Breaking News
News & Analysis

Silicon Labs' IoT SoC Gambit

From energy meter to lighting and Nest
3/31/2014 02:55 PM EDT
11 comments
NO RATINGS
1 saves
< Previous Page 2 / 3 Next >
More Related Links
View Comments: Threaded | Newest First | Oldest First
AZskibum
User Rank
CEO
Simple and to the point
AZskibum   3/31/2014 5:56:09 PM
NO RATINGS
The sketch is a beautifully simple high level view of the functional blocks needed, in the broad sense. The devil -- and the differentiation -- is in the details of what goes in those blocks.

junko.yoshida
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Simple and to the point
junko.yoshida   3/31/2014 7:09:27 PM
NO RATINGS
Totally agreed. Its simplicity, however, clarifies a lot of things.

krisi
User Rank
CEO
Re: Simple and to the point
krisi   4/1/2014 10:38:06 AM
NO RATINGS
I taught VLSI class many years back...a picture like this was used by me (and many others) to illustrate concept of system on chip (SoC)...in some sense most complex ICs start to look like this (some blocks might be missing in some implementations) so I am not sure what is the fuss about ;-)

junko.yoshida
User Rank
Blogger
Sensor hub
junko.yoshida   3/31/2014 7:54:10 PM
NO RATINGS
Besides the block diagram, one of the interesting parts of my conversation with Silicon Labs was their view of "sensor hubs" and how that relates to their vision of IoT SoC.

While Silicon Labs' current focus is not exactly in gathering and integrating multiple types of sensors -- 3D sensors, 3G sensors, etc. -- into a hub, the company views the end game of IoT SoCs in performing sensor hub operations and wireless connectivity all together.

alex_m1
User Rank
CEO
Re: Sensor hub
alex_m1   3/31/2014 9:36:02 PM
NO RATINGS
Didn't the mediatek chipset for wearables integrated everything ? it did this by integrating multiple dies, but mediatek can do this relatively cost effectively i believe. They have something using this kind of integration used in dumb phones ,being sold at $2.1 .


Still of course a lot depends on the details.

junko.yoshida
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Sensor hub
junko.yoshida   4/1/2014 2:24:43 AM
NO RATINGS
@alex_m1, you are referring to MTK's Aaster. http://www.eetimes.com/document.asp?doc_id=1320842

Yes, you mentioned, I believe that Aster does it in multiple dies.

Silicon Labs, meanwhile, hopes to provide not a single point solution, but a range of scalable solutions -- with different low-energy MCUs and radio -- based on the block diagram on a single die.

Roger3
User Rank
Rookie
Re: Sensor hub
Roger3   4/1/2014 7:16:19 AM
NO RATINGS
Junko,

Congrats !! As usual, you came with a good point of discussion.SiLabs is trying to "pull the sardines to his side" , as we say in Brazil.In my current vision , this drawing is a kind of IOT Level 2. So there is at list one level below and several levels above. For example, Intel is "selling"the idea that IOT uses Edson, with a Pentium CPU inside. What we would call an IOT Level 4. And why not the cell phones are IOT also ? Why not IOT Level 6?So we are discovering that IOT is bigger and bigger, and we will have to start to classify them , linked to a certain groups of applications.

junko.yoshida
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Sensor hub
junko.yoshida   4/1/2014 10:30:37 AM
NO RATINGS
@Roger3, I kinda like where you are going with this Level 1, 2 ...all the way to Level 6 categorization of IoT devices. That's not a bad idea, and it helps us focus on different requirements for each.

Thanks!

krisi
User Rank
CEO
Re: Sensor hub
krisi   4/1/2014 10:41:38 AM
NO RATINGS
Again, IoT device needs to communicate so there has to be classification in terms of the 7 layers oif the standard protocol stuck...I am not really sure why you are trying to invent something special for IoT while teh fundation has been laid down a while back and can be found in every textbook on this topic...only implementation details will be different...Kris

Bert22306
User Rank
CEO
Re: Sensor hub
Bert22306   4/1/2014 4:06:36 PM
NO RATINGS
I agree with Kris. There's no new principle at play here. If you want to define the functional layers involved in IoT, the 7 layer ISO/OSI model is just as good as any. I think the point of the article was to show how all 7 layers may be provided in a single chip.

krisi
User Rank
CEO
Re: Sensor hub
krisi   4/1/2014 6:46:47 PM
NO RATINGS
Very good point @Bert22306...the challenge is to implement all 7 layers of the OSI protocol stack on one chip...this will be very ddiffult for IoT but since the amount of information to be transmitted and stored is rather small it should be possible...in traditional Internet networking there is no hope to implement all 7 layers on one chip...in fact just few years ago you had a separte device for each, PHY for physical, MAC for layers 2, IP engine for layer 3 etc...Kris

August Cartoon Caption Winner!
August Cartoon Caption Winner!
"All the King's horses and all the KIng's men gave up on Humpty, so they handed the problem off to Engineering."
5 comments
Top Comments of the Week
Like Us on Facebook

Datasheets.com Parts Search

185 million searchable parts
(please enter a part number or hit search to begin)
EE Times on Twitter
EE Times Twitter Feed
Flash Poll
Radio
LATEST ARCHIVED BROADCAST
David Patterson, known for his pioneering research that led to RAID, clusters and more, is part of a team at UC Berkeley that recently made its RISC-V processor architecture an open source hardware offering. We talk with Patterson and one of his colleagues behind the effort about the opportunities they see, what new kinds of designs they hope to enable and what it means for today’s commercial processor giants such as Intel, ARM and Imagination Technologies.