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IoT Sensors and Devices Support Smart Systems

Key Takeaways

  • IoT devices are physical devices that send and exchange data with other connected devices.

  • Sensors are used in IoT applications to detect, measure, and record quantities or parameters in real time. 

  • Passive sensors require no external power supply, whereas active sensors need a dedicated supply.

IoT sensors and devices      

You might be aware of the cloud-based voice services that command home appliances. This is an example of an application in which IoT sensors and devices are used to seamlessly control the functionalities of various connected devices. Many of our systems are transitioning to the smart technology of IoT, which is supported by a host of sensors and devices. 

IoT Sensors and Devices

IoT devices are physical devices that can send and exchange data with other connected devices. Any hardware used in IoT systems collectively forms IoT devices. The physical structure of an IoT device comprises actuators, sensors, processors, software applications, and common communication abilities that make a network of smart systems. IoT devices support data collection and the exchange of data over the internet. IoT devices make decisions based on the data collected. IoT devices are programmed to perform tasks according to the system or application where they are in use. The predictions made by IoT devices in cars about the traffic ahead are one example. 

IoT Devices

IoT devices aid in automating the current workflow in the most efficient way. The potential of IoT in the industry is an example. The success stories of IoT-enabled industrial environments are encouraging their contemporaries to shift to industrial IoT systems. IoT devices can also give us alerts and reminders and can be used to set routines.

IoT devices can be:

  1. Sensor devices - Sense physical quantities such as pressure, humidity, temperature, or distance.

  2. Actuator devices - Fans, motors, pumps, and valves. 

  3. Communication devices - Hits of ZigBee or wi-fi routers are examples of communication devices.

IoT Device Requirements

Based on the system where they are employed, the functionalities of IoT devices change. However, they all share similarities in the way they operate. First of all, IoT devices sense the things happening in the physical world related to the application. The main requirements of an IoT device are:

  1. Integrated CPU
  2. Network adaptor and firmware
  3. Dynamic host configuration protocol server
  4. IP address
  5. Software application

IoT devices are managed and configured using a software application. Software applications can be avoided if the IoT device has an integrated web server.

IoT Sensors

Sensor technology is an integral part of IoT. Sensors are used in IoT applications to detect, measure, and record quantities or parameters in real time. Sensor technology helps IoT  applications understand real-world scenarios of the system. Sensors and IoT modules are interfaced so that the data collected by sensors is analyzed and important decisions regarding the operation of the system are made based on that data.

Types of IoT Sensors 

Sensors play an essential role in IoT architecture. Physical parameters sensed are converted to suitable signals depending on the requirements of the associated hardware. There are different types of sensors used in IoT systems, ranging from temperature sensors, pressure sensors, motion sensors, chemical sensors, image sensors, gas sensors, level sensors, and proximity sensors.

Present-day IoT sensors encompass the ability to process data and communicate with other sensors and platforms.  IoT sensors can be classified broadly into:

Type of Sensors


Passive sensors

Require no external power supply. Thermal sensors are an example of passive sensors. 

Active sensors 

Need a dedicated external power supply. GPS systems are an example of active sensors.

Contact sensors 

Sensors that require contact with the quantity they are measuring. Temperature sensors are one example.

Non-contact sensors 

Do not require direct contact with measured quantities; for example, optical sensors.

Absolute sensors

These sensors give the absolute reading of the quantity. For example, thermistors.

Relative sensors

The measurements given by relative sensors are relative to a fixed or variable quantity. For example, thermocouples.

Analog sensors

Output analog signals proportional to the measurement.

Digital sensors 

Produce digital output from the measured quantities.

Developing Smart Systems Using IoT Sensors and Devices

Cadence’s suite of tools can help you develop IoT systems for any application. Leading electronics providers rely on Cadence products to optimize power, space, and energy needs for a wide variety of market applications. If you’re looking to learn more about our innovative solutions, talk to our team of experts or subscribe to our YouTube channel.