If you are just starting to study the design of IOT products, there are many design aspects that need to be improved. IOT devices integrate mobility, low power consumption, RF communication, mixed signal functions and high-speed data transmission functions into a small space. Keeping all these factors in mind will help you design correctly in the first place.
If new equipment is to be eventually brought to market, it must meet or exceed many industry standards. These standards specify several operational requirements to ensure compatibility between devices built by others. It is important to be familiar with and work in accordance with industry standards as soon as possible. If you can design equipment that meets the standard now, you don't need to redesign it later.
IPC standard is a good starting point, which should be referred to frequently in the design process. For example, IEEE, ISO and ANSI also specify the operation standard of PCB. When you start looking at industry standards, it looks hard to understand. No one can remember all the PCB design standards, so it is important to focus on the standards that apply to the device.
Internet of things applications and low power design
Not all IOT devices can be plugged into a wall outlet. If the equipment is designed to be mobile, you should learn about designing the equipment to use as little electricity as possible. Mobile Internet of things devices may operate in a variety of different modes, including sleep, standby, burst, etc. The best way to save battery power and ensure the reliability of each mode is to turn off unnecessary parts of the device when they are not needed.
It is best to consider the power consumption in the IOT PCB
, because it occurs in different function blocks on the board. It is better to divide PCB into functional blocks and allocate power budget for each block. If you encounter power consumption problems, you can consult the component vendor. They can recommend alternative components with lower power consumption and keep costs within budget.
Internet of things devices will also need a memory module that consumes energy. Choosing the right memory to meet the functional requirements can keep power consumption within budget. Each type of memory has its advantages and disadvantages. For example, if you choose DMA instead of DRAM, you can save power, but increase latency and throughput. As a designer, you need to weigh the advantages and disadvantages of each type of memory.
Keep equipment in touch with RF Design
Unless you plan to plug the IOT device directly into the Ethernet port, the device will connect to the Internet wirelessly via WiFi. Bluetooth is also possible, especially if the device is going to interface with the phone. Many other wireless networking protocols are used to send and receive information using RF signals. If you are not familiar with various wireless protocols, that's a good way.
The government regulates the allocation of radio spectrum and allocates certain frequency bands for different purposes. For example, WiFi signals operate at 2.4 GHz, while other RF protocols will operate at different frequencies in the RF spectrum. Industry standards also specify design constraints to help ensure that the design works properly.
The good news is that you don't have to design RF modules from scratch. Off the shelf wireless modules that already meet industry standards can be purchased from electronic vendors and easily integrated into the design. These components can reduce the overall dimensions while still including all the required functions.
Mixed signal design
Many IOT devices, especially mobile phones and devices for smart homes, will operate using a number of sensors that enable the device to interact with the world around it. The sensor output in the Internet of things device must be converted into analog signal of digital signal. Once converted into a digital signal, digital data can be encoded and manipulated just like any other digital data set.
Due to the increasing amount of data being processed by IOT devices, processors must move data between components at a higher speed. The layout will need to consider such issues as crosstalk, clock skew, propagation delay, attenuation and impedance matching. The mixed high-speed digital and analog signals also require that the analog and digital parts of the board be isolated in different parts of the PCB
With proper simulation protocol, the accuracy of macro modeling in IC and behavior construction can be ensured. Use powerful spice emulator to ensure PCB safety.
Simulation, smaller circuit board, higher component density
If you have been asked to comply with power requirements and mixed signal protocols, such as packaging all RF modules, logic ICs, power management components, microprocessors, wiring, memory, display, charging / USB ports and other electronic components, it feels like a game of Tetris. Every inch of space is precious. If you want to make full use of the equipment, you need to make full use of all the space.
However, there is no need to manage each factor separately. With proper SPICE simulation, it will be possible to track power efficiency, design vulnerabilities, analyze impedances, and determine the necessary size limits. Spice library can be a great help for analysis, it will have easy to access component parameter integration and modeling, as well as templates for building custom models from it.