Change is inevitable, and in the engineering community we welcome it. It keeps our jobs interesting. As chip designers, we've seen many kinds of change over the years. In the past decade alone, we have been lucky enough to see two new platforms, smartphones and tablets, fuel the industry.
But big as these changes were, the semiconductor industry thinks the next one coming along is much, much bigger than the previous two combined. That change is associated with what the industry is calling the Internet of Things (IoT).
The IoT is being made possible by a bunch of technologies that, combined with cost and power reductions, are enabling centralization of computation resources. Add to that power-scavenging techniques and, most importantly, ubiquitous wireless connectivity, and we're then able to connect and mine data from sensors we've widely distributed in field and factory floor.
How will all of these affect us as developers and as consumers?
To prepare you for the upcoming changes, I am happy to be teaching an EE Times University online course on IoT. You may have seen the banner ads appearing for this. In case you haven't participated in one of these courses in the past, they consist of five sessions, one hour each day for a week. The hour is further split into two parts: a half-hour live talk that I will be giving, followed by a chat session where participants can discuss the materials from the lecture, ask me questions, and exchange ideas with each other. It all starts on Monday, August 19.
Part one is an introduction to the subject and will look at some of the changes that we can expect, ranging from autonomous cars and the smart grid to IoT's impact on the consumer shopping experience and how factories around the world will operate. While the previous two platforms transformed the way we conduct our lives, this third wave will change the way the world operates, and that will most likely lead to significant economic growth.
Over the course of the week, we will examine issues that the IoT creates, such as the centralization of computation (which is way more than just using computers in the cloud), security, and the way in which we have to build it into the fabric rather than taking the patch-after approach that is being used today. We will examine the huge data explosion that will result from every sensor around the world acquiring, storing, and transmitting data that could be useful in many different ways.
On the final day, we will examine a case study chosen to demonstrate both the direct and indirect impacts that these changes will have on the ways in which companies do business. We need to start rethinking a bunch of issues that have almost been taken for granted. For those individuals and companies that can, there is a whole world of new opportunities out there. Are you ready for the IoT?
Come join us the week of August 19. You can sign up here.
The course is co-sponsored by EE Times and Intel.