Deployment of IoT technology is now starting to gain real momentum. The potential scale and diversity of the market is stimulating significant innovation, with new technological advances and emerging communication protocols helping to push its progression towards the predicted billions of nodes in the coming years.
Engineers with strong expertise in their particular functional areas may have limited know-how when it comes to tackling the unfamiliar hardware and software design and development challenges of the IoT. In this increasingly common scenario, node-to-cloud platforms such as ON Semiconductor’s multifaceted IoT Development Kit (IDK), can prove helpful in speeding and easing the deployment of IoT capabilities to designs in hugely diverse sectors.
Developing IoT solutions is further complicated by the wide variety of connectivity, sensing and actuation options available to designers. Prototyping platforms that enable evaluation of multiple energy efficient options and rapid prototyping of end-to-end solutions, significantly reduce product development and deployment time. Platforms such as the IDK with multiple connectivity, sensing and actuation choices provide design flexibility that is critical during the evaluation and prototyping phases.
The latest additions to ON Semiconductor’s IDK are shields (daughter cards) for Bluetooth® low energy wireless connectivity and for reading the company’s battery-free, energy harvesting sensors for temperature, pressure and moisture.
The new shields make the IDK relevant to a whole new tier of customers and enable a unique class of IoT applications. Energy harvesting, battery-free sensing can enable a new paradigm for IoT use cases in areas such as industrial quality control and predictive maintenance, and health monitoring and agriculture. Meanwhile, the ubiquity of Bluetooth low energy technology creates possibilities for wireless connectivity with minimal impact on battery life – a ‘must have’ for many IoT implementations.
The newly released shields along with existing sensing, actuation and connectivity choices appreciably broaden the applications that can be built on the IDK. Additionally, the use of ultra-low power devices on the IDK lets designers create long battery life IoT products.
The hardware offering is complemented by an Eclipse-based Integrated Development Environment (IDE) with an intuitive user interface. Individual Application Program Interfaces (APIs) and use cases addressing smart home/building, predictive maintenance, wearables/mHealth verticals are also provided within the IDE. This software framework also includes a C++ compiler, debugger, code editor and a collection of application-related libraries.
The inclusion of design schematics, PCB layout and Gerber files further speed the transition of designs from concept, through development and into production, and give an almost ‘cut-and-paste’ approach to end product design.
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