ADLINK Technology, Inc., a global provider of advanced edge computing products, has announced its support for the Standardisation Group for Embedded Technologies’ (SGeT) specification for a Universal Internet-of-Things Connector (UIC). In addition, ADLINK also announced advanced embedded middleware support that complements the UIC, with a ‘plug-in’ for XRCE real-time data distribution.
Together, these two open-source software enhancements for ADLINK’s embedded products portfolio bring embedded computing firmly into the IoT arena, by enabling device-to-device and device-to-cloud data connectivity – with standards-based inter-operability and performance levels never before possible with commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) products.
The UIC is SGeT’s first software-only standard. It supports the comprehensive roll-out of IoT applications by standardising embedded hardware connectivity for edge and cloud computing. Before UIC, all hardware I/O communication had to be done manually for each-and-every edge and cloud connection. This obviously created significant challenges for embedded hardware deployment, support and upgrade in distributed computing (e.g., IoT) systems.
Through the UIC, the integration of distributed devices is made easier via three levels of abstraction/partitioning. The UIC makes a distinction between: 1/ the device configuration (hardware identification, device mapping, value-to-information matching), 2/ the sensor and actuator communications (hardware driver), and 3/ the device communications (data transfer and processing). With more than 500 Cloud service offerings, and an even greater number of possible hardware configurations, this provides a very open, practical and efficient approach to building, deploying, maintaining and evolving IoT systems (i.e., integrated device-Edge-Cloud Computing).
The UIC will, out-of-the-box, support communications to hardware devices through the established Embedded API (EAPI) PCI Industrial Computer Manufacturers Group (PICMG) standard. This means that the whole ADLINK product portfolio of Computer-on-Modules (COM) and embedded boards will be able to leverage the UIC.
In addition to UIC support for its portfolio of devices, ADLINK is also announcing support for a XRCE data-connectivity ‘plug-in’, which leverages the UIC to provide high-performance peer-to-peer data communications between devices. XRCE stands for ‘eXtremely Resource-Constrained Environments’ and is a derivative of the Object Management Group’s (OMG) open-standard Data Distribution Service (DDS) specification. XRCE complements other IT and OT data protocols (e.g., MQTT and OPC/UA) but provides the more advanced real-time data-connectivity required for performance-critical distributed systems (e.g., the deterministic data delivery required for distributed robotics, autonomous vehicles, defense systems, etc.).
Furthermore, UIC and XRCE support the embedded computing industry’s requirement for dual-sourcing (with interoperability and exchangeability), that is, all modules and subsystems interoperating in a seamless way without vendor-specific knowledge. This supports important cost, time-to-market and risk-reduction initiatives by OEMs through, for example, reducing vendor lock-in and improving application code portability.
These initiatives are just one more example of ADLINK ‘Leading EDGE COMPUTING’. ADLINK has extensive experience in distributed computing from the sensor to the Cloud (e.g., its 2015 acquisition of PrismTech), and its focus on and expertise in Edge Computing (which is effectively connected embedded computing) is exceptional, and possibly unique, within the SGeT membership.
ADLINK will showcase its UIC/XRCE capabilities in a device-Fog-Cloud Computing demonstration at embedded world 2018 in Nuremberg, Germany, Feb. 27 to March 1 (booth 1-540).
“We’re very pleased to collaborate with embedded computing standards organizations such as SGeT,” said Edgar Chen, general manager, Embedded Platforms and Modules, ADLINK. “Our developments in UIC connectivity and XRCE data communications provide our embedded computing customers with new opportunities to offer leading-edge IoT solutions. For ADLINK, Edge Computing is connected embedded computing, so pioneering connectivity solutions for embedded systems is a strategic priority for us.”