Computer Business Review

The one thing that could yet jeopardise Internet of Things success

by Amy-jo Crowley| 26 February 2014

Standardisation is key to IoT success, suggests analyst.

In the week Freescale Semiconductor releases the 'world's smallest' Internet of Things (IoT) microchip, a leading analyst has suggested the key to IoT success is standardisation. Failure to agree standards for components for this emerging technology sector will result in failure.

The chipmaker said the Kinetis KL03, which is 15% smaller than the earlier KL02, is based on ARM technology and designed to work in very low-power devices that need less than 2KB of memory.

Possible uses of the microchip in the IoT market include wearable devices, smarthome systems, healthcare products and other industrial appliances.

Andrew Norwood, a research VP of semiconductors at analyst firm Gartner, told CBR: "Freescale is well poised to benefit from its venerable heritage in microcontroller units (MCU).

"So, the MCU, whether it's Freescale's or not, is a fantastic enabler of the IoT. It's a low power, fully integrated, processing device that operates in real time. It allows 'things' to capture and share simple, basic data from their environment in an optimal way."

He added: "The main stumbling block for IoT is interoperability, security and ownership. MCUs that are equipped with an RF transceiver and a cryptographic element are surely enablers but the limiting factor will be the standardisation."

The chip also operates on a 1.71-3.6-volt charge and uses a variety low power modes for different tasks, while other features include 32KB of flash memory, a 12-bit ADC, 2KB of RAM and 8K of ROM with an on-chip boot loader.

The KL03 will be available for $0.75 in 100,000-unit quantities from the beginning of June.

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