2022 looks bright for power optimization! The vibrant research and development in Internet of Things (IoT) is fueling the expansion of wireless monitoring solutions and enabling giant leaps in terms of low-power design. A longer lifetime for your batteries, and thus for your device, is a dream about to come true.
We have gathered some of the most notable power optimization trends that are getting us all excited for 2022…
The next wave of wider 5G cellular technology is designed to support various new highly challenging industrial use cases. These usually require increased hardware complexity and more processing, together with higher processing power. These requirements can raise power consumption quite significantly.
Smart power consumption and energy efficiency are thus becoming keys for the success of these applications and 5G technology. To that extent, 5G New Radio (NR) has progressed swiftly. The new 3GPP™ release is designed to significantly improve the performance, flexibility, scalability, and efficiency of current mobile networks. Improved power saving features now allow IoT developers to get the most out of the available battery capacity. This could make all the difference for new IoT use cases and efficiencies.
New families of ‘breakthrough’ sensors, based on an ultra-low power architecture are optimized for use in compact wireless devices. These sensors offer a richer set of functionalities and can be combined to create new insights (sensor fusion). One of the greatest challenges facing developers of these small form-devices is power consumption. Aware of these limitations, hardware manufacturers have been working hard to address them. Integrated circuit designs and techniques are now using less power while smart processing capabilities are enabling the sensors to intelligently manage sensing functionalities, delivering ultra-low power performance for best-in-class power consumption. The use of advanced Low Energy Bluetooth and wireless protocols (e.g. Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) or ZigBee Green Power) also allows the transmission of data to the gateway more efficiently compared to prior solutions, opening new possibilities for developers.
The explosion in data volume and diversity is forcing organizations to rethink the way they process the information. Indeed, capturing, sending and processing the information in the cloud can be taxing for the network, the storage and the computing infrastructures which demands more processing power, hence the need to keep the transmission window as short as possible.
This has led to the development of advanced devices capable of collecting, processing and storing data autonomously before the data is sent to the servers. This concept is called Edge computing. By reducing the need for data to be streamed through the networks, diminishing computing and processing costs, Edge computing contributes to optimizing power performance, whilst delivering quality data in a more sustainable way.
The rise of DevOps has been swift. Derived from Development and Operations, ‘DevOps’ teams are responsible for making sure that the infrastructure is being maintained properly. With the help of IoT Device Management platforms —which are a central part of today’s IoT ecosystems— DevOps teams can better manage, scale and operate their fleet of devices remotely and reduce long-term operational costs. One of the areas that benefits from the rise of DevOps implementation is power supply optimization, as more efficient protocols such as Lightweight Machine to Machine (LwM2M) allow for device and battery monitoring, remote device actions and faster communication.
Power harvesting technologies include processes where energy from ambient sources such as the sun, temperature, movement or wind, is captured and stored to power wireless autonomous devices. Now gaining experience, harvesting technologies can exploit natural resources better than ever before.
As a result, the gap between the power requirements of embedded systems and the energy generated by energy harvesting systems is finally closing. Industrial applications for these technologies are still very limited, but coupled to efficient rechargeable batteries, they can present new opportunities for devices deployed in wild remote areas.
Battery optimization is everyone's business and needs to be considered throughout the overall system performance analysis, from prototyping to deployment and on toward maintenance cycles.
Several innovating tools have appeared on the market over the past few years and developers have now access to a rich ecosystem of tools to analyze their overall system performance.
Wisebatt for Saft for example can help creating a virtual prototype and simulate its consumption. Deutsche Telekom’s IoT Solution Optimizer goes even further. You can model the complete system to identify potential energy consumption issues or leaks. The system can not only recommend the right combination of power saving features based on your use case, but also can help you visualize how communication payload size, protocol use and communication frequency impact your battery life. When at the prototype stage, Qoitec Otii solution measures in real time the consumption of your device at various temperatures, up to the measurement of the firmware and hardware operations without the need for expensive testing. These tools are constantly enhanced and improved to deliver better analysis and more accurate data.
With an increased awareness from IoT developers of the stakes of power consumption and the growing rate of low-power innovations, batteries are now able to outlive the devices they’re in. This opens the doors to many new markets and applications and above all to more sustainable consumption patterns. When we told you the future looks bright, we weren’t joking!
Happy 2022 from all of us at Saft!
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