The Internet of Things (IoT) is defined as a paradigm in which objects equipped with sensors, actuators, and processors communicate with each other to serve a meaningful purpose. The goal is to benefit not only everyone but “everything” by harnessing the power of communications.
Today the Internet has become ubiquitous, has touched almost every corner of the globe, and is affecting human life in unimaginable ways. However, the journey is far from over. We are now entering an era of even more pervasive connectivity where a very wide variety of appliances will be connected to the web. Sensors and actuators interact with the physical environment and gather tangible data.
This data is then sent to enterprise applications’ servers where the business logic resides. These high performance and scalable data centers are so awesome that some of the process more than a billion connectivity requests on a single day! How cool is that!
You can just imagine the complexity involved while designing a network capable of catering to that amount of signaling and payload data. The IoT network traffic can scale exponentially, and can potentially wreak havoc on a conventional data network. The goal is to design the network with a flatter architecture.
Sensors and actuators:
These little guys collect the environmental data (pressure, temperature, position, device states, car speed, and what not!). These are usually equipped with embedded microcontrollers, with the full support of TCP/IP stack. One cool example is our beloved ESP8266 and ESP32 boards from Espressif China. Cellular IoT terminals have 2G/3G/4G modems with a serial interface where one can easily execute Hayes AT commands. Development shields for commonly used single board computers are also readily available.
Fig: ESP32 board with full Wi-Fi stack support
Sensors and actuators are usually interfaced via GPIO headers. The onboard CPU takes care of logic level shifting, A/D conversion, fast wake-up cycle, device watchdog time settings, etc.
To be continued …
Looking forward to hearing your comments..
Author: Vinit Shandilya
A SnehaaSpeaks Original
Picture Courtesey: Google Images and Espressif