Future IoT Architectures: A Cypress-Based Hands-On Graduate Class | Cypress Semiconductor
Future IoT Architectures: A Cypress-Based Hands-On Graduate Class
Hello Problem Solvers!
I’m Matthew Salmanpour, and I am a product marketing engineer at Cypress. I finished my undergrad in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at Santa Clara University (Go Broncos!) in June 2016 and started at Cypress about two weeks after graduation on the Distribution Sales team. Any new college grad’s first job is a big adjustment and can be pretty intimidating, but I am happy to say that I’ve had an incredible time these past two years working and learning at Cypress.
During this time, I continued my education at Santa Clara to get my master’s in Electrical Engineering, specializing in Wireless Systems. My graduate education came full circle during my last quarter at SCU when I saw that the Computer Engineering Department was offering a class called COEN 243: The Internet of Things. The key attraction for me was that the course was co-developed by and based on Cypress’ wireless IoT portfolio. So, I enrolled right away.
“The IoT is the use of intelligently connected devices and systems to leverage data gathered by embedded sensors and actuators in machines and other physical objects.”
The IoT is a phenomena and buzz word that is used countless times by individuals and companies in our industry — so I have seen lots of different definitions in my two years of working with Cypress customers. However, this grad class defined it in a clear and concise way: The use of intelligently connected devices and systems to leverage data gathered by embedded sensors and actuators in machines and other physical objects.
The course was divided into three levels: professor-led lectures; a hands-on section based on Cypress’ WICED® Studio SDK and WICED Wi-Fi® CYW43907 Evaluation Kit (CYW943907AEVAL1F); and a final group project where we had to build a real-life IoT system using Cypress’ WICED Wi-Fi. The class covered a range of job functions, experience levels and even industries, so the topics covered were very foundational to what makes up the current state of IoT architectures. For me personally, two concepts especially stood out as interesting and important.
The first fundamental concept was that in a general sense, IoT architectures consist of three layers:
The second fundamental concept was that this three-part architecture is getting more advanced as the network of IoT devices is growing exponentially every year. We learned about six key requirements of future IoT architectures:
- Resource Control: “Smart” devices in an IoT network will be of no value if they are not able to be accessed and configured remotely. In addition, loads across nodes of complex IoT networks must be balanced properly to ensure robust data communication.
- Energy Awareness: Most IoT devices will be resource constrained, so capabilities such as deep sleep modes and lightweight communication protocols are essential.
- Quality of Service: In IoT device architectures, prioritizing services and retrieval of information is incredibly important as many medical and industrial applications have zero room for error. If IoT is to grow further into these markets, this is a definite design requirement.
- Interoperability: Future IoT devices (as well as current ones, actually) need to be able to adapt and work between different wireless protocols, platforms and other technologies as connected nodes get more and more diverse.
- Interference Management: With millions of devices with wireless capabilities being connected to each other and to the internet, interference among these different radio signals will be a huge issue that future IoT devices need to mitigate.
- Security: Future IoT architectures must not only ensure that no unauthorized access of data occurs, but also guarantee that the data values presented by IoT devices are updated as frequently as needed for a specific application.
A key lesson that I took away from this course was that applications for the IoT are essentially limitless. This is consistent with Cypress’ view that rather than looking at it as a “market,” IoT is a capability spanning multiple markets that Cypress is extremely well-positioned to enable for the innovative companies of tomorrow. The requirements stated above are inherently addressed in our product portfolio:
- Our ultra-low-power, dual-core PSoC® 6 MCU is enabling next-generation IoT designs with extended battery life and security — supporting industry-leading power consumption as low as 22‑µA/MHz for the Arm® Cortex® M4 core and 15‑µA/MHz for the M0+ core, as well as incorporating a hardware-based root-of-trust and hardware-accelerated cryptography (learn all about PSoC 6 by following along Cypress’ IoT Expert Alan Hawse’s PSoC 101 video tutorials).
- The WICED Dual-Mode Bluetooth® 5.0 CYW20719 SoC enables BLE Mesh for IoT developers looking to manage a large array of resources/nodes, as well as provides support for BR/EDR for continuous connections (check out our Mouser Hands-On Training or Digi-Key Technical Article to learn more).
- Cypress’ new Excelon™ F-RAM Nonvolatile Memory provides the unlimited read/writes needed for reliability in industrial and medical IoT applications when failure is not an option.
- Cypress’ new Semper™ NOR Flash Family provides a fail-safe storage solution that is safety critical and meets the high-reliability and endurance requirements for industrial and automotive IoT applications.
- Learn more about our IoT advantages here: https://www.cypress.com/solutions/internet-things-iot.
Two of Cypress’ WICED Wi-Fi® SoCs with integrated processors — the 802.11ac enabled CYW54907 and the 802.11n CYW43907 — address interference management issues by providing dual-band (2.4/5 GHz) market proven Wi-Fi connectivity. As mentioned above, the WICED Wi-Fi CYW43907 Eval Kit was used in our final projects for this grad course. My group decided to leverage the CYW43907 chipset and WICED Studio to create a Remote IoT Weather Station that streamed weather sensor data (humidity, potential, luminosity and temperature) to a remote MQTT broker, which forwarded the data to web clients where it was visualized and dynamically expanded if nodes (i.e., additional WICED Wi-Fi kits) were added to the network.
Now that you have gotten a feel for what I learned in my Cypress-based, IoT Grad Class — you can get started yourself! Go ahead and check out my project, as well as my classmates’ here on the Cypress Developer Community (CDC) with full documentation and source code:
Feel free to post any questions you have in the CDC, and we can help.
Have fun and happy developing!
Credit to Santa Clara University Professor Dr. Behnam Dezfouli for a very informative and innovative course on the IoT.