Atmel Wireless Connectivity supports Industrial IoT revolution

Atmel Wireless Connectivity supports Industrial IoT revolution
by Eric Esteve on 01-10-2016 at 7:00 am

The Consumer Electronic Show is about to close, some of the gadgets unveiled during the show will find a market and go to production and some won’t (I am skeptic about the Smartshoe offering self-fastening mechanism…) and during the week, IoT revolution has silently progressed in industrial automation. You will be surprised if you read some very serious white paper extracted from the Internet of Things white paper series published by Bosch, like “Harnessing the Power of Internet of Things; the IoT for the Extended Enterprise” or “Realizing the connected world; how to choose the right IoT platform”. The show is going on in Las Vegas when progresses are made in industrial automation thanks to hard work being done in Germany. In fact these two worlds, consumer oriented and industrial, are both relying on wireless connectivity, like products from Atmel ATWILC family: ATWILC1000, ATWILC1500 or ATWILC3000 supporting Wi-Fi and ATBLC1000 supporting BTLE 4.1, just winning the “Product of the Year” award from “Electronic Product”.

According with the white paper “Leveraging the Internet of Things, companies can streamline business processes for stakeholders across the extended enterprise” from Bosch, we realize that Bosch’s managers have brainstormed about IoT to extract the added business value for the enterprise, like for example, “in manufacturing, data automatically collected from smart and connected products, give companies meaningful feedback as to how products should be reengineered, and provides opportunities for additional revenue through selling services”. To become smart and connected, industrial products need to integrate either a Wi-Fi connection supported by ATWINC1500, either a Bluetooth supported by the very tiny (see above picture) ATBTLC1000.

From the above graphic, extracted from another white paper “Realizing the connected world-how to choose the right IoT platform” from Bosch, we can derive two crucial information. The first is the fact that IoT is already a reality in the industrial market segment, not really known to be fashion driven like could be consumer electronic. The second information is about scalability. In both examples, the number of connected devices was very low, but in a short space of time they scale massively, reaching 500k devices for the first and up to 3 million for the other. A single industrial automation application can generate a very good semiconductor business, including sensors, MCU and wireless connectivity device. In our previous blog, we have investigated the ATWINCxx00 family bringing Wi-Fi connectivity to any embedded design. Let’s take a look at the award winner ATBTLC1000 device supporting BT 4.1 connectivity.

The Atmel® BTLC1000 is an ultra-low power Bluetooth® SMART (BLE 4.1) System on a Chip with Integrated ARM Cortex-M0 MCU, Transceiver, Modem, MAC, PA, TR Switch, and Power Management Unit (PMU). It can be used as a Bluetooth Low Energy link controller or data pump with external host MCU or as a standalone applications processor with embedded BLE connectivity and external memory. If we look at the key features list:

Key Features

  • BLE4.1 compliant SoC and protocol stack
  • Lowest BLE power consumption in industry
  • Smallest BLE 4.1 SoC — Available in WLCSP (2.26×2.14mm) or QFN ( 32p 4×4 mm)
  • Optimized system cost — High level of integration on chip reduces external Bill of Material significantly
  • Wide operating Voltage range — 1.8 – 4.3V
  • Host Interface — SPI or UART
  • Certified modules — FCC, ETSI/CE, TELEC

The main reasons why the Atmel® BTLC1000 has won the Electronic Design award are power, cost and certification. BTLC1000 exhibits the lowest BLE power consumption in the industry, it’s also the smallest BLE 4.1 SoC (see picture) offering optimized system cost, thank to high level of integration. If companies like Bosch, supporting industrial automation segment for years (if not centuries) start to be seriously involved into smart connected IoT systems, no doubt that ATBTLC1000 and ATWILC1000 devices have a bright future…

From Eric Esteve from IPNEST

More articles from Eric…