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Overview: Design for IoT

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IoT design is influenced by analogue and RF circuit design and how semiconductor suppliers are meeting the challenges of creating small, low power IoT devices.

The demand for connected wireless devices is ever increasing in internet of things (IoT) applications. Designing a wireless product with constrained size and power requirements as well as in a potentially challenging transmission environment requires analogue and RF expertise that is in short supply, so there is an increasing need – and opportunity – for semiconductor companies to use design techniques to develop plug‑and‑play system-on-chip (SoC) wireless devices.

But coexistence with numerous IoT standards creates interference issues. The importance of RF and analogue design is often overlooked in IoT systems, although these design techniques are the key to ensuring delivery of robust, low power, low cost IoT products.

As numerous IoT standards are competing for frequency spectrum, this creates greater demands on IoT radios to be resilient, not only from out‑of‑band interferers, but also from in-band interferers such as other co-located IoT nodes.

An example is the crowded 2.4GHz industrial, scientific and medical (ISM) band, which has seen a huge increase in activity in recent years from Bluetooth, WiFi and Zigbee standards. Semiconductor companies working in close collaboration with standards committees have faced challenges in designing wireless systems that can operate in these environments.

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