Defining The Edge Of IoT

The proliferation of low-cost sensors opens up opportunities for an array of innovative products.


“Life on the edge of IoT is where creativity knows no bounds.”
Brian Derrick, Vice President Corporate Marketing and General Manager, Mentor Graphics.

We are living in a remarkable time for electronic product design and development. In his blog post, Brian Derrick explores how the race to create the latest smartphones results in the availability of advanced, low-cost sensors, which has opened up unlimited opportunities for companies to create innovative IoT edge products. From hobbyists, to small and large companies, designers are taking their new IoT ideas to market. A new breed of designers has arrived and they are making hardware design trendy again.


This new breed of designers are reshaping design flows and they have new expectations. They typically work in small teams and require integrated design flows to quickly and easily produce a functioning device while spending as little money as possible. They require the capability to develop a proof-of-concept for system validation in order to capitalize on the opportunity of the IoT market. Design teams need to rapidly implement products using integrated design flows that allow them to quickly develop all the pieces needed for the sensor-driven IoT edge device, including: sensing elements, analog circuit interfaces, analog-to-digital logic, digital logic, software, and unique form-factor PCBs, all at a low cost compared to traditional IC and systems design.

Mentor Graphics recognized early the opportunities that the IoT edge opens up to these designers and offers them a unique solution, tailored to their requirements.

Mentor IoT-520x388

The IoT edge solution includes:

  • The Tanner AMS and MEMS design flow: brings together the analog, digital, RF, and MEMS design capture, verification, layout, and 3D analysis flow into a single IC design environment.
  • Mentor Embedded: provides the Nucleus real-time operating system and tools for embedded software development for IoT edge devices.
  • PADS: delivers PCB capture and layout for IoT edge designs.

In addition, SystemVision Cloud offers an online environment to analyze the electronic circuit within the context of the overall mechatronic system. This environment also enables designers to create interactive documentation.

To learn more about the new breed of designers and the Mentor Graphics IoT edge design solution, see the whitepaper here.

Mentor Graphics partnered with ARM to define a design flow for proving the feasibility of a SoC design that includes an AMS IC interfaced to a Cortex-M0 processor running embedded software. Based on the scenario of a company that is proficient in AMS and sensor-based IC design that needs to integrate a digital processor, this whitepaper shows how to create a zero-cost proof-of-concept design.


A new breed of designers are designing intelligence at the IoT edge and Mentor Graphics provides them with a solution that supports digital, analog, RF, and MEMS IC design, system exploration, embedded software development, PCB layout, and interactive documentation creation.

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