ZDNet – Back in the 1980s we all used 8-bit computers, getting every bit of horsepower out of our BBC Micros, our Apple IIs, and our Commodore 64s. Then came 16-bit, swiftly followed by 32-bit, and today’s 64-bit multi-core processors. Compared to a 32KB BBC Micro or a 48KB ZX Spectrum, today’s quad-core Core i7s with 16GB of RAM give us a lot more space to write our code.
That’s a problem when it comes to the Internet of Things (IoT). We’re not going to put a modern PC in every device out there — they’re too expensive and far too power hungry. Even phone hardware will be too expensive; while Microsoft made its low-cost Lumias virtual shields for Arduino devices, at over $40 they’re still too expensive to put everywhere. So what will power the IoT?
For a look at what we’re going to need, we’ll have to go back in time a few decades, back to when I was a teenager and the birth of the first personal computers — simple devices with low-power processors and very little memory.