I recently had the opportunity to attend the GSA Silicon Summit held at the Computer History Museum in the heart of Silicon Valley. The last few years the conference has focused on developing themes and panels that address the full ecosystem—everything from enhancements in silicon to software to hardware—and this year was no different. One of the key themes at the summit was the Internet of Things (IoT).
Regarding IoT, the speakers didn’t hype the projected number of connected devices that are going to enhance our lives but, instead, talked about the hyperconnected world that we live in and how the number of connections will only expand over time. They talked about gaps and needs for innovation on the things (end-point devices) side of IoT, as other parts of aggregation, network, and cloud have already been built out for the Internet and mobile growth stories. They also emphasized the role that silicon will play to help IoT reach its full potential.
At Micron, we have long understood our role as a technology enabler and provider of foundational technology for a very diverse and broad range of markets that rely on data. One of the key drivers of IoT is big data as businesses, consumers, and governments look to turn data into actionable intelligence.
Some of the speakers talked about the need for setting new industry bars in low-power, low-cost designs, as well as tighter integration and robust security. All of these requirements are important to accelerating the IoT market, but security is particularly interesting because there’s growing motivation to add another layer of security at the chip level.
What’s driving this motivation? The well-publicized increasing number of cybersecurity attacks against businesses, consumers, and governments is putting this issue at the forefront. IDC made a bold IoT and security prediction that “within two years, 90 percent of all IT networks will have an IoT-based security breach.” Another motivator is the industry’s recognition that we need to not only secure the communications links, but also be able to attest and authenticate actual end devices down to the hardware level to be able to trust data from those devices.
Once we get past the security hurdle, there’s no ceiling to what we will learn with billions of sensors and devices, along with the big data analytics software to process all the data that’s being harvested across the automotive, consumer, industrial, and home automation markets.
One IoT example shared on stage that really hit home here in drought-stricken California was how some vineyards are using sensors in the roots of their grapevines to monitor and learn about actual flow and water consumption patterns. Collecting this data helps the growers water their crops smarter and reduce their overall water consumption while still maximizing the potential of their Napa Valley grapes.
IoT is going to transform every industry and Micron is in the middle of it all, collaborating with partners on IoT design innovations and delivering the right memory technologies for those applications.
Amit Gattani, Senior Director of Segment Marketing for Micron’s Embedded Business Unit, joined the company in 2013 and has more than 20 years of experience in semiconductor and solutions businesses, both in marketing and engineering roles. He started his career as mixed-signal IC-designer working on datacom and telecom products. He holds a BSEE from IIT-Kanpur, India, a MSEE from the University of California at Santa Barbara, and a MBA from the University of California at Davis. He has authored 10+ patents, various conference/journal papers and seminars, and published media articles on broad industry topics.