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Sound IoT hardware design principles mean better IoT devices

As the IoT grows at pace, the industry must adopt sound IoT hardware design principles to produce capable, cost-effective products

IoT applications and services are increasingly reliant on optimized hardware to perform as expected within the constraints of cost, dimensions, power consumption and security. Developers therefore are under even more pressure to design hardware that ticks all of the boxes that result in robust, capable hardware for that such solutions depend on. Key factors include effective selection of essential components such as power supply, peripheral interfaces and radio frequency interfaces, none of which should be overlooked.

Taking hardware design down to component level is critical to ensure optimized device design because each component plays its part and contributes to the overall bill of materials (BOM)  and cost of the device. However, decisions are not only focused on cost, they must also balance cost with performance criteria. These range from basics such as the temperature range a product needs to be able to operate within to more specific requirements such as power consumption or product lifespan.

A guide to IoT hardware design

A recent Quectel Masterclass set out the key principles of IoT hardware design in a session titled ‘IoT hardware design guide’. The Masterclass, hosted by Predrag Vidic, an FAE Hardware Team Lead at Quectel, explains how to set hardware design review requirements, considerations for power supply, peripheral interface and radio frequency design.

Simplification of device development continues to be a primary goal for designers and Quectel has developed its QuecOpen versatile application mode to help developers create IoT applications with a streamlined hardware structure and design, utilizing Mediatek platforms. QuecOpen as an SDK is designed with a modular structure, which separates core protocol services and hardware abstraction layers, making it suitable for various development platforms and environments. This flexibility has been created to help reduce product costs to enable developers to create more efficient and effective IoT solutions for Mediatek platforms.

Key advantages of this approach have been explained in a recent Quectel Masterclass titled ‘Using QuecOpen in an MTK Platform’. Presented by Justin Yeuh, an FAE at Quectel, the Masterclass introduces QuecOpen for the Quectel RG500L 5G module and then provides an overview of QuecOpen for Mediatek platforms. The session shares the MTK QuecOpen architecture and requirements for developers before covering SDK introduction, installation and compilation, and firmware upgrades.

The right path for hyperscalers

As IoT hits hyperscale, it has never been more important that device hardware design decisions are optimized. Errors made at this stage are now magnified by the hundreds of thousands or even millions when it comes to deployments, so even small incremental gains in cost saving or power consumption swiftly add up across the deployed estate. Utilization of robust components with proven performance helps accelerate development and can aid cost control.

Using tools such as QuecOpen to streamline the hardware structure and design of IoT devices can also aid time to market and contribute to the overall efficiency and performance of IoT devices. As always, time spent in advance ensuring optimizes design yields substantial rewards once devices reach full scale deployment.

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