Sensor signal processing at the Industrial IoT edge node

July 26, 2017

The Internet of things is focused on the ability to be able to connect to the physical world through various types of sensors and actuators and being able to connect these signals and translate them into digital data that can be used by people and processes to drive better decision making. Industrial IoT enables companies to be able to monitor many functions in their infrastructure and be proactive in reacting to the information by automatically shutting a system down or flagging wear out of a part.  The ability to be able to monitor and react in this way means prevention of downtime and avoiding stoppage which results in equipment lasting longer and economic benefits for the end customer.

The rapid acceptance of the Internet of Things (IoT) is accelerating this growth and according to Markets and Markets1 the Industrial IoT market was valued at $113.71 billion in 2015 and is estimated to reach USD 195.47 billion by 2022.  This growth in sensors is also increasing the amount of data that needs to be processed and it is not always optimum to implement this signal conditioning in data centers.  An option to work around this is to bring the processing right to the sensor edge, where the physical world interacts with the data analytics world.   This has the advantage of shortening the response times and being able to filter out those readings that don’t matter so they don’t cause an unnecessary burden on the network.  However, performing the signal conditioning at the edge is not always easy, especially in space constrained areas and where power budgets are low as the sensors are being driven by batteries and not mains supplies.

When implementing signal processing at the sensor edge, great care must be taken in the selection of components in the analog signal chain as each component could limit the overall performance of the system.   As well as performance considerations however, the space available can be very restrictive and therefore you could be in a situation of having to trade off on performance in order to be able to fit the solution at the edge.  And likewise, having to trade off on performance to meet the overall power budget

By combining S3 Semiconductors expertise in chip design with more than 20 years’ managing production logistics for some of our customers, the company now brings together both design and production capabilities to deliver production “system-led chips” to our customers. S3 Semiconductors is expert in mixed signal and RF design.  We offer a unique solution to customers where we consider your complete electronic subsystem and work with you to develop a highly integrated and optimized chip for your production.  The completed chip will have the performance you need while meeting your power budget and board space.  We have many years’ experience implementing industrial SoC designs, achieving as much as 80% BOM reduction with superior performance

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