Digi International showed IoT expertise, edge computing to electronica 2018

Digi International, a leading global provider of Internet of Things (IoT) connectivity products and services, highlighted its Digi XBee3 series of smart edge IoT modules and modems, with a particular emphasis on the Digi XBee3 Cellular with NB-IoT, at electronica 2018 in Munich last week. Digi showcased its solutions with several demonstrations of the latest embedded technology and also shared its expertise by leading multiple educational sessions.

The Digi XBee3 series is designed to support IoT innovation and computing capability at the network edge. Digi XBee3 provides MicroPython programmability and dual-mode radios, with the ability to upgrade via software to Bluetooth LE, enabling local device connectivity from a smartphone or tablet. Digi XBee3 adopts a modular approach to IoT connectivity that includes options for Zigbee, Wi-Fi, or cellular, including LTE-M and NB-IoT. Digi XBee3 enables innovative IoT solutions that can be more quickly developed, prototyped and mass-produced for optimal return on investment.

These solutions can be deployed, provisioned and monitored with Digi XCTU and Digi Remote Manager (DRM), Digi’s centralised, secure device management platform. In addition to providing insight into device and network health, DRM automates updates, accesses data directly from the edge and integrates data into open APIs to provide users with deeper insights.

Additionally, Digi previewed its Digi ConnectCore 8X system-on-modules (SOMs) and SBCs. Digi is an NXP early access partner, and the extremely small module will utilise the NXP i.MX 8X processor family based on ARM Cortex-A35 and Cortex-M4F cores.

“When people come to electronica, they expect to see not just new technology, but how it can help them solve their business challenges,” said Chris Bowen, vice president, EMEA, at Digi International. “Digi addresses connection and networking needs with a full range of embedded hardware options, software specifically developed to optimise IoT deployments and expert services to ensure customer success. Digi is not just connecting the things in the IoT, we’re offering data, insights and management tools to maximise performance and drive business value.”

Product demonstrations

  • Remote IoT Connectivity with Digi XBee3 Cellular: This demonstration showcased remote device management between a Digi XBee3 Cellular device and the cloud-based Digi Remote Manager by remotely monitoring and controlling devices located in multiple locations directly from the trade show floor.
  • Digi XBee3 End-to-End IoT Networking: Digi presented the latest advancements in the Digi XBee3 platform, including multi-protocol support (Zigbee, CAT-1, LTE-M, NB-IoT + Bluetooth LE), with an IoT networking solution composed of Digi XBee3 modules, Digi XBee industrial gateways and network/device management tools. These updates enable new use cases for improved installation, local control diagnostics and configuration. The network and device management element will use a new XCTU Mobile application for the Digi XBee configuration via a phone or tablet.
  • SteadyServ iKeg: This application demonstration shows the SteadyServ iKeg using sensors to measure keg volume, analyse the data locally with a Digi ConnectPort gateway, then send the analysis into the cloud over a Zigbee connection. The iKeg application presents the cloud-based information to bar managers to help accurately inventory and proactively order more when beer runs low.

Educational sessions

  • Selecting Cellular LPWAN Technology for the IoT: Presented by Mark Tekippe, Digi International director of Product Management, Embedded and RF, on Wednesday, November 14. As part of the IoT Track, this session addressed selecting the best connectivity technology for low-power, low-bandwidth requirements in the IoT, touching on LTE Cat 1, LTE-M, NB-IoT and more.
  • What is Edge Compute?: Presented by Andreas Burghart, Digi International Solution sales engineer, on Thursday, November 15. As part of the Machine Learning Track, this session dove into how bringing intelligence to the edge demands a different way of thinking about existing IT infrastructures. Touchstones include extending compute capabilities intelligently, opening up new opportunities and revenue streams with more compute power, and improving time to market.
  • Yocto Project Linux as a Platform for Embedded Systems Design: Presented by Alex Gonzalez, supervisor, Software Engineering; Digi International, on Thursday, November 15. As part of the software track, this session covered a wide-range of issues when selecting an operating system for an embedded system including acquisition cost, source code availability, and its broad architecture support. All these factors lead to a significantly improved time-to-market and a reduction in platform design risk and effort.


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