The evolution of the IoT means that increasing amounts of data are processed at the Edge before being transferred to the Cloud. There are many advantages to this, not least that it reduces the bandwidth requirements for Cloud computing.
Edge sensors gather data to sense the physical environment. This can be in many and varied formats, with the use of temperature, humidity and pressure sensors, as well as light, sound and vision sensors. Cameras can also be considered Edge sensors, gathering vision data from the immediate environment.
Sensors feed data to the Cloud for a variety of applications, from industrial control, transportation, energy and the industrial IoT (IIoT). Some, but not all, of the data gathered by sensors may be time critical. Edge processing reduces latency for time-critical applications, like industrial control, for example, but it also increases the efficiency of those applications which are not time-sensitive by reducing the amount of data sent to the Cloud for processing.
The recent rash of industrial device and ransomware attacks stress the importance of cybersecurity protection from the Edge to Fog to Cloud. Security must start at the Edge with hardware root of trust along with a planned security strategy. Secure boot, root of trust, encrypt data, extend root of Trust from hardware through application and to the Cloud.
WINSYSTEMS’ industrial embedded computers and single board computers (SBCs) act as reliable gateways, positioned between the Edge sensors and the Cloud. Most are designed and manufactured in the USA to transmit and receive data gathered by sensors and processed at the Edge. They also safeguard the data with TPM 2.0-enabled hardware to enable security capabilities and where data is held to ensure secure transmission to and from the Cloud.
For example, the SYS-427 is a rugged embedded computer that has an Intel Apollo Lake-I E3900 dual- or quad-core SoC processor and up to 8GB DDR3L ECC system memory to cache large volumes of data and process it rapidly to ensure a smooth, reliable, and fast communication between the Edge and the Cloud. It also features time-coordinated computing and is TPM 2.0 Hardware Security-enabled. When properly enabled through the software layers, TPM 2.0 helps protect the computer’s capabilities from tampering, shields assigned areas and objects and protects against cyber-attacks.
There are so many applications that require Edge sensors and Cloud computing that a flexible, configurable gateway is preferred to meet the specific needs of each operating scenario. A choice of expansion and configuration options is also an important feature in embedded systems.
Continued growth in the IIoT will extend its reach into new and emerging areas which will mean that systems cannot stay still. The ability to adapt will ensure that systems can be semi-customized to meet evolving specifications. The SYS-427 and ITX-P-C444, for example, contain industrial I/O connectivity and expansion interfaces for additional flexibility.
It is very important that Industrial IoT Gateways and Edge Devices not only have hardware security enabled but, as applications evolve, having a layered software ecosystem provides flexible application development, updates, and security. This is why WINSYSTEMS has partnered with Qt for rapid software development, with Foundries.io for update and device management and with ClearBlade for an Edge to Cloud platform for codeless deployment.