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Low-Power, Highly-Secure MCUs for the IoT

6/26/2014 02:00 PM EDT
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jangoneo
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Another IoT Enabler
jangoneo   6/26/2014 9:42:07 PM
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WoW, another IoT enabler with hardware crypto engine. Indeed security is must for home automation and also for customer's proprietary code protection.

Loos like TI has gone one step ahead by integrating RF also in same chip. Last week TI has launched MCU+Wifi in single chip and they also have Hardware Crypto engine.

http://www.ti.com/product/cc3200

Not sure which is right approach for IoT market, having RF integrated in a single chip/package or having separate MCU and RF. If I see mobile phone chipsets (ofcourse can't compare apple to apple with ioT Chips), OEMs prefered single chip solution (Baseband and Application processoer in single chip/package) ove discrete ones.

 

 

 

Sheetal.Pandey
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Re: Another IoT Enabler
Sheetal.Pandey   6/27/2014 1:15:13 AM
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While technical specs looks very capable, the price above $1 in volume looks high. May be it will go under 1USD as the implementation phase approaches.

KB3001
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Re: Another IoT Enabler
KB3001   6/28/2014 11:18:21 AM
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To be successul in IoT you need a much more agressive price, far below below $1/unit I would say.

Duane Benson
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Re: Another IoT Enabler
Duane Benson   6/27/2014 1:44:28 PM
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I've got a couple of boards built around the CC3000 WiFi module. The CC3200 looks pretty compelling. I'd like to take a look at the PIC24FJ128GB204 too. I haven't done anything with encryption and I'd like to see how imuch overhead a solution like this puts into the programming and use.

If I ever free up some time, I might get one of the CC3200 launch pads and on of the PIC parts.

fergie1965
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Re: Another IoT Enabler
fergie1965   6/28/2014 11:48:35 AM
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1) In my opinion, security is a non negotiable function for connected things. Hardware engines to do this will become increasingly prevalent to improve performance and energy efficiency compared to software only implementations

2) Interesting to see the pricing commentary.....Yes, important.....but I think we have to escape from this "race to the bottom" mentality..If I have valuable data to protect I will pay more..if my supplier (Microchip is recognized as doing a great job with that) can get me into this rapidly developing IoT space quicker and with a more agile solution than others, I value that.

pinaz
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Re: Another IoT Enabler
pinaz   6/28/2014 3:17:53 PM
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Max The Magnificent
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Re: Another IoT Enabler
Max The Magnificent   6/30/2014 9:46:27 AM
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@pinaz: ...I think it is incumbent on the author...

I hang my head in shame -- I will strive to do better next time

KB3001
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Re: Another IoT Enabler
KB3001   6/28/2014 6:47:45 PM
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It is not a race to the bottom @fergie1965, it is an economic imperative. If IoT is going to be the ubiquitous reality everybody s talking about, we need to bring the cost down. Companies would still make decent money through economies of scale.

fergie1965
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Re: Another IoT Enabler
fergie1965   6/28/2014 8:03:11 PM
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@kb3001; As I mentioned, price is important. But we cannot get wrapped up purely on the price of the semiconductor component itself. That's my only point. You will see different business models associated with IoT. In some cases, the use case, the "who pays" and the value of data is such that cost is king. In other places, it is sensible to pay more. Been in this industry for 27 years. I could write a book with so many examples of companies that had failed projects as they picked the cheapest part.

KB3001
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Re: Another IoT Enabler
KB3001   6/29/2014 11:26:30 AM
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@fergie1965, I see your point. It seems to me however that this security solution is too predictable (add an ecryption engine to an MCU, big deal!) and that is why the cost is the sum of the parts. What the industry needs is a brand new way of addressing serious issues such as security, using solutions that are compatible with the low cost and low power needed for mass scale IoT. I think the industry is running out of truly inventive ideas to be honest when it comes to IoT.

fergie1965
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Re: Another IoT Enabler
fergie1965   6/29/2014 1:10:11 PM
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@kb3001, I agree with your "security soution is too predictable" first point....but again, this is a relatively immauture market. People use what they have to hand to get in market and learn. What is different with this industry wave is that feedback is fast....the innovation cycle enabled with people using Kickstarter, Indiegogo has lowered barriers to entry to young entrepreneurs....what I think will be key to improving power and system cost will be in shifting (dynamically potentially) the processing to the connected PC/Phone or Cloud...make the end device a "thin client" equivalent for the IoT space. Given use cases, there will, of course, be applications where nearly all the intelligence HAS to be in the edge device..but for many, I think the thin client analogy is a good strategy for success.

pinaz
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Where's the beef?
pinaz   6/27/2014 3:02:22 PM
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Where are you getting the "$1.30"?  The cheapest "GB2" part I can find with the features indicated in the article is the PIC24FJ64GB202 with volume pricing starting at $2.69.

Max The Magnificent
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Re: Where's the beef?
Max The Magnificent   6/27/2014 3:06:51 PM
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@pinaz: Where are you getting the "$1.30"?

That was in the materials they sent me -- I will "tweak" them soundly and ask for clarification.

 

Max The Magnificent
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Re: Where's the beef?
Max The Magnificent   6/27/2014 4:42:27 PM
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@pinaz: Where are you getting the "$1.30"?  The cheapest "GB2" part I can find with the features indicated in the article is the PIC24FJ64GB202 with volume pricing starting at $2.69.

I just heard back from the folks at Microchip. They say: "The $2.69 that the user comment includes is for a PIC24FJ64GB202 at 5k units, which is lower volume.  The press release mentions $1.30 as volume pricing, which is based on the PIC24FJ64GB202 at 100k+ unit per year."

They also told me that folks can contact their local Microchip sales office if they need more aggressive pricing quoted for higher volume opportunities than are posted on the Microchip website.

resistion
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Irony of low power
resistion   6/29/2014 5:12:30 AM
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IoT is supposed to be a low-power initiative, but the irony is it increases total power consumption overall, in the end the world would be consuming more power with IoT than without it.

fergie1965
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Re: Irony of low power
fergie1965   6/29/2014 1:01:46 PM
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IoT is about improving the intelligence of systems through connectivity. In some cases, the overall goal is to reduce energy consumption. In other cases, the motivation is different (a connected patch given to you at hospital is to improve diagnosis/treatment, a connected agricultural system could be in place to improve efficiency of using pesticides or water irrigation). The fact you add wired or (more frequently) wireless connectivity to a system means, when compared to a "black box" embedded system, power is higher..today.....howvever, more highly integrated chips are coming.Integration of connectiivty, sensing and processing subsystems will significantly drop power usage of the nodes...and there are other techniques (see my other reply) to improve cost and power too. It is not all doom and gloom!

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