simple RFID to a variety of other protocols, for a whole host of “smart” services:
JGV: Apart from smart tags and smart phone apps, are there any special products cropping up especially for the IoT? If so, what are the features of such electronics?
KK: There are lots of products and product platforms that are being developed in the home automation and smart energy categories. NEST Thermostat & ThinkEco Modlet products are great examples of the new wave of IoT focused products. What is common between almost all of these products is that they have embedded processing, sensors and integrated wireless communications in them. In fact, when you look at the building blocks of IoT from the edge of the network, all the way to the core of the network (Cloud Processing), you will find the common building blocks shown in Fig 2.