In Smart Cities: The Future of Urban Areas, Part 3 of this blog series I described “smart cities” and the need to have an effective and reliable networking of smart objects inserted into the smart buildings of these cities of the future (see Figure 1).
The smart cities project involves many different and appealing technologies, among which the most important are:
- Smart power grids
- Internet of Things
Let’s describe briefly these two technologies.
Smart power grids
The integration of smart power grids in the smart cities project is gaining further importance at the present time, and this is confirmed by the growing interest of big semiconductor companies for the smart grids. As an example, STMicroelectronics has developed a set of applications for the smart grids design by means of silicon-based IC devices (see Figure 2).
Internet of Things
The Internet of Things is a promising technology that plays a key role in the smart cities, where smart objects, like smartphones and tablets, can be connected with the central cloud of services. This solution will guarantee, for example, an easy implementation of a remote system to control the energy consumption of a smart house of a smart city, or e-health systems for the remote monitoring of patients at their homes by a medical center.
STMicroelectronics is particularly interested in IoT technology, because it is a top producer of two kinds of ICs that can easily be integrated in a smart object: MEMS and microcontrollers (see Figure 3). According to a company release:
- MEMS and Sensor suppliers will drive the IoT growth through continuous innovation and diversification of their product portfolio complemented with a robust and reliable high-volume supply chain and strong partner cooperation. The geo-economic specifics also need to be taken into account by developing the right products and support models for markets such as Asia, said Benedetto Vigna, Executive Vice President, General Manager, Analog, MEMS and Sensors Group, STMicroelectronics. ST continues to lead the industry evolution with its advanced technology and product portfolio that covers all key building blocks for IoT – MEMS sensors and actuators, together with embedded processing, power, and connectivity.
What do you think of smart cities? Do you think that this solution is feasible and can be adopted widely all over the world? Do you think that smart cities could be connected in a cloud of smart interactive cities constituting a smart net of smart cities?