The Internet of Things (IoT) has developed as a kind of filling in where necessity and technological progress have finally made it possible for us to get the full use out of the things we use around us every day. Electronics devices can be connected to the Internet and can be made to communicate with control software or even be monitored and adjusted with a smart phone. Cars, watches, smartphones, and even houses are moving towards being part of the IoT at a very rapid pace and it feels like the science fiction future imagined in decades past.
On the industry side, semiconductor engineering is filling in similar sorts of gaps within the Industry Internet of Things. While this process has also come about as a kind of automatic, logical meeting point of capabilities and efficiency, it’s developing piece by piece, industry by industry, product by product. As a result, it’s not as easy to see as the computer program which analyses and detects the malfunction of your car.
Manufacturing to Repair
The IIoT and semiconductor engineering is gaining traction within manufacturing processes as well as on the repair end. Rather than programming a machine to create a product, manufacturers are finding ways to program the product to use the machine. Products that can be used across a variety of markets can now be created based on general specs and then programmed to work with local or regional infrastructure. This makes a lot of sense from a financial perspective and the efficiency is truly outstanding.
On the repair end, standardization of communication is the key piece of the puzzle. When a broken appliance needs repair, the costs to the manufacturer for repair can be halved if the machine itself can communicate it’s details and potential problems before the mechanic goes out to take a look.
While semiconductor engineering is making possible a world which is arguably more desirable, there are relentless calls for higher security, and for good reason. Cars with electronic capabilities never seemed to be riskier when the software and hardware was developed. But these days the fear that someone could control your onboard computer is not a future fear.
As chip makers scramble to come up with security measures that protect the Internet of Things, semiconductor engineers are at the ready. Each step forward connects more things with more functionality, exploding our capabilities.