Comfortable, Safe, And Energy-Efficient Homes And Buildings

Smart buildings depend on the ability to understand who is in a space and how they move.


The market for smart home technology is booming. More and more things are able to make decisions and perform actions on their own – completely without human intervention, as things talk to things. For example, the washing machine communicates with the solar system on the roof and only starts when the sun is shining and there is enough green electricity available. Or the air conditioner automatically orients itself to the number of people in a room and goes on or off, regulating the strength and direction of the airflow based on where people are in the room. Here are some of the trends and market drivers.

Comfort and personalization through automation

Comfort, personalization, and changing demands for buildings to deliver more flexible workspaces able to react and adapt to property owner, tenancy, and occupancy demands are key areas for growth in the smart home and building market. The transition to smart buildings essentially depends on the ability to understand who is in a space, how they move, the impact of that presence and movement, and what settings for heating/cooling, lighting, audio, and more that person prefers on a given day and time. A range of new sensors, microcontroller and supporting technologies able to detect, report, and process either new parameters or existing parameters in far greater detail make it possible.

A smart air conditioner solution is equipped with semiconductors that see, hear, feel, and understand its environment and is connected to the Internet of Things. Source: Infineon

Demand for smart energy management

According to the European Commission (“Energy efficiency in buildings”; Feb. 2020), residential, public and office buildings account for one of the largest shares in global energy demand. In the EU, buildings are responsible for 40% of energy consumption and 36% of CO2 emissions. This in combination with the current energy crises and the rising energy prices explains the increasing demand for smart energy management solutions. The Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) predicts that intelligent sensors make it possible to reduce the energy consumption of buildings by 30% and to turn buildings into smart buildings. According to studies by ABI Research, energy management takes advantage of many of the sensors already used in home security applications, as the system can also detect occupancy in the home and reduce energy consumption accordingly.

By using highly sensitive radar sensors, smart devices are able to detect the presence and absence of people and therefore switch between on mode and energy-saving deep sleep mode. Source: Infineon

Smart home goes B2B

Manufacturers that previously focused on owners of single-family homes are increasingly targeting their solutions at managers of apartment blocks, extending the reach of smart building technologies to the apartment sector. The smart home is thus moving into the B2B space. According to ABI Research, the smart apartment market in the US will become a US$ 4 billion annual opportunity for those device providers that can adapt their smart home offerings to the specific demands of smart apartments.

Smart technologies for more personalized, intuitive, and energy-efficient experiences

  1. Sensors are the nervous system of smart homes and buildings. According to ABI Research, by 2027, 4.6 billion sensors will ship embedded in smart home devices, robots, and appliances, up from 1.8 billion in 2021. Some of these sensors are already key to the functionality of devices, while others support additional functionality that will push into products as manufacturers and service providers look to improve the appeal of their offerings. Equipping home and building devices with accurate and reliable sensors means that they can “see,” “hear,” “feel,” and “smell” their surroundings and trigger appropriate actions in real time based on the collected data.
  2. Microcontrollers make devices smart by processing, analyzing, and communicating data. Microcontrollers like the PSoC 6 microcontrollers and high-performance memory solutions process data in all types of home and building components.
  3. Actuators link the real with the digital world. Power semiconductors like the OptiMOS N-channel power MOSFETs use the data and information received from sensors to control and actuate the connected devices in the homes and buildings.
  4. Connectivity enables efficient data exchange. Networking solutions like our AIROC Wi-Fi and Bluetooth combos transform networked home and building systems into smart connected devices that can send and receive data fast and reliably.
  5. Scalable, easy-to-integrate security solutions create trust in the digital home. With the growing number of connected devices in smart homes and buildings, the threat of cyberattacks is rising. Hardware-embedded IoT security solutions like the OPTIGA products are crucial.

Driving decarbonization and digitalization

You see: Microelectronics is the core of every smart and energy efficient solution. Sensors, actuators, microcontrollers, communication modules, and security components underpin every IoT device. Infineon’s system solutions, including software, let new functions and services link the real with the digital world. Together with our customers, we build smart IoT solutions to decarbonize both economy and society by increasing energy efficiency. This is our contribution to preventing climate change and improving quality of life at the same time.

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