IoT can be described as the “wild west” of the RF world being that it is a relatively new frontier with a hugely diverse array of technologies, multiple standards from different organizations and not a whole lot of compatibility. Naturally, that brings a new set of challenges for design and manufacturing, particularly in mission-critical IoT applications like health care, factory automation, transportation and utilities.
Although cost is a major factor in many IoT designs, given what’s at stake in mission-critical applications, factors such as data reliability, security and ease of use become far more imperative. This makes it so that the rigorous testing of IoT products is non-negotiable. For example, a failure in meeting RF standards compliance can open the door for regulatory scrutiny, or a downtime in manufacturing operations can cost a company millions of dollars.
This paper briefly covers several mission-critical IoT applications as well as some common RF test methods for IoT and their respective challenges. Finally, next-generation test solutions are presented along with the “hidden” bottom-line benefits that specific test equipment can provide, namely:
● Lowering test and measurement costs
● Shortening the time-to-market (TTM) of IoT products