Trends in IoT and Cyber-Physical Systems

By Sharon Henry

Professor Mohammad Al Faruque speaks at SURF-IoT luncheon.

Irvine, August 10, 2015 —Mohammad Al Faruque,  assistant professor in electrical engineering and computer science, and director of the Cyber-Physical Systems Lab, was the feature presenter at this week’s SURF-IoT research program summer lunchtime seminar series.

“Beginning a few years ago, people started avoiding desktop and laptop computing in favor of mobile devices. Now we are embedding chips in shoes, and putting chips in cars all connecting to a network. We call this the Internet of Things (Iot),” Al Faruque told a group of SURF-IoT fellows and guests. 

 Cyber-physical Systems (CPS) refers to the integration of software/hardware and the physical world, he said,  enabling the physical world to merge with the virtual to create the IoT. As computing evolves, Faruque sees three current trends in IoT and Cyber-Physical Systems, including:



As Moore’s Law  ? a forecast made in 1965 by Intel co-founder Gordon E. Moore, which states the number of transistors that can be packed into a given unit of space would roughly double every two years  ?  is realized, integrated systems sensors can now be embedded practically everywhere, from medical devices to factory floors.



Scaling of semiconductor and communication technologies is playing a major role in transforming the computing and communication paradigm.  “New technologies are helping to instrument things around us to be intelligent and connected for better decision making,” Faruque said.

 “When things are [kept in individual silos], they are very expensive. So engineers started connecting things together,” he added. “One good example is the Internet. With the Internet knowledge can increase, communication can increase. Eventually everything will be connected… people, things, equipment.”



Because the exponential proliferation of embedded devices afforded by Moore’s Law is not matched by a corresponding increase in human ability to consume information, humans are increasingly being taken out of the loop. Google’s driverless car is an example.

 Faruque previewed his current CPS project, which takes these trends into account. Along with his graduate and undergraduate students, he is working to develop embedded computing systems (controllers) which may help in building next-generation electric vehicles for better energy efficiency. The systems also would maximize battery lifetime to reduce replacement cost and “range anxiety” for electric car users.

 SURF-IoT seminars are presented weekly during the 10 weeks of the multidisciplinary research fellowship program.

 The next lunchtime session is scheduled for 11:45 a.m., Tuesday, August 11, at the Calit2 Building, Room 3008. John Billimek will present “Putting ‘what works’ to work:  Tackli