Use SBCs to Create an IoT Edge Computing Platform
Use SBCs to Create an IoT Edge Computing Platform
Edge computing is a technology that has revolutionized the way we approach the Internet of Things. With edge computing, IoT devices can now operate autonomously by storing, processing, and analyzing data locally, rather than solely relying on a centralized server. This can lead to significant improvements in the effectiveness of IoT devices and enable new deployment models and use cases. By leveraging edge computing, organizations can now deploy workloads on IoT hardware in a more flexible and efficient manner, resulting in improved performance and faster data processing.
This article will discuss the need for Single-Board Computers (SBCs) at the edge and their selection and user cases for IoT edge computing.
Use SBCs to Create an IoT Edge Computing Platform
The Challenge for Cloud Computing
In traditional cloud computing models, data needs to be transmitted over long distances to cloud service provider data centers for processing and analysis. This can result in latency and network congestion issues, which may affect application performance and efficiency. Additionally, transmitting large amounts of data can produce high costs.
Edge Computing Processes Data at the Edge to Minimize Data Transfer and Save Money
Edge computing primarily addresses some of the problems and limitations of cloud computing. By bringing computing resources and data storage closer to end devices and users, edge computing can avoid the latency and cost issues with data transmission. At the same time, edge computing can offer faster processing speeds and more personalized services, allowing users to obtain the desired information and services more quickly and reliably.
What is Edge Computing
Edge computing is the deployment of computing and storage resources near the edge or source of data generation instead of sending all data to a centralized data center or cloud.
How Does Edge Computing Work?
Edge computing is a distributed computing architecture where data processing happens closer to the source of the data. In other words, instead of sending data to a centralized data center or cloud, it is processed locally at the edge of the network, where the data is produced or consumed.
Here is an example of how edge computing works:
Let's say you are using a smart thermostat in your home. Instead of sending temperature data to a cloud server for processing, the data is processed locally on the thermostat. The thermostat can then use this data to adjust your home's temperature in real time.
To enable edge computing, specialized hardware, such as edge servers, edge routers, and edge gateways are required. These devices have enough processing power and memory to handle data processing tasks quickly and efficiently.
What is an Edge Device?
An edge device is a networking device located at the boundary or edge of a network, where it connects to other networks or devices. Its main function is to filter and process data, and then send it to a central data center or cloud computing platform. Edge devices can be used to perform a variety of functions, such as routing, security, and monitoring.
Single-Board Computers (SBCs) can also be used as edge devices, as they are small, low-cost computers that are designed to be used in embedded systems and other applications where space and power are limited. They can run software applications that process and analyze data in real time and can be used for tasks such as image processing, machine learning, and data analytics. Examples of SBCs include Raspberry Pi, BeagleBone, and LattePanda.
Basic Architecture of Edge Computing
Single-Board Computers (SBCs) vs Commodity Computers for Edge Platforms
Edge platforms typically utilize commodity computers, which can be a significant source of energy consumption. These types of computers use approximately 200 W/h when being used, emitting around 525 kg of CO2 per year. Even in standby mode, power consumption remains relatively high. Data centers utilizing commodity computers consume roughly 1% of the world's electricity usage, which is considered a high percentage. To reduce energy consumption, single-board computers (SBCs) are becoming a popular replacement option for commodity computers. Because SBCs are smaller, less expensive, and consume significantly less energy-approximately 2.7 W in an idle state and 6.4 W in a full load.
Using Single-Board Computers (SBCs) as Computing Device to "Sense" at the Edge
Computations of edge computing occur at the Edge, a decision is made, and an action is carried out. How to sense at the Edge. The Single Board Computer (SBC) just can do this. Single-Board Computer (SBC) is a circuit board that integrates basic computer modules such as a processor, memory, storage, input, and output. SBCs can support running Linux and other operating systems. In edge computing, SBCs are often used as computing devices for edge nodes to perform some data processing functions. Therefore, it can be said that Single Board Computer (SBC)has a close relationship with edge computing.
Single-Board Computers as the Computing Devices of Edge Nodes
Using Single-Board Computers (SBCs) to Bring Data Processing Back to the Local Network
Managing security is another major challenge for organizations with large numbers of IoT devices. Attackers could exploit the large volume of connected devices to execute DDoS attacks. Edge computing does not automatically provide more security than private clouds, but the localized approach makes it easier to manage security. Data privacy is ensured by edge computing since data is being processed locally instead of at the cloud. Yet, with data becoming a higher liability and powerful single-board computers (SBC) decreasing in cost, the best solution is often to bring at least some processing back to the local network.
Single-Board Computers (SBCs) are Essential for IOT Edge Computing
The Internet of Things (IoT) requires both cloud-based data centers and edge processing to function efficiently. While cloud-based resources offer mass storage, processing power, and security, they can also experience latency issues and increased exposure to hackers. To combat these issues, processing and analytics can be performed at the edge with the help of single-board computers (SBCs).
The Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) refers to the extension and use of the Internet of Things (IoT) in industrial sectors and applications, providing intelligent, automated and efficient solutions for industrial manufacturing, construction, energy and other fields.
In the following section, the article will introduce Single-Board Computers (SBCs) for Industrial IoT Edge Computing. Choosing the right single-board computer (SBC) for edge computing involves consideration of the specific scenario and desired outcomes. The choice will vary based on individual requirements to ensure maximum efficiency and effectiveness.
How to Select Single-Board Computers (SBCs) for Industrial IoT Edge Computing
To begin designing an IIoT system, it is important to assess the specific requirements and potential growth of the company's edge computing needs, both currently and in the foreseeable future. In addition, other factors that need to be considered include:
Processing power: the processor speed and RAM capacity should be considered and selected based on the application requirements.
Compatibility: Due to the variety of devices used in industrial IoT, Single-board Computers (SBCs) need to have broad hardware compatibility, capable of adapting to various devices.
IO interfaces: the type and quantity of interfaces needed for connecting to external sensors, actuators, and other devices, such as USB, serial ports, Ethernet, etc.
Long-term reliability: a SBC with long-term reliability and stability should be selected to ensure the stability of industrial production.
Development support: The development and maintenance of single-board computers requires the corresponding technology and knowledge, so it is necessary to choose a single-board computer with good development support and community resources, facilitating development and maintenance work.
Use Case Examples for IIoT Edge Computing with Single-Board Computers (SBCs)
Use Case: Warehouse Visualization:
Warehouse visualization makes it possible to get a bird’s-eye view of the inventory movement, employee performance, and warehouse activity in real time.
A visualized warehouse requires a data warehousing system and needs the installation of sensors to collect real-time data. These sensors can be installed on goods, shelves, trucks, and even on staff to collect important data such as temperature, humidity, transport location, motion status and more during the logistics process. The data is transmitted to a Single-board Computer like LattePanda 3 Delta, and after analysis and processing, can be displayed on the visualized warehouse interface, allowing warehouse managers to easily understand inventory status for daily management and decision-making.
LattePanda 3 Delta Powered Warehouse Visualization
For example, in a smart warehouse, sensors are installed on staff helmets to monitor their location, posture, and movement, with the aim of identifying potential safety hazards. This data is then translated to a single board computer (SBC) for processing, and alerts are sent to the worker or warehouse manager as necessary. When the SBCs receive the data, it will convert collected data into a certain format (such as string or number) and send it to external devices (such as computer, LCD screen, digital display, etc.) through various interfaces (such as serial port, SPI, I2C, etc.). On the external device, a corresponding software program needs to be developed to parse and process the received data, ultimately displaying it on a visual screen.
Recommend SBC: LattePanda 3 Delta
Strong Computing Power: CPU: Intel® Celeron® N5105
Memory: LPDDR4 8GB 2933MHz & Storage: 64GB eMMC V5.1
Ultra-fast connectivity: Wi-Fi 6 and Gigabit Ethernet
Higher data transfer rate: 1 x USB3.2 gen2, 2x USB 3.2 gen1, and 1x USB Type C for high data transfer speed, up to 10X faster than USB2.0
Comparability: Support Windows 10, Windows 11 and Linux
Single-Board Computer: LattePanda 3 Delta
User Case: Automation and Control System
Automation and Control System refers to the integration of mechanical, electrical and electronic systems with computer hardware and software to automate processes and control machines and processes with high precision and accuracy. Edge computing is playing an increasingly important role in automation and control systems.
Recommended SBC: Raspberry Pi Compute Module 4 (CM4)
two rows of high-speed, high-density mezzanine connectors
Broadcom BCM2711 Quad-Core Cortex-A72 (ARMv8)
A variety of RAM and eMMC storage configurations
Small size: 55mm × 40mm
Raspberry Pi Compute Module 4
Raspberry Pi Compute Module 4 can be used in Automation and Control System to perform a variety of computing tasks such as data acquisition and processing, control and monitoring of processes, and communication with other devices. It can also provide a platform for developing and running custom software applications tailored to specific automation and control tasks. Additionally, it also can be integrated with various sensors, actuators, and outputs to form a complete automation and control system.
Edge computing and Single-Board Computers (SBCs) have revolutionized the way IoT applications are designed and implemented. By leveraging the power of these technologies, organizations can achieve reduced latency, enhanced security, cost reduction, and increased reliability in their IoT solutions. While SBCs have certain limitations in terms of functionality, SBC clusters are expected to emerge as a trend in industrial IoT applications, allowing designers to create mini supercomputers. SBC clusters may become a trend in industrial IoT applications. NASA and other organizations have already established SBC clusters to create mini supercomputers.