Echelon’s Approach to Industrial Internet of Things
When it comes to connecting industrial “things,” a number of factors need to be considered. Technology providers recognize the particular challenges and trends in this space and are coming to market with new solutions targeted specifically at industrial M2M and IoT (Internet of Things).
Many industrial objects, for example, need to be connected, but not replaced entirely. Additionally, some objects need to be wired due to safety, performance, security, and reliability concerns. What’s more, nearly all devices have to withstand a harsh environment. These factors, and others, make connecting in an industrial setting a challenge.
Still, the industrial IoT market presents big opportunity in the world of M2M where industrial objects can automatically communicate via a network. Echelon, www.echelon.com, says the industrial IoT market is expected to reach 500 million units per year.
Echelon, for one, has its eye on this market, and is looking to infuse its technology into both the existing and emerging industrial IoT market. Today, the company announced its plan to broaden its embedded control technology platform.
In the first phase, Echelon is introducing its IzoT platform and is releasing beta version of its IzoT multiprotocol stack for the ARM, www.arm.com, architecture.
Echelon’s offerings will enable both existing and new “things” and will support both wired and wireless connections, which will free developers from worrying about compatibility, protocol, or connectivity issues as they design or integrate devices and applications. The technology also has industrial-strength reliability, hardened security, and backwards compatibility with large installations of legacy devices.
With this announcement, developers can immediately begin to prototype new IoT devices and applications on standard ARM-based hardware platforms such as the Raspberry Pi. In the future, developers can create industrial-grade and purpose-built products based on IzoT-enabled chips, modules, routers, and software that Echelon will introduce throughout 2014.
In January, Echelon plans to release its IzoT cloud software for example. Also, in January, the software stack will be available as part of Marvell’s, www.marvell.com, Easy Connect software development kit for the Marvell Wi-Fi Microcontroller platform. Later in 2014, Echelon will release chips, modules, routers, and software.
This news also comes on the same day Echelon announces collaboration with Marvell to bring Wi-Fi to industrial applications. Marvell will include elements of Echelon’s new IzoT platform in its software development kit, and Echelon will add a range of Marvell-based Wi-Fi control modules to its catalog for the development of industrial-grade wireless devices.
The big value here is the technology addresses large considerations in an industrial setting, such as accommodating both existing and emerging devices, wired and wireless, and meets the needs of harsh environments. The end result will be more connected applications for industrial in the future.
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