Defining the IoT

-Dr. Hai Wang, Senior Vice President, Technology & Operations, NXP Semiconductors.

At NXP, we believe that we are entering a new era of computing technology that many are calling the Internet of Things (IoT). We see the IoT as billions of smart, connected “things” (a sort of “universal global neural network” in the cloud) that will encompass every aspect of our lives, and its foundation is the intelligence that embedded processing provides.

IoT is made up of smart machines interacting and communicating with other machines, objects, environments and infrastructures. As a result, huge volumes of data are being generated, and that data is being processed into useful actions that can “command and control” things to make our lives much easier and safer—and to reduce humanity’s impact on the environment.

How would IoT affect people and businesses now and in the future?

IoT affects individuals, businesses large and small as well as industries. Today there are an estimated 2.9 billion people online, or 40% of the world’s population. Analysts expect that as nations and technology develop, 50% of the world’s population could be online by 2017. We could see up to 30 billion connected devices in coming years, three times more than today’s 10 billion connected devices.

The major impact of IoT will be in consumer and business sectors, security and safety, education and healthcare, as well as in governments and policy shaping.

What benefits do NXP Smart Solutions bring to businesses?
A critical value that NXP brings is secure connectivity solutions. In fact, NXP is currently the world’s leader in secure connectivity solutions for embedded applications, enabling secure connections and infrastructure for a smarter world.

Our solutions work behind the scenes, helping partners in the global ecosystem as they work to are create and deliver complete hardware and software solutions for the IoT era. Ultimately, these Smart Solutions from this ecosystem deliver three promises: Everything Connected, Everything Smart, Everything Secure.

Which are the main markets to benefit from IoT? Please give examples.
The main market segments that we are working on today are many. Just recently, at the Internet of Things (IoT) Asia Conference held in Singapore on March 30 and 31, 2016, NXP showcased 10 Smart Solutions based on our promise of Connected, Smart and Secure Internet of Things.

The market segments for these 10 Smart Solutions are consumer energy and home automation, healthcare, pharmaceutical and cold chain management, transportation, payments, gaming and entertainment.

These Smart Solutions showcased at IoT Asia Conference included Smart Connectivity for payment, transport and entertainment, Smart Energy for plug and play energy solutions for individuals to businesses, Smart Health to support therapy adherence for patients with chronic health diseases and growing needs within the food and pharmaceutical industry for sophisticated cold chain management, Smart Home for safety and convenience, Smart Mobility for traffic system to reduce accidents and improve flow, Smart Tags for consumer applications and Smart Wearable for a variety of consumer and business applications.

How secure are we in the IoT world?
Security in the IoT era is a major concern. At NXP, we see it as a race in the IoT era where staying ahead of the game is a major challenge. Presently, identity theft exists, data privacy concerns are growing with the growth of connected devices, and the newly-connected command and control systems present attractive targets for hackers.
Current devices and applications developed previously may not have been built with security solutions needed for the IoT era.

What these all mean is that Security must be a critical part of the connected solutions that every business is designing today.

NXP is helping to help address security concerns in the IoT era. We are the global leader in security solutions for personal identification, contactless payment, authentication, data transport and application processing.

Our technology capabilities span from the edge of the network to the gateway to the cloud while our broad portfolio of secure microcontrollers, high performance multicore communications processors, applications processors, middleware and software ensure that the newly designed devices are protected.

Today, we are working closely with partners in the ecosystem to develop Secure Connections for a Smarter World.
When I consider IoT Manufacturing, I consider large product development. What do you consider?

For IoT Manufacturing, we consider the full spectrum of manufacturing – from product design to final delivery to customers. We also consider that brands and their customers demand solutions that are powerful yet small. In the IoT era, there is a need for small and we find that there are major brands spending time and money on expensive contractor manufacturers to come up with advanced board designs onto which they will add more feature sets by shrinking the electronics in their applications.

Such developments could take months, impacting the brand’s speed to market. What NXP is doing now is trying to help brands to speed up their manufacturing process with our plug and play solution, not just a reference design but a product.

This is the world’s smallest integrated smart system for the Internet of Things, wearables and other small, low-power portable devices.

This is a chip that brands can use directly into their products. This is our new line of SCM (SingleChip Module) products which including processors, memory, and power management all integrated into a package the size of a dime.

With this, brands do not have to spend time and money on expensive contractor manufacturers to come up with advanced board designs, and they can add more feature sets by shrinking the electronics in their applications. In fact, SCM provides a minimum of 50 percent board savings over discrete solutions.

NXP is also working closely with our contract manufacturing partners to help brands get their products to market even faster. These partners focus on supporting customers in developing their application board as well as vetting the firmware and peripherals to get the brands’ products working and into the hands of their customers.
We talk about the Circular Economy, we talk about IoT. What comes next?

In the diverse manufacturing industry, there had been much discussions and interest in the circular economy previously. To us, the circular economy is about an industrial economy that, by intention and by design, produces little or no waste and pollution to the environment.

The outcomes of that interest and discussion about the circular economy have led to, I believe, more companies being committed to sustainability.

For NXP, the Smart Solutions that we are leading and driving for IoT development is to help build a Smarter World with Smart Cities and Smart Nations. Moving ahead for tomorrow, we believe that we could be looking at a Smart Society with budding scientists creating life-changing technologies.

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