The last few years have witnessed an increasing excitement about the Internet of Things, or IoT, (or IoE) which many believe will be the next big wave, after the PC boom, the Internet buildout and the proliferation of mobile wireless devices. Cisco estimates that the number of connected devices worldwide will reach 50 billion by 2020, but Intel believes it will be as high as 200 billion. Engineering and deploying such a massive number of devices creates daunting challenges for the semiconductor, system and software designs. On one side of the equation, the classic constraints of cost, energy efficiency, and security will be pushed to the extreme. On the other side, several new and unique system-level constraints are emerging. As intelligence and connectivity are moving to every day things, the skillset of the developers is evolving and becoming more focused on the thing itself rather than the underlying technology. This requires the design of devices with the concept of simplicity in mind: very easy to use in terms of both software and hardware, enabling fast development times for the average technical guy. System-level innovation in all these aspects will bring more value than innovations in any single element of the devices. Therefore, IoT is not a revolution, but rather a "re-evolution" of existing engineering techniques.
As Silicon Labs' Chief Technology Officer, Alessandro Piovaccari is responsible for the company's product and technology research and development. Alessandro joined Silicon Labs in 2003 to design the company's single-chip FM radio products, which have surpassed 1.4 billion device shipments. He co-architected Silicon Labs' single-chip TV tuner IC, used by nine of the world's top ten TV makers, with more than 50 percent market share and 500 million device shipment. Previously, Alessandro worked as a research scientist at Tanner Research, joining the company in 1997 to develop CMOS image processing sensors. From 1998 to 2003, he was a member of the design services team at Cadence Design Systems, focusing on CMOS RFICs and high-speed SerDes IP development. Alessandro holds 38 patents (33 currently issued) and is a Senior Member of IEEE and a Full Member of AES. Alessandro received Laurea and PhD degrees in electronic engineering and computer science from the University of Bologna in Italy and a Post-Master's Certificate with Honors in electrical engineering from Johns Hopkins University.