The Land of IoT

September 11, 2023 / Ben Bajarin

This is a summary of the most recent episode of the Circuit with Ben Bajarin and Jay Goldberg. On this episode, guest Stacey Higginbotham shared her excellent insights into the land of IoT.


The Internet of Things (IoT) refers broadly to adding computing power and connectivity to everyday objects and devices, representing a major infrastructure shift. While early forecasts predicted massive growth to trillions of connected devices, progress has been steady but more incremental as companies focus on practical use cases and problems to solve. The hype has slowed but real adoption continues in areas like industrial, consumer, and cities.

Key Challenges

Several key challenges remain to be addressed to enable IoT to scale further:

  • Power consumption – devices need better energy harvesting and lower consumption
  • Networking protocols – enabling high device density communications
  • Security – securing many small, low-power devices
  • Sustainability – ensuring recyclability with short device lifecycles

Key Semiconductor Companies

Major semiconductor firms that benefit from IoT include Qualcomm, ARM, Nordic, Silicon Labs. Startups like Williott in energy harvesting also have opportunities. Software and connectivity platforms are also important areas.

Use Cases and Benefits

Example IoT use cases span industrial (sensors for automation), consumer (smart home), and cities (smart streetlights with sensors). Benefits include efficiency, safety, convenience. In industrial, sensors enable automation and prevent problems. In cities, sensors can aid traffic management and public safety.

AI and Machine Learning

AI and ML will be critical for IoT, analyzing data from edge devices as well as the cloud. Startups like Edge Impulse focus on optimizing ML for edge devices. There are opportunities for specialty silicon to accelerate on-device ML.


IoT will continue seeing incremental adoption as companies implement practical use cases and solve real-world problems. While the hype has slowed, steady progress continues as the technology matures. Key challenges around power, connectivity, security, sustainability still need solutions. AI and ML will become increasingly important to derive value from IoT data.

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