Years ago, when portable systems were just starting to become in vogue, designers didn’t have power management in the front of their minds. They’d generally pick a processor, select an operating system, lay out their board, and so on. Then when it came time to plop in the battery, they often realized that the space they had reserved for not just the battery, but all the circuitry that’s needed, simply didn’t fit into that space. So it was either back to the drawing board, or making use of a smaller (and sub-standard) battery. No one wins in either scenario. Eventually, designers figured it out, and the battery/power subsystem design became part of the overall design, and, while not getting priority status, was no longer an afterthought.
After a meeting at the 2015 Renesas DevCon with Verizon Enterprise Solutions, I came across a similar situation with the RF subsystem. Frankly, I was surprised that this situation existed, because surely no one takes the RF subsystem for granted. But apparently I was mistaken (ouch, it hurts to say that).
For obvious reasons, Verizon’s Enterprise Solutions group specializes in attaching RF to lots of different end points, like some of those that you’d find in a smart city (commercial and residential metering, and so on). It’s those types of systems, those that were not created with the “how am I going to get my device to talk to the Internet” mentality that Verizon is looking to capitalize on. And it makes perfect sense, although as I’m acutely aware, anything having to do with RF is not a simple solution. To my surprise, I learned that the company isn’t necessarily married to RF. They claim that they’ll work with whatever medium makes the most sense for the application.
I found it interesting that a company as large as Verizon, one that I pictured as not being very innovative, was actually working on some pretty cool IoT-related stuff. From what I gathered, they have some interesting news related to that subject coming very shortly. Hopefully company that’s made its name in RF gets it right when it comes to IoT.