Mobile and smart, Freescale simplifies the Internet of Things

A very popular American drama “Super Brain Agent” (Intelligence), the smart chip implanted in the agent’s brain can connect to the Internet, databases and other networked worlds, and read and analyze relevant data in the brain through this smart chip. From a technical point of view, this is just one of the future directions of the Internet of Things, no matter how long this “future” is, it is enough to make us look forward to it.

15Years of development bring complex issues

It has been 15 years since the concept of the Internet of Things was proposed by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in 1999. Although its application prospects are bright, it is a pity that until today, most companies can only Do the project, but not the product. IoT application standards are gradually being established, and network security, product design complexity, and the integration and conversion of various communication standards are in urgent need of good solutions. As a leading semiconductor company, Freescale is committed to promoting the development of the Internet of Things, constantly overcoming various technical difficulties and simplifying the Internet of Things.

At present, the system architecture of the entire Internet of Things can be divided into five parts, namely edge nodes, PAN/LAN interconnection, gateway, WAN interconnection and cloud, as shown in Figure 1. Freescale found that products made by many companies cannot be shared among the three layers of edge node, gateway and cloud. For example, wearable devices, or some nodes in the designed smart home, to control the node, the possible choice is “entry-level low-Power MCU + connectivity + sensors”, this design method is pure MCU design Way. At the gateway level, the complexity will increase, and it is more inclined to use high-end MCUs or even MPUs. It’s more complicated in the cloud, which may be designed with an application processor or a communications processor. In the framework of IoT, most devices use different technologies, tools and development environments, even programming languages. How to solve this problem?

Figure 1 System architecture of the Internet of Things

all-in-one box

Simplifying the deployment of security services is the key to promoting the widespread adoption of IoT. Freescale, together with Oracle and ARM, has proposed an IoT gateway platform with a “One Box” solution to accelerate IoT service deployment. The “All-in-One Box” is a flexible hardware platform equipped with multi-party software that supports the secure delivery of IoT services to the home, business or other end-users, thereby enabling the rapid deployment of a multitude of innovative IoT services. The “all-in-one box” perfectly combines standards-based end-to-end software and converged IoT gateway design to establish a common and open framework for secure IoT service delivery and management. A “box” (or service gateway) built into the platform can merge multiple IoT service provider boxes into one unified device that supports multiple service providers. The platform uses Freescale’s i.MX 6 applications processor based on the ARM Cortex-A9 core, runs Oracle Java SE Embedded, and is suitable for basic networking and sensor connectivity. This solution supports wireless interfaces such as Wi-Fi, Bluetooth Low Energy and 802.15.4 in addition to existing wired communication methods. On the node side, ARM Cortex-M-based microcontrollers can also be equipped with Oracle Java ME, enabling system and software developers to develop applications based on the same software platform.

“Integrated Box” provides a full series of development platforms based on Java from the perception layer (node) to the transport layer (gateway) to the application layer (cloud), which mainly solves the following two problems:

First, to facilitate the development and design of IoT products for more end users. Whether the user is a node developer, a gateway developer or a cloud computing developer, applications can be developed based on Java, enabling the transition from traditional development projects to real development products to provide faster time-to-market. And it can inspire countless Java programmers to develop Java-based APPs to expand more application layer services.

Second, the important connotation of the Internet of Things is interconnection, but the network security problem in the World Wide Web environment has always plagued its development. The Java platform can well provide network security protection services such as firewall and VPN.

“Integrated box” is an important milestone for Freescale in the field of IoT, which will revolutionize and impact the entire IoT market in 2014.

put onFreescale feels the Internet of Things

As more and more industry organizations and alliances of large companies begin to formulate more corresponding unified communication standards, the Internet of Things will have a substantial development in 2014 and the following years. From the current situation, with the ZLL (Zigbee Light Link) standard being recognized by The Connected Lighting Alliance, as well as the existing ZHA (Zigbee Home Appliance), Wi-Fi and BTLE, smart home, smart lighting, smart wear, Smart grids, connected vehicles, and smart healthcare are all promising segments.

Taking smart wearables as an example, wearable products are one of the ultimate edge node sensors of the IoT and bring great prospects to device manufacturers, service providers and consumers. Freescale, Kynetics and Revolution Robotics have collaborated to develop the Wearable Reference Platform (WaRP). It addresses many of the wearable market’s top technical challenges (connectivity, ease of use, battery life, and miniaturization), accelerating and simplifying product development, allowing developers to focus more on creating differentiated products. The platform is based on Freescale’s i.MX 6SoloLite ARM Cortex-A9 application processor, supports the Android operating system, and integrates chips, hardware and software. The BOM-optimized hybrid architecture adopts Freescale Xtrinsic MMA9553 pedometer overall solution, FXOS8700 Electronic compass and ARM Cortex-M0+ Kinetis KL16 microcontroller. WaRP enables design innovation in multiple verticals, such as sports monitors, smart glasses, activity trackers, smart watches, and healthcare applications.

sensor fusion

As an important part of the Internet of Things, sensors are also evolving with the development of the Internet of Things. Sensor fusion is another exciting technology. This technology can integrate data from multiple sources to obtain richer, more accurate, complete and independent information. Freescale’s Xtrinsic sensor fusion platform for Kinetis MCUs is a leader, analyzing and integrating data from altimeters, accelerometers, magnetometers and gyroscopes. The technology supports a wide variety of applications, such as monitoring and failure prevention of smartphones and IoT devices. At the Freescale Technology Forum to be held in Shenzhen in May, related solutions on the Internet of Things will also be demonstrated at the on-site booth, and interested users can visit the on-site booth to observe.

In the first quarter of 2014, Freescale continued to maintain continuous growth in performance, with total revenue reaching US$1.13 billion, a year-on-year increase of 15% and a quarter-on-quarter increase of 4%, and the performance of all five product divisions increased both quarter-on-quarter and year-on-year. Freescale has plenty of room to continue to grow market share and profit margins, and as profit margins improve, Freescale is well-positioned to invest in new products and future strategies, including in the IoT space. You must also be curious about what innovative products will be born from Freescale’s tireless pursuit of technological excellence, let’s wait and see!

About Freescale Technology Forum

Freescale Technology Forum (FTF) has been committed to and promote the development of innovative technology. As an annual event for embedded semiconductor industry developers, the Freescale Technology Forum brings together the most comprehensive embedded ecosystem of Freescale and its partners, bringing the latest news, technologies and trends in the industry. This year, the Freescale Technology Forum is back in Shenzhen, China, and you will be the first to see the world’s latest technology through the following rich links:

· Technical seminars and practical courses:More than 110 hours of the latest technical training courses to explore the products and technologies of Freescale and its partners, including seven segments of automotive electronics, consumer electronics, healthcare, industrial control, networking, smart energy, software and design services.

· Interactive technology Display area:77 interactive technology showcases from Freescale and its ecosystem partners will showcase products and technology demonstrations.

· Keynote Speech: President and CEO of Freescale SemiconductorGregg LowegentlemenWe will visit Shenzhen in person to share the world’s latest scientific and technological achievements, exchange market trends and look forward to future technological trends with industry leaders.

To learn more about FTF, visit: www.freescale.com/ftf

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