Technologies such as 5G, edge computing, AI, and the Internet of Things are enabling the 4th Industrial revolution, sometimes called Industry 4.0. The trends and advancements of Industry 4.0 are driving the growth of a market of IoT solutions referred to as the Industrial Internet of Things, or IIoT.
Ross Sabolcik, Vice President and General Manager of IoT Industrial and Commercial Products, had the following to say about the IIoT:
Silicon Labs low-power wireless communications technologies are fit for a wide range of industrial IoT (IIoT) applications such as smart energy management, commercial and building automation, asset tracking, commercial and high-bay lighting, process automation and agriculture tracking. We support a wide range of wireless protocols including Zigbee, Thread, Bluetooth mesh, Bluetooth Low Energy, Wi-Fi and proprietary protocols.
Our solutions address emerging technologies essential to progressing the IIoT, such as edge computing. Our wireless SoCs and modules include powerful Arm Cortex-M4 processors integrated into each device that can handle local control and analysis of data, combined with scalable memory options to accommodate the customer’s application as well as wireless over-the-air (OTA) updates.
Another demand from the IIoT is having robust sensor solutions. Temperature is the most pervasive environmental metric that industrial system developers need to measure, and today’s designers expect exceptional power efficiency, accuracy and price/performance from their temperature sensing solutions. Silicon Labs’ temperature sensors provide a very power-efficient solution while maintaining accuracy across the entire operating voltage and temperature range so developers don’t need to compromise on performance.
Another concern relevant to the IIoT includes data security. Security from the end node to the cloud is a must-have capability to enable reliable and secure IIoT applications and to prevent automated factories from malicious intrusions and data leaks. All wireless SoCs and modules and non-wireless microcontrollers (MCUs) from Silicon Labs integrate sophisticated hardware cryptography supporting both for symmetric and asymmetric encryption. Silicon Labs’ wireless devices and MCUs also come with software to efficiently use advanced encryption technology, enabling secure communications, firmware updates and many other benefits.
Despite the progress of the IIoT, the eco-system is still taking shape. With support for multiprotocol connectivity, and field-upgradeable solutions, as well as simplified development experiences and reusable software, our products are poised to help the IIoT continue to grow and eventuate in widespread adoption.