Cian Ó Mathúna

Tyndall National Institute, Ireland

Micro Sensor Systems for the Future Internet of Everything (IoE)

The Internet of Everything (IoE) has been described as “the networked connections between devices, people, processes and data” and it has been widely predicted that, by 2025, the IoE will exceed 100 billion connected devices, each attached to at least 10 sensors collecting data. This is anticipated to result in a one trillion-sensor economy driving a digital revolution in data with market reports estimating that the IoE will generate alsmot $20 trillion of newly created value. This digital transformation, the beginning of which we are already experiencing, is expected to dramatically enhance the health and well-being of the global population as well as the sustainability of our planet, encompassing both our built and natural environments. This vision of the IoE has the potential to enhance the management of our core local and global infrastructures and ecosystems and enable personal health, and well-being as well as global sustainability encompassing food production, air and water quality, energy, communications, transport and security. This talk will present some of the state-of-the-art research being undertaken at Tyndall National Institute, University College Cork, Ireland in the “making and powering of the smart things” that will make up this future Internet of Everything. These smart things, or intelligent autonomous wireless sensor nodes, typically comprise multiple sensors, signal and data processing, some form of actuation, wireless communication and a power source. To illustrate the range of technologies that need to be considered, a number of representative case studies will be presented that address applications including precision agriculture and environmental monitoring, bio-pharma processing, medical devices addressing in-the-body diagnostics and therapeutics, wearable electronics for health and well-being as well as interfacing with robotics in advanced manufacturing.  The need for energy harvesting or scavenging platforms will also be presented as an alternative, or complimentary technology to batteries.  The concept of sustainable or compostable electronics will be introduced as a future direction for consideration, Finally, the talk will introduce opportunities and challenges of using Artificial Intelligence to enable intelligence at the “Edge of the Edge” of the IOE.

Prof. Cian Ó Mathúna is Head of MicroNano Systems Centre at Tyndall National Institute, University College Cork, Ireland and is a Research Professor in the School of Engineering, University College Cork. He has 40 years experience in applied research and technology transfer to Irish and international companies. His research and publications have focused on “More than Moore”, the convergence of microelectronics and microsystems, whereby CMOS provides an intelligent platform for the miniaturisation and heterogeneous integration of non-standard functions such as sensors, actuators, power and communications.

Prof. Ó Mathúna has been a co-founding member of Irish industry-academic research clusters in the areas of surface mount technology (Smart Group Ireland), Wireless Sensor Networks (WiSEN) and Power Electronics (PEIG). In 2010, he was an Irish Government appointee on the National Innovation Task Force Implementation Group. In October 2014, Prof. Ó Mathúna became Deputy Director of the Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) CONNECT Centre for Future Networks and Communications.

In 2008, Prof. Ó Mathúna founded the International Workshop on Power Supply on Chip (PwrSoC) which has become the highly-influential flagship workshop for the IEEE Power Electronics Society and the US-based Power Sources Manufacturers Association (PSMA). Through his leadership in PwrSoC, and his extensive collaborations with world-leading industry players in Europe, USA and Asia, Ó Mathúna has had a significant influence on the emergence of a global supply-chain that, in 2021, began delivery of high-volume production of magnetics-on-silicon for use in commercial consumer products.

In 2013, Prof. Ó Mathúna was elevated to IEEE Fellow with the citation “for leadership in the development of power supply using micromagnetics on silicon”. For his impact on the industry, Ó Mathúna was, in 2021, awarded the IEEE Power Electronics Society Technical Achievement Award for Integration and Miniaturisation of Switching Power Converters. For the development of the magnetics-on-silicon “MagIC” technology and its expected impact over the next decade, Tyndall’s Integrated Magnetics team also received, in 2021, one of two EARTO (European Association of Research and Technology Organisations) Impact Innovation Awards.

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