embedded award 2024: SoC/IC/IP design nominees
13.03.2024 Hardware Design Expertenwissen embedded world

embedded award 2024: SoC/IC/IP design nominees

The design of integrated circuits (ICs), System-on-chip (SoC) and of circuits that are then integrated into ICs, the so-called intellectual property (IP), is a core discipline of embedded system development. This core discipline has now finally found its way into the embedded award as a category. Check out the nominees …

Guide to the IC/IP Design Area at embedded world SoC/IC/IP design is a core discipline of embedded system development

A fully programmable IoT platform, a low-energy wireless mesh technology and a low-power, precision sensor interface SoC



Exhibitor: STMicroelectronics
Hall/Booth: 4A/4A-148

This project within our company was designed solely in Europe. The module itself and all internal integrated circuits are entirely designed and produced by ST in Europe only, which ensures control and management on the complete supply chain. This represents a unique offering on the market in terms of quality, safety and longevity of the products. It gives our customers a major advantage especially in the Metering market (water, gas, electricity meters).

The STM8701 offers flexibility for product developers, presenting a fully programmable IoT platform that lets users embed their own code directly in the module for simple applications. Alternatively, the module can be combined with a separate host microcontroller, permitting many more sophisticated use cases. The ST87M01 combines ST’s know-how, including microcontrollers, AI solutions, sensors, actuators, PMUs, converters, interfaces, memories to enable next-generation IoT ecosystems.

Bringing together reliable geolocation capability with long-term assured cellular connectivity, the ST87M01 module addresses emerging massive IoT applications such as smart traffic-emergency lights, to become mandatory in Spain by 2026. The new lights supersede the passive emergency triangle, by providing real-time car geolocation to the local traffic-control system in the event of accident, consistent with the European road safety charter. 

STMicroelectronics’ ST87M01 ultra-compact and low-power modules combine highly reliable and robust NB-IoT data communication with accurate and resilient GNSS geo-location capability for IoT devices and assets. The fully programmable, certified LTE Cat NB2 NB-IoT industrial modules cover worldwide cellular frequency bands and integrate advanced security features. 
The ST87M01 provides extended multi-regional LTE coverage. The integrated native GNSS receiver with multi-constellation access ensures enhanced and highly accurate localization along with optimized power savings features. 

The ST87M01 provides with ultra-low power consumption — less than 2µA in low-power mode — and transmit output power up to +23dBm, the ST87M01 targets wide-ranging IoT applications that require ultra-reliable Low Power Wide Area Network (LPWAN) connectivity. These include smart metering, smart grid, smart building, smart city and smart infrastructure applications, as well as industrial condition monitoring and factory automation, smart agriculture and environmental monitoring.

The modules also integrate a state-of-the-art ST4SIM embedded SIM (eSIM), certified according to the latest industry standards, such as the recent GSMA eSA (Security Assurance) certification, that further enhances asset miniaturization and security. There is also a state-of-the-art embedded secure element (eSE).

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IQRF wireless mesh technology

IQRF wireless mesh technology

Exhibitor: IQRF Tech s.r.o.
Hall/Booth: 3/3-635

IQRF technology is a low-energy wireless mesh technology that ensures reliable secure bidirectional data transmission from devices (monitoring) and to devices (control). Solved problem: It addresses issues such as the cost of wireless transmission, security, and reliability of wireless communication, as well as energy consumption during transmission. Transmission in the IQRF network is free of licensing fees, unlike other LPWAN technologies.

Thanks to mesh topology and local autonomy, the transmission is reliable and secure. There is no need to send data outside the area with devices. Control applications can run on a local IoT gateway or server, which communicates with the gateway. If desired, the gateway can be connected to remote services running, for example, in the cloud. Mesh communication ensures the necessary redundancy of communication paths and operates in demanding conditions without the need to recalculate routing in the network.

Communication is secured by the industrial standard AES-128, as well as the addition of devices or their management. The transmitted data can be further secured using built-in features of the IQRF operating system even outside the IQRF network. IQRF communication transceivers can operate in various power-saving modes, e.g. combining transmission with deep sleep mode, which has minimal energetic requirements making it an environmentally friendly device. This allows devices to function on a standard battery for many years. 

The wireless mesh technology IQRF has been developed and continuously improved at MICRORISC since 2004. Its ongoing development is driven by market demands and the application needs of customers, particularly from members of the IQRF Alliance. The majority owner of several dozen patents and utility models (EU, USA, China, Japan) relating to IQRF is the technological spin-off IQRF Tech, established as a separate entity in 2017.

Until now, the technology has been delivered to customers solely as an integral part of transceiver modules manufactured and supplied by MICRORISC and IQRF Tech. Existing customers did not have to deal with licensing or certification of modules, as dozens of patents served to protect the unique technology for wireless mesh networks. A significant change brought by the open standard IQRF is the freedom for anyone to choose their transceiver module supplier or even implement the technology directly into their own devices.

By introducing the open standard IQRF, MICRORISC, and IQRF Tech will no longer claim exclusivity. Instead, based on a single free license, they will allow anyone to utilize the technology in their products. The open standard IQRF was announced at the Wireless Congress in Munich in November 2022 as the first completely open standard for wireless mesh networks. It enables any manufacturer to integrate this low-energy, reliable, and proven wireless technology into their IoT devices without any licensing fees.

MAX40109 Pressure Sensor System on Chip with Single Flow Calibration

MAX40109 Pressure Sensor System on Chip with Single Flow Calibration

Hall/Booth: 4A/4A-360

Today’s industrial pressure sensors use a resistive Wheatstone bridge that produces a small differential voltage which is prone to non-linear output caused by temperature and pressure variation. Existing solutions require a two-pass calibration to correct for this non-linearity. In the first pass, the pressure sensor manufacturers use an expensive laser trimming process to remove the unwanted common-mode offset. This adds a complex manufacturing step to the calibration process.

The second pass then implements linearization and temperature compensation. The MAX40109 is a low-power, precision sensor interface SoC that revolutionizes this process through a single pass calibration reducing overall system complexity and calibration costs. Single flow calibration reduces one-time factory calibration and test time by more than 30%. This process also removes up to 10 laser trim resistors from the existing system solution. Another design challenge is the overall solution size.

Discrete components such as amplifiers, ADC, DAC and DSP blocks are used alongside PTC for temperature measurement. This leads to larger solution size, higher system cost and longer time to market. MAX40109 is a high-precision, programmable SoC, with integrated ADC, MTP, DSP and a DAC. MAX40109 enables integrated temperature measurement directly from the bridge, removing the need for external thermistors. This reduces overall solution size by more than 70%. 

The MAX40109 simplifies the system design with the innovative features such as analog zero-pressure offset compensation up to ±93 mV/V and temperature measurement directly at the bridge. This reduces design complexity and system cost by removing the tedious laser-trimming process and reducing an external temperature sensor. The SoC also comes integrated with a DSP engine for 3rd order polynomial calculation which is a key block that generates the calibrated output, eliminating the need for an additional processor.

Another innovative aspect of MAX40109 is the combination of various digital and analog output schemes including Digital 1-wire, PLC and I2C interfaces, and Analog voltage (0 – 5V) as well as the current (4 – 20mA) output loop. The low-power operation, analog outputs and high voltage industrial Power-rail operation makes it directly compatible to work with Industrial systems.