As per proprietary research by BCC research the Global IoT market is set to gain by $37 Billion by 2021. The research is focused on the endpoints particularly sensors as they are the critical start point for the IoT communications. But the data collection platform is another decisive parameter in the IoT eco-system. This article will focus on How To identify right Industrial IoT Platforms and cover critical parameters which should be taken into account when identifying the right electronics hardware platform. There are plethora of evaluation boards, modules, chip-sets hence it is important that all the requirements are taken into account and the platforms are chosen wisely as per the actual deployment and customer specific requirements.
Understanding the requirement
First step in identifying right Industrial IoT Platforms is to understand the requirements in terms of various parameters. Below are few guidelines questions which should be asked to customers to get the right Industrial IoT Platforms requirement of the platform.
- How many Sensors to be supported? Which in turn will give idea about GPIO lines.
- Computing Power
- Memory requirements
- Is it node or gateway ?
- IoT node requirements are low power, long battery life
- IoT gateway requirements –
- Interfaces Required (Ethernet, WiFi, BT, Zigbee, Zwave, Sigfox, LoRa)
- Location – Outdoor, Indoor
Comparison of various embedded platforms
Below are some of the platforms features comparisons which can help the product designer and customers alike on understanding How To identify right Industrial IoT Platforms for their applications.
Raspberry Pi 3 Model B+
|Processor||Broadcom BCM2837B0, Cortex-A53 64-Bit SoC @ 1.4GHz|
|Memory||1GB LPDDR2 SDRAM|
|Connectivity||2.4GHz and 5GHz IEEE 802.11.b/g/n/ac wireless LAN, Bluetooth 4.2, BLE Gigabit Ethernet over USB 2.0 (maximum throughput 300Mbps) 4 × USB 2.0 ports|
|Access||Extended 40-pin GPIO header|
|Video and Sound||1 × full size HDMI MIPI DSI display port MIPI CSI camera port 4 pole stereo output and composite video port|
|Multimedia||H.264, MPEG-4 decode (1080p30); H.264 encode (1080p30); OpenGL ES 1.1, 2.0 graphics|
- Application specific HATS board to be developed for RPI 3 boards will be required.
- Each board needs an SD Card as memory requirements are higher due to Linux OS support
- Power consumption requirement for the board is high as processor are 64Bit and running at high speed and need additional measures for thermal management of unit.
Raspberry Pi – Zero W
|Processor||BCM 2835 SOC @ 1GHz|
|Memory||512MB of RAM|
micro-B USB for data
micro-B USB for power
802.11 b/g/n wireless LAN
Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE)
|Access||Unpopulated 40-pin GPIO connector|
|Video and Sound||CSI camera connector (needs adaptor cable)|
- Application specific HATS board to be developed for RPI Zero boards.
- Each board needs an SD Card as memory requirements for RPI Zero boards are quite high due to linux OS
- Power consumption requirement for the board is high as processor are 64Bit and running at high speed need additional measures for thermal management of unit.
- Overall cost of unit would be higher considering additional cost of memory.
Orange Pi R1
|Processor||H2+ Quad-core Cortex-A7 32bit|
|Memory||256MB DDR3 SDRAM, 16MB SPI flash|
100M/10M Ethernet RJ45
Realtek RTL8189ETV, IEEE 802.11 b/g/n
TF Card (32GB),USB 2.0 OTG
|Video||Supports external board via 13 pins|
|GPU||Mali400MP2 GPU@600MHZ, Supports OpenGL ES 2.0|
- Application specific base board needs be develop.
- Being a quad core processor power consumption requirements are higher and would add challenges in thermal management of Unit.
ARDUINO UNO REV3
|Memory||Flash 32 KB (ATmega328P) of which 0.5 KB used by bootloader, SRAM 2 KB (ATmega328P),EEPROM :1 KB (ATmega328P)|
|Digital Io Pins||14 (of which 6 provide PWM output)|
Being a 8 bit uC, this embedded platform has limitations for Industrial IoT application and RTOS should be ported as per product application. It is cost effective solution for small memory footprint requirements.
- Frequency : 72MHz
- Microcontroller : 32 bit ARM Cortex
- Flash Memory : 512 Kbytes
- SRAM : 16 kb
- Crystal Oscillator : 4-32MHz
- ADC : 40 channels
- DMA : 12 channels
- GPIO : 115
- Operating Voltage : 2 to 3.6 volt
- Digital I/O 2x 12 bit DAC channel, 4x 12 bit A/D converters,14x timers, 4x Hardware SPI,3x I2C interface, 5x USART, CAN, USB2.0 full-speed interface with LPM support
- 32bit architecture
- Low cost
- Low power requirement
There are plethora of evaluation platforms in the market, cost, performance, battery life and many other parameters should be considered when advising the clients about the right Industrial IoT platform. It has to be unique and custom designed so that BOM overheads can be reduced without compromising on quality or functionality and should be sustainable for long term.
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