In an IoT environment, every “thing” needs to provide computation, sensing, communication, and power-supply capabilities. Device manufacturers want to make the development of such “things” quick and easy. ST offers 32-bit MCU development and expansion boards equipped with various motion and environmental sensors and wireless communication technologies (BLE/NFC) that are part of the Company’s continuously expanding IoT development ecosystem.
Smart City Solutions
A number of Smart City projects are now underway worldwide aimed at reducing environmental loads through greater energy efficiency, improving operation and maintenance of buildings and public infrastructure, and enhancing various types of public services. ST and Paradox Engineering, a Swiss technology company, built up a Smart City solution based on ST’s development boards for 32-bit MCUs and various sensors combined with Paradox Engineering's wireless lighting-control boards and its communication platform for the efficient operation of wireless mesh networks.Its solutions supporting wireless mesh network allows the detection by proximity-sensor nodes of a radio-controlled model car to adjust road lighting in response to the position of the vehicle; in-door vibration detection by acceleration-sensor nodes combined with temperature, humidity, and pressure measurements at multiple environmental sensor nodes installed around the booth; monitoring power consumption of booth lights using wirelessly-connected lighting-control boards. All the sensor data is displayed on a screen.
Smart Power Solutions
- A large variety of smartphones, tablets, and wearable devices in production increases the diversity in power adapters and the demand for simple, user-friendly, and energy-efficient power-supply solutions. In wireless power supplies, ST introduced its advanced multi-platform digital power-controller IC that is compliant with the Qi and PMA (Power Matters Alliance) standards. ST also invented a USB PD (Power Delivery) controller IC that conducts protocol communication between a host and terminals for USB Power Delivery that supplies up to 100W via USB to electronic devices with high power consumption.
- Regulations on standby power are being tightened across the world in order to reduce the waste power produced by AC adapters when electronic devices are not in operation. ST developed a standby-power monitoring solution using a multi-mode power-controller IC suitable for AC-adapter chargers for smartphones and tablet PCs. This power-controller IC, which reduces standby power to almost zero, integrates a new proprietary primary constant-current mode sensing and high-voltage startup circuit in an 8-pin package, thereby contributing to cost reduction by minimizing the number of external components.
- Wearable devices have the potential to create “human nodes” that form part of the IoT. Addressing safe energy supply in wearable devices and sensor nodes that are increasingly becoming part of our everyday life, ST has developed an ultra-thin (220μm) battery that uses a solid-state thin lithium layer on a glass substrate made through a semiconductor manufacturing process. As a solid battery, it is free from risks of ignition or explosion.
- ST developed the world’s smallest LDO regulator with linear voltage control. ST's advanced process and packaging technologies have enabled the reduction in IC dimensions to 0.47 × 0.47mm — about three times the thickness of a human hair. ST will also demonstrate its ultra-small battery-charging IC that combines highly accurate current control with an extremely low leak current.
- ST developed a 6-axis MEMS sensor-module evaluation board that integrates a 3-axis digital-output acceleration sensor and a 3-axis gyroscope. The module’s compact form factor (2.5 × 3.0 × 0.8 mm) and superior power efficiency (about 20% higher than competing products) contribute to space and power savings in wearable devices. ST also developed voice-recognition solutions based on MEMS microphone and Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) technologies.