• Ultra-low power IoT applications: from transducers to wireless protocols
  • Polonelli, Tommaso <1990>


  • ING-INF/01 Elettronica


  • This dissertation aims to explore Internet of Things (IoT) sensor nodes in various application scenarios with different design requirements. The research provides a comprehensive exploration of all the IoT layers composing an advanced device, from transducers to on-board processing, through low power hardware schemes and wireless protocols for wide area networks. Nowadays, spreading and massive utilization of wireless sensor nodes pushes research and industries to overcome the main limitations of such constrained devices, aiming to make them easily deployable at a lower cost. Significant challenges involve the battery lifetime that directly affects the device operativity and the wireless communication bandwidth. Factors that commonly contrast the system scalability and the energy per bit, as well as the maximum coverage. This thesis aims to serve as a reference and guideline document for future IoT projects, where results are structured following a conventional development pipeline. They usually consider communication standards and sensing as project requirements and low power operation as a necessity. A detailed overview of five leading IoT wireless protocols, together with custom solutions to overcome the throughput limitations and decrease the power consumption, are some of the topic discussed. Low power hardware engineering in multiple applications is also introduced, especially focusing on improving the trade-off between energy, functionality, and on-board processing capabilities. To enhance these features and to provide a bottom-top overview of an IoT sensor node, an innovative and low-cost transducer for structural health monitoring is presented. Lastly, the high-performance computing at the extreme edge of the IoT framework is addressed, with special attention to image processing algorithms running on state of the art RISC-V architecture. As a specific deployment scenario, an OpenCV-based stack, together with a convolutional neural network, is assessed on the octa-core PULP SoC.


  • 2021-04-13


  • Doctoral Thesis
  • PeerReviewed


  • application/pdf



Polonelli, Tommaso (2021) Ultra-low power IoT applications: from transducers to wireless protocols, [Dissertation thesis], Alma Mater Studiorum Università di Bologna. Dottorato di ricerca in Ingegneria elettronica, telecomunicazioni e tecnologie dell'informazione , 33 Ciclo. DOI 10.6092/unibo/amsdottorato/9604.