Develop the computational and communication energy efficiencies necessary to achieve a fully instrumented society using the Internet of Things (IoT).
The Internet of Things (IoT) embeds ordinary physical objects in our environment with sensing, control, communications, and computing capabilities. By making it easy and economical to collect, mine, and analyze information (extracting inferences and predictions) from any physical object and location, IoT has the potential for unparalleled societal impact beyond even that wrought by Internet search and e-commerce. IoT will facilitate data-driven automation and real time sensor analysis and tracking to enhance situational awareness and effective decision making by literally extending human perception and control of the physical world through digital infrastructure.
However, the power and energy requirements that must be met to instrument every “thing” and then to connect it to The Internet are staggering. For example, many accounts in the popular press predict 1 Trillion connected devices to be on the Internet within the next decade. If each device is 1 watt (the typical power consumption for a cell phone) that will require an additional 8700 TWh/year along with the concomitant ambient heat generation and carbon footprint. Further, the power infrastructure necessary to provide electrical power to remote areas is substantially more expensive than the instrumentation and actuation devices it will power.
Institute Professors Krintz and Wolski are developing the power optimized systems necessary to make the Internet of Things, and the societal benefits it will bring, a feasible reality. They have developed CSPOT – a portable, multi-scale programming infrastructure for cloud based IoT applications that is between 1 and 3 orders of magnitude more power efficient than current commercial IoT cloud systems. The CSPOT software corpus is also available as freely available open source, stimulating a community of IoT researchers and developers who are actively pursuing the ubiquity of IoT.As a proving ground for this research, Krintz and Wolski have developed the UCSB SmartFarm project that is developing the power-efficient IoT systems and analytics necessary to implement precision agriculture in rural locations where power and computational infrastructure are not available. SmartFarm provides Institute researchers with a rich set of test applications that require highly power-optimized and durable systems to enable new sustainable farming techniques.