Inside Track with Suresh Singamsetty, Founder and CEO, WiSilica

Inside Track with Suresh Singamsetty, Founder and CEO, WiSilica

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Suresh Singamsetty is the Founder and CEO of WiSilica. He has more than 19 years of experience building technology companies. His experience encompasses software, networking, voice over Internet Protocol (VOIP), cloud, and low-power wireless. Singamsetty previously served as the V.P. of Engineering at Martian Watches. He also is an inventor of more than 10 patents.

Suresh Singamsetty
Suresh Singamsetty

SS: Internet of Things (IoT) is a concept where any object/thing that can be controlled (lamps, switches, thermostats, fans, coffee makers,  machines, vehicles, TVs, speakers, etc.), or sensed (temperature, humidity, light, motion, pressure, movement, steps, etc.) is connected to the Internet.  Information from sensors is used to control objects and/or identify and predict potential connection issues.  

CD: How much impact do you think the IoT will have on people’s everyday lives?

SS: IoT will have a massive impact in all areas—from consumers to enterprises.  It improves everyday lives around the clock—from gentle wake-ups by wearables, to providing you with a consistent and comfortable environment for best performance by automatically setting the right light, temperature, and humidity at home and the office—wherever you may go throughout the day.  In essence, IoT will provide an environment where people can really focus on their creativities and passions.

CD: With IoT on the horizon, what are the benefits of instituting an end-to-end IoT platform?

SS: An end-to-end IoT platform provides secured connectivity from device to application to cloud.  With an open API, customers can develop new applications and/or integrate innovative, connected devices to their existing cloud or infrastructure with ease.

CD: Can you provide a brief description of mesh networking technology?

SS:  Mesh network is network topology where the participating devices will help each other deliver/distribute the data from one device to another even when they are not directly reachable.  Key features in a robust network are Ad-Hoc, where devices form a network without any pre-configuration, and Self-Healing, where devices identify any breakdown in connectivity and reconfigure automatically.

Mesh networks use two techniques to relay messages: flooding, in which every device will relay all messages, with the drawback being network congestion; and routing, where only a few devices relay messages—more device resources are required for information.

CD: What are the benefits that Bluetooth low-energy (BLE) can offer to an IoT platform?

SS: The key benefit of BLE is smartphone support. Bluetooth low-energy devices communicate with smartphones, and use them as bridges to access the Internet—the reason wearables are completely dominated by BLE.  BLE ICs are in the $1 range—the lowest among any wireless technologies—due to the sheer volume of consumed Bluetooth ICs.  This will help drive IoT adoption in low-cost devices.  The power consumption of the BLE devices is low, and helps to provide long-life battery, powered-sensor devices. Basically, a smartphone ecosystem that is low-cost and low-power will enable BLE.

CD: What specific applications can employ such platforms?

SS: Versatile platforms enable a variety of applications including smart homes, energy management, smart lighting, retail solutions, proximity solutions, smart farming, asset tracking, and more.

CD: Do you believe there is one application that provides more benefits than others?

SS: The platform that blends multiple applications through connected devices will be the key for successful IoT deployment. The key applications that already greatly benefit users are power management, tracking, health monitoring and context/proximity-based content management. For example, our lighting solution provides the backbone mesh network—enabling sensors to save energy, tags to track assets, and health-monitoring devices to provide dynamic, real-time cohesive reports and alerts, and beacons to provide context/proximity-based content management. Safety and security are added natural benefits of such a platform.

CD: What impact do you think 5G will have on the IoT?

SS: IoT is about connecting everything all of the time, everywhere. 5G promises 1,000 times data rates, support for more network devices, and flexible data usage requirements with rapid adaption. This helps connect a number of IoT devices, which need a low data rate, and streaming devices that need high data rates in parallel. 5G can provide a unified framework, replacing different connectivity protocols.

CD: From WiSilica’s standpoint, what should RFIC vendors do in order to prepare for IoT?

SS: From our standpoint, the connected-things entry cost needs to be very low for broader acceptance.  RFIC vendors can play a key role in achieving this by providing integrated SoCs with reasonable MIPS that are low-cost, low-power in active and inactive modes, contain built-in security engines, and integrate different sensors and controllers.

CD: You mentioned RFIC vendors partnering with cloud and application providers. Can you describe some of the benefits this may provide?

SS: In RFIC, it typically takes four to five years from design to getting ICs into final products. That is a long time to predict market needs.  Sometimes strong consumer-product companies try to design ICs by themselves, for incorporation into their products.  However, by partnering with companies like WiSilica, RFIC companies will have a better understanding of their product requirements and the components needed in ICs to meet them. This deepens their understanding as to what should be included in their design, apart from their core technology, to productize faster. RFIC design to product implementation can then be cut to less than two years. 

CD: Security is obviously a major concern. How is it being implemented in this platform?

SS: Our security strategy safeguards each component of the platform (device, mesh, application, cloud, and data).  It also provides secure communication, authentication and access control for local/remote command and control operations, along with data gathering and analysis. Components are built from the ground up with security in mind. Cloud servers and mobile applications communicate with each other using the SSL. Communication between device and application uses BLE secure communication with AES 128 bit encryption.  All operations performed go through authentication and access control.  Data at the cloud server is only accessible through WiSilica’s API.  Our communication platform is built to prevent the three R’s of security issues: readability, repeatability, and replicability.

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This file type includes high resolution graphics and schematics when applicable.
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