SANTA CLARA, Calif. — The Internet of Things is not growing as fast as expected, but it is growing thanks to more integrated parts and low-power networks, said an analyst. Fueling the engines, Andes Technology announced four new cores for IoT gateways and other uses.
The IoT market won’t hit a run rate of a billion units a year until 2019, said Mike Demler, senior analyst with the Linley Group in an event here. By then, lower costs and greater ease of use should push the consumer market into high gear, pushing ahead of the industrial sector and toward a total 2.3 billion-unit market in 2023.
The slower-than-anticipated growth is due to relatively high costs and lack of silicon integration and interoperable standards, said Demler. Expected progress over the next two years on all those fronts will fuel a market that “will very quickly double” its shipment rates.
The industrial IoT makes up 57% of today’s IoT market, which should have a total installed base of about 1.6 billion devices by the end of the year. But consumer will make up 72% of the 10.3 billion installed devices by 2023 given the total available market of 7 billion IoT devices in smart homes, Demler projected.
“Connecting things to Wi-Fi is so difficult and unreliable that it’s been holding things back,” he said.
Consumer is forecast to pass industrial IoT by 2023. (Image: Linley Group)
Smart buildings represent the second largest client IoT market, Demler estimated, at 2.5 billion devices. It is followed by connected vehicles and smart farms at about a billion devices each. Wearables and smart factories trail with total available markets estimated at about 300 and 150 million units, respectively.
The rise of low-power networks such as LTE Cat-M, LoRa, and Sigfox are helping proliferate sensor nodes. Carriers such as AT&T and Verizon were able to implement with software upgrades LTE Cat-M that enables 800 Kbits/second at transmit levels as low as 20 dBm, he noted.
T-Mobile announced that it is leaping ahead to the narrowband-IoT (NB-IoT) cellular standard. However, a representative of Ceva said that most carriers will trial the 3GPP Release 13 version of it this year, but wait to implement the Rel. 14 version that supports transmit power levels down to 14 dBm and a handful of other features for lower power and latency, better positioning, and multicasting.
The Rel. 14 NB-IoT modules could sell for less than $4 when in volume production in 2019. They will use a single sub-$2 SoC that embeds most RF and analog components and handles sensor fusion, said the Ceva rep.
Next page: IoT processors get more integrated
Most carriers are expected to test today’s Release 13 version of NB-IoT but wait to deploy the Rel. 14 version being ratified this fall.Click to enlarge. (Image: Ceva)