Building A Strong Foundation

Innovating the mission-critical IoT for success demands two things: the right design and the right test and measurement tools on which to build a strong foundation for that design. In the mission-critical IoT, those tools are critical to helping designers, manufacturing process engineers, network operators, and administrators to address the challenges they face throughout the entire IoT ecosystem. Fortunately, there are many. In the device ecosystem, the best tools of choice during the early research and development stage include:

What once was a sea of people working on a traditionally automated production line pushing a product to completion has now become a system heavily dominated by robots — fully connected, flexible, and with access to a constant stream of data from a range of sources.

Simulation and Design Tools to gain a better understanding of a device's operation and expected performance, and determine what tradeoffs to make to achieve the best real-world performance and functionality.

Battery Drain Analysis to accurately measure the device's dynamic current range over a period of time to more fully understand its current use and the duration of each of its operating modes. With this information, designers can find the optimal balance among battery, protocol, and software functionality, and realize excellent performance and service life.

Signal Integrity Test to evaluate highspeed serial interconnect and quickly validate and correlate signal integrity simulation with actual measurement.

Power Integrity Test to analyze how effectively power is converted and delivered from the source to the load within a system, through a power distribution network (PDN).

In the mission-critical IoT, network infrastructure is a critical ecosystem component. To survive and thrive in the real world, it must be accurate, robust, secure, and stable.

Wireless Conformance Test for design verification and pre-conformance of the device to the appropriate wireless standard.

EMI Simulation and Modeling to simulate the radiated emission of electronic circuits and components to determine whether emissions are within levels specified by common EMC standards, and estimate emission levels before hardware is developed, respectively.

EMC Compliance Test to ensure products are compliant to EMC standards.

In the wireless communications ecosystem, the best tools of choice for designers and manufacturers to ensure devices communicate effectively include:

Wireless Connectivity Test for receiver test and troubleshooting during development and to verify, during manufacturing, that wireless IoT devices can interoperate and are able to handle multiple standards concurrently.

Co-Existence Test to ensure IoT devices and systems can perform their critical functions in the presence of multiple users, with different wireless technologies in the same spectrum.

Network Simulation to test the real-world performance of IoT devices by verifying their compliance to a carrier's test plan in the integration, interoperability, and carrier acceptance testing phases.

Network Readiness to verify coverage from the wireless communication network to ensure high-quality networks and a high QoE.

In the network and system ecosystem, the best tools for network operators and service providers include:

Network Performance Assessment and Monitoring for verifying, quantifying, and troubleshooting network performance and reliability from pre- to post-deployment.

Network Infrastructure Performance Test to test the peak network performance and reliability under realistic conditions to get a deeper understanding of its realistic operation under challenging conditions and scaling bottlenecks.

Network Validation to validate protocol compliance and interoperability during a device's lifecycle to gain visibility into how well it will handle traffic.

Applications and Network Security Test to harden the performance of network and security devices by emulating real-world application protocols and modeling security attacks/malware, and validating network and data center performance as well as service provider networks.

Success Demands Innovation

To succeed in the mission-critical IoT, designers, manufacturing engineers, network operators, and service providers alike must take a proactive approach to dealing with the challenges they face within each segment of the ecosystem.

Advancing the mission-critical IoT demands innovation. That innovation is only possible using the right test and measurement solutions to create a solid, reliable, robust, and secure foundation of device functionality, wireless communication, and network infrastructure.

This article was written by Cheryl Ajluni, IoT Solutions Lead at Keysight Technologies, Santa Rosa, CA. For more information, Click Here.