IoT trends for 2018

Here is a list f IoT predictions for year 2018. With the number of connected devices set to top 11 billion – and that’s not including computers and phones – in 2018, Internet of Things will clearly continue to be a hot topic. Here is my prediction list:

1. Artifical Intelligence – it will be talked a lot

2. Blockchain – blockchain will be hyped to be a solution for many IoT problems, and it will turn out that it is not the best solution for most of problems it is hyped for – and maybe it will find few sensible uses for it in IoT. Blockchain can add immutability and integrity to some IoT transactions.

3. 4G mobile for IoT: NB-IoT and LTE-M are ready to be tested or used in many markets

4. 5G will be hyped a lot for IoT applications but it is nowhere near for any real big IoT use cases

6. Security issues will be talked a lot. IoT security is far from solved issue.

7. Privacy issues of IoT will be talked a lot when our homes and pockets are starting to be filled with ever listening digital assistants.

8. Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) will be massive

9. More CPU power will be added or used in the edge. Pushing processing power to the “edge” brings a number of benefits and opportunities.

10. Hardware based security: Hardware based security on microprocessors will be talked a lot after “Meltdown” and “Spectre” disaster

Links to more predictions:



  1. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Continental showcases smart cities innovations at CES 2019

    At CES 2019, Continental will demonstrate its solutions and key technologies for future cities around the theme “Mobility at your service. Freedom to Live.” Per a company statement, “Today half the world’s population lives in cities; in three decades this number will grow by another 2.5 billion1 , adding more vehicles to the already overcrowded roads. As more cities approach the population tipping point, digitalization will lead the shift to a new mobility ecosystem.”

    “Intelligent mobility is an essential pillar of the smart city. The number of connected devices exceeds the world’s population today, facilitating real-time exchange of information between vehicles, infrastructure and people. At CES 2019, Continental will demonstrate solutions that foster mobility intelligence, ease traffic congestion and reduce accidents and pollution, addressing the most critical challenges of urban mobility,” said Helmut Matschi, member of the Continental Executive Board and head of the Interior Division.

  2. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Global smart city market to post 22-percent CAGR through 2022: Analyst

    According to a new market research report by Technavio, the global smart city market is expected to accelerate at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of more than 22 percent during the forecast period. The report, titled “Global Smart City Market 2018-2022,” provides an in-depth analysis of the market in terms of revenue and emerging market trends

    Enhanced global broadband connectivity is one of the key factors triggering the growth of this market, notes Technavio. The market researcher categorizes the global smart city market into application segments for: smart governance and education; smart energy; smart healthcare; smart security; and others. The analyst says that in 2017, the smart governance and education segment accounted for 25 percent of the global smart city market, and is projected to inch up to 27 percent by 2022.

    The report adds that proliferation of smart city projects in emerging economies is the key emerging trend in this market space. Per Technavio, “Developed economies in the Americas and Europe have been working on developing smart cities for a decade and have already implemented many projects. Emerging economies like India are still in the planning phase and are launching many pilot projects. For instance, the government of India has announced pilot smart city projects to be implemented in 100 cities across the country.”

  3. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Smart Meters Backed by Big Data Optimize Utility Business Models

    By applying analytics to make sense of smart meter data, utilities believe they will be able to reduce their operating costs, optimize deployment and the operational health of their networks and systems.

    Data disrupts, big data disrupts absolutely. That holds true across multiple industries, including the utilities space, where software and analytics are providing insights that change everything from consumption of energy down to business model and beyond.

    Current estimates are that around 900 million smart meters will be installed between 2016 and 2023.

    Betting on technology has been a smart move for the utilities industry, perhaps none more so than IoT, where billions of connections mean trillions of dollars in value.

    IDC has said that by 2019, 51% of nodes on the internet will belong to machines, not people, and with smart household meters generating 400MB a year and smart buildings netting out at a whopping 250GBs a day each (on average), there’s a lot of utilities data to process. Petabytes of data.

  4. Tomi Engdahl says:

    IoT Benchmarks Need Support

    Chip vendors need to run and release meaningful benchmarks to ease the job of sorting through the many processors available for the internet of things.

    In the course of writing an article on 10 cool IoT processors for our sister publication Electronic Products, I realized a few things about the state of IoT silicon.

    The good news is that a wealth of chips is available for IoT gateways and end nodes. A growing set of OEMs, system integrators, and even large end users will become customers for them as the IoT gets established over the next decade.

  5. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Masayoshi Son wants Arm’s blueprints to power all tech

    The British company’s pre-eminent position in chip design helps him predict tech’s future

    Arm’s model boasts both high margins and rapid growth; between 2008 and 2017 the number of Arm-processor based chips sold globally notched up a compound annual growth rate of 21%. Even so, few owners of phones, televisions, watches, voice assistants and other devices have heard of Arm, despite the fact that their gizmos are stuffed with its intellectual property.

    Mr Son has boasted that Arm could become more valuable than Google, by selling intellectual property (IP) into a world in which there could be as many as 1,000 internet-connected devices—from smart traffic sensors to utility meters to personal health trackers and so on—for every person on Earth. His switch to a focus on revenue growth, not profit, is well under way. In 2015 Arm raked in a profit of £539m on revenues a shade above £1bn; in 2017 profits were down to £325m on revenues of £1.3bn.

  6. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Natasha Lomas / TechCrunch:
    Munich court rules that Amazon’s Dash buttons do not provide consumers with sufficient information about a purchase in breach of consumer e-commerce rules — Amazon’s Dash buttons have been found to breach consumer ecommerce rules in Germany. — The push-to-order gizmos were debuted by Amazon in 2015 …

    Amazon Dash buttons judged to breach consumer rules in Germany

  7. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Digitaalinen kaksonen pelastaa suomalaisyritykset

    Digitaalinen kaksonen tarkoittaa tuotteen tai järjestelmän virtuaalista mallia, joka pitää sisällään kaiken fyysisestä sisarestaan saatavilla olevan tiedon. Digikaksonen lupaa mullistaa tuotekehityksen ja ylläpidon. Perjantaina Aalto-yliopistolla järjestetään DigiTwin-demopäivä, jossa projektista ja yritysten osallistumismahdollisuuksista kerrotaan enemmän.

  8. Tomi Engdahl says:

    61% of product engineers say IoT, sensors are most important emerging technologies: Survey

    Internet of Things (IoT) and sensor technology experienced remarkable double-digit growth in 2018, yet security for IoT continues to be the greatest challenge for electronic product developers to overcome, according to new research from Avnet (Nasdaq: AVT), a leading global technology solutions provider.

    For its latest Product Developer Index, the company surveyed 1,190 members of the 1.3 million strong and element14 engineering communities to understand where they are focusing their development efforts, what the challenges are, and what has changed over the past year.

  9. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Microsoft Azure drives IoT deployments

    The internet of things (IoT) is like a jigsaw puzzle—that is, a jigsaw puzzle with 7.8 billion pieces.

    Developers of IoT systems for major projects like industrial systems, smart buildings and smart cities face significant challenges keeping all the pieces in place, from provisioning, to updating software on specific devices, to managing maintenance notifications.
    For the modern-day developer, cloud-based solutions represent an essential asset for deploying and operating of IoT systems, providing essential tools for securely connecting, monitoring and managing devices. Businesses are becoming increasingly aware of this trend, with the cloud playing an essential role in IoT deployments and digital products.

  10. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Ambient intelligence requires cloud platforms with flexible AI deployment

    To build truly intelligent ambient environments, organizations are adopting cloud-based platforms that can apply artificial intelligence (AI) algorithms across all kinds of IoT deployments—spanning from the edge to the cloud.

  11. Tomi Engdahl says:

    New Ethernet Protocol Keeps the Industrial IoT in Sync

    And now timing has to take the best of the Internet and marry it with the rigors and reliability of the factory-automation network as manufacturers bring in more information technology to their existing factory-automation systems. One way to do that is through an emerging standard called time-sensitive networking, which embeds a shared understanding of time into devices connected by Ethernet.

  12. Tomi Engdahl says:

    US Congress Debating IoT Assessment Bill

    A bill recently passed the US House of Representatives, and is now in committee in the Senate, that will, if passed, direct the Secretary of Commerce to conduct a study and submit to Congress a report on the state of the internet-connected devices industry in the United States.

    The bill, H.R.6032 – SMART (State of Modern Application, Research, and Trends) IoT Act, was introduced in June by Ohio Republican Rep. Robert E. Latta, and its scope is only one of study at this point.

  13. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Cybersecurity Is the Key to Unlocking Demand in the Internet of Things

    Enterprise customers would buy more IoT devices if vendors could ensure better security.

    At a Glance

    Enterprise customers are limiting their investment in IoT devices because they have concerns about security risks.
    Executives say they would buy more devices and pay more for them if manufacturers could provide better security.
    Investing to improve security could grow the IoT cybersecurity market by $9 billion to $11 billion.

  14. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Millimeter-wave Radar Extends its Reach into Traffic Management

    Already established as a fundamental technology for advanced in-vehicle safety systems, mmWave radar is about to extend its reach into the transportation infrastructure.

  15. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Itty Bitty Sensors Play Big Roles in Wind Turbines

    Wind turbines are a 21st-century windmill that turn a breeze into electrical energy. From an engineering standpoint, these turbines are quite impressive masterpieces of design, with rotors reaching 80m in length that, combined, provide a swept area of 20,566m². In all, these leviathans often have more than 8,000 components, but perhaps surprisingly, some of the most critical components are just centimeters long: The many sensors that keep these engineering masterpieces functioning in the face of extraordinary stresses, vibration, and various other hazards.

    More specifically, sensors are key because they provide data that helps prevent large-scale failures by:

    Detecting, monitoring, and communicating information about parameters such as changes in the distance between two components near each other
    Monitoring levels of vibration that, if excessive, can cause major damage
    Monitoring changes in temperature, pressure, and mechanical stresses

    What types of sensors are used? A variety, including those that measure eddy current, displacement, and vibration, wind, and temperature

  16. Tomi Engdahl says:

    CES: Smart cities and the challenge of securing the neighborhood
    In our final report from CES we take a look at smart city initiatives

    This year at CES there was an entire section devoted to smart city initiatives municipalities are rolling out in many cities around the world, or planning to. As we noted in our look at automotive security and IoT security previously, the technologies surrounding transportation are converging; so too are the technologies that make cities work. From automated street lights that change color to alert you of a hazard, to centrally-planned dynamic traffic flows and car-to-car communication, cities will change rapidly. But how they will manage these changes is another story.

    Stage one is the deployment of sensors that passively assess traffic flows, pedestrian traffic and potential hazards. Shortly thereafter, cities will deploy more active measures, such as controlling traffic lights and entire systems based on holistic input from the swarms of sensors.

    One of the hotspots (literally) will be city lamp posts, especially if they are connected electrically. This will be the focus of considerable attention, as they are a perfect platform for Wi-Fi, temperature and other ambient condition sensors, and hence, potential hosts for super-high-speed, ubiquitous, wireless connectivity. Want to get a feel for what’s happening across the whole landscape? Fire up a mesh of a bazillion sensors on the lamp posts and start getting a better picture. All this without significant development and acquisition of land.

  17. Tomi Engdahl says:

    As IoT Grows, Confidence in Security Remains Low

    Despite the growth in use and the need for security in the use of embedded devices (IoT), almost half of all businesses are unable to detect a breach in any of their devices. The situation is worse in the UK (it rises from 48% overall to almost 60%), even though the UK government introduced a code of practice for manufacturers and developers last year.

    The figures come from a Gemalto survey of 950 IT and business decision makers globally. Spending on securing IoT is growing (from 11% of IoT budget in 2017 to 13% now); and security awareness is high (90% believe it is a major consideration). Belief that IoT security is an ethical responsibility has grown from 4% a year ago to 14% now. But confidence in breach detection remains low.

    Consumers are not impressed. Sixty-two percent believe that security must improve. Fifty-four percent fear a loss of privacy through connected devices, 51% are worried about hackers taking control over the devices, and 50% are worried about a lack of control over their personal data.

  18. Tomi Engdahl says:

    The Future of IoT Includes Edge Computing, AI, and Blockchain

    IDC forecasts a steep climb in IoT spending through 2022. An IDC researcher explains the stages of IoT development—past, present, and future.

  19. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Industrial Ethernet Creates Value for Process Control

    Ethernet/IP support for HART devices is the latest in a series of developments strengthening Industrial Ethernet solutions for process control.

    An ongoing megatrend in automation and control is the development of Industrial Ethernet technologies targeting the needs of process control applications. Integration of EtherNet/IP with the HART protocol, along with emerging FDI standards, are pieces of a strategic vision for manufacturers looking to maintain cost-effective, sustainable production capacity in the process industries. The potential is that this approach will simplify the exchange of configuration, diagnostic, and production data between field devices and higher-level systems used for supervisory control, data acquisition, and plant asset management.

    Integration of HART Devices

    A clear example of these developments is ODVA’s recent announcement of enhancements to the EtherNet/IP specification, which outlines how to integrate HART devices into EtherNet/IP system control architectures. This capability is viewed as an important mechanism for process control users to connect with their existing infrastructure while leveraging the benefits of Industrial Ethernet.

  20. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Designing lighting systems and lighting controls

    Lighting designers must consider many factors when specifying lighting systems and lighting controls for their designs. In addition to considering the type of lighting fixture, they must also take into account daylighting, lighting controls, codes and standards, and other factors. To ensure these systems work as efficiently and effectively as possible, commissioning new systems (along with ongoing commissioning) is vital for success.

  21. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Wireless security cameras overcome ‘glitch’ fears

    Wireless security cameras are rapidly becoming more sophisticated with the latest models now equipped with motion detection sensors and the ability to record footage of an intruder. More advanced cameras include facial recognition and two-way audio. But regardless of the model, it is the quality of the video footage that is the most important aspect of a wireless security camera.

    All security cameras support at least 720p resolution (1,280 x 720 pixels), although this is now giving way to 1080p (1,920 x 1,080 pixels). The ability to switch seamlessly between day and night modes and pick out the same level of detail even in low light is a pre-requisite for any good wireless security camera. Night vision enabled devices may use either: LED lights, infrared, or a combination of the two. Cameras with motion detection sensors usually have the ability to send alerts to a phone app or via email. It is also possible to set up a schedule whereby motion alerts are enabled only when the customer is out of the home.

    Cameras can either operate from the mains plug or from a battery.

  22. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Predictive Maintenance Can Benefit All Manufacturers

    With machine learning and artificial intelligence, manufacturers can eliminate maintenance guesswork and minimize unplanned machine downtime.

  23. Tomi Engdahl says:

    MQTT’s role as an IoT message transport

    Messaging queuing telemetry transport’s (MQTT) role as an Internet of Things (IoT) message transport derives from its simple design, when it began as an industrial communicator for a pipeline supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) system.

    Messaging queuing telemetry transport (MQTT) has emerged as one of the dominant IoT message transports across multiple industries in the last five years. Considering that most cloud services provide native MQTT capabilities, more device manufacturers, software, and services are implementing MQTT-based products.

  24. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Identifying IIoT risks and rewards
    Integrators provide a safe passage to smart factory technology

    Information technology implications

    What are the potential risks for small- to medium-sized companies? How do we minimize these risks? Before making the decision to jump in, it is important to consider your specific internet-based cloud storage needs and your technological infrastructure.

    Will cloud storage increase efficiency and effectiveness for my company?
    What process will minimize my risk of security threats?
    Do I have the resources to adapt and adopt the IIoT process?

  25. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Digitalization and innovation driving manufacturing’s future

    Manufacturing is in the midst of the fourth industrial revolution—known as Industrie 4.0—and constant plant-floor changes are forcing companies to keep up with the rapid pace or risk getting lost and falling behind.

  26. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Three ways location intelligence and IIoT make pipeline asset management easier

    If the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) is integrated with location intelligence it can help midstream oil & gas operations to manage pipeline assets, mitigate potential risks, and optimize new pipeline routes.

    The divide between the physical and digital world in the oil & gas sector is getting smaller every day. As a result, companies are looking to improve their ability to respond to constant changes. The Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) can play a major role. IIoT generates value by delivering real-time, actionable data about the physical world to other systems or software for efficient response. For example, sensors that predict tank erosion “talk” to systems that remotely manage the problem by prompting automated repair or sending alerts when human intervention is required.

    Networks of devices and systems connected by IIoT have the potential to deliver productivity and profitability improvement.

    However, exploiting Big Data—including data gathered via the IIoT—can be complex. Pairing IIoT with location intelligence helps simplify data processing and analysis by providing location-based context and spatial awareness.

  27. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Special interest group for internet protocol launched

    CAN in Automation’s (CiA) international users’ and manufacturers’ group has established the CAN XL Special Interest Group (SIG) for their next-generation protocol, which is designed for TCP/IP communication and radar sensors.

    CAN in Automation’s (CiA) international users’ and manufacturers’ group has established the CAN XL Special Interest Group (SIG). Several original equipment manufacturers (OEMs), Tier 1’s, chipmakers, and other interested parties including tool suppliers discussed desired features for the CAN XL data link layer.

    The SIG experts requested backwards compatibility with CAN FD for the CAN XL protocol. The CAN XL data link layer is intended for TCP/IP communication, simple radar sensors, and eCall devices.

    The CAN XL protocol could be used for interoperability tests. “If we are fast, we can schedule a first plug fest beginning of 2020,” Zeltwanger said.

  28. Tomi Engdahl says:

    The future of IIoT software in manufacturing

    A guide to understanding and using data distribution service (DDS), time-sensitive networking (TSN), and OPC Unified Architecture (OPC UA) for advanced manufacturing applications.

    Should you use OPC UA, or DDS, or both?

    DDS and OPC UA are nearly opposites. DDS is widely deployed in industries that need sophisticated distributed software. OPC UA targets manufacturing, where device interoperability matters more. Create, read, update, and delete (CRUD) are functions of relational databases.

    Manufacturing systems compete on the same basis they have for decades: reliability, production rates, or implementation cost. In the not-too-distant future, clever industrial software engineers may figure out how to apply artificial intelligence, distributed information control, or smart flexibility. Those applications require sophisticated software and a systemwide approach. If you believe software can be bought and remain competitive, you don’t have to change. If, on the other hand, you see a future where the best software wins, you will need a different path to keep up

    A system may also need to be built from interoperable devices. Fortunately, this doesn’t have to be an all-or-nothing decision; DDS, OPC UA, and TSN can work together. The Object Management Group (OMG), the parent organization for the Industrial Internet Consortium (IIC), recently approved a standard to integrate DDS with OPC UA. OMG and OPC Foundation are working on standards to use TSN with DDS and OPC UA. DDS vendors are working on easy configuration tools.

  29. Tomi Engdahl says:

    No-Battery HD Video Streaming Does It with Backscatter

    What if Google Glass didn’t have a battery? That’s not too far fetched. This battery-free HD video streaming camera could be built into a pair of eyeglass frames to stream HD video to a nearby phone or other receiver using no bulky batteries or external power source. Researchers at the University of Washington are using backscatter to pull this off.

  30. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Smart Plugs Don’t Save You Energy, But Don’t Consume Much Either

    Amazon Alexa, Google Home, and just about every electronic device manufacturer are jumping on the bandwagon of connected devices. They promise us the ability to turn on our toaster from another room, unlock our doors just by shouting at them from outside, and change the channel on our TV through perfectly enunciating a sentence instead of mashing the buttons on our remotes like chumps. And yet, despite all this new-fangled finger-less control, there is an unanswered question: does this technology save us energy in the long run?

    For years we’ve been hearing about vampire power and all the devices in our home that sit in standby, waiting for their masters to turn them on, quietly burning power to listen for that signal to wake. Fortunately the One Watt Initiative and general awareness and design for energy savings has cut out a lot of this phantom load.

    Energy Cost Versus Energy Saved

    Let’s assume that we’re talking about a single Wi-Fi Smart Plug, like the Wemo Mini Smart Plug or the Laneco cheap knockoff. Retailing for $30 and $15 respectively, we’re going to have to save that much money in reduced electricity consumption to make up the cost. Assuming $.12/kWh and the cheaper plug, that’s roughly 125kWh of energy we need to save.

    While it’s plugged in and running, the unit consumes just under 1 watt, and while it is on, the Kill-A-Watt still registers under 1 watt. This adds to the cost of the device on a recurring basis.

    Energy Saving

    The argument is that with this device you may use less energy overall because your devices won’t be powered as much; that being able to say “Alexa, turn off the lamp” is easier than operating a switch and thus will be done more frequently. Let’s assume they are right and that as a result of this device, you burn an LED lamp for 1 hour less each night, for a savings of 10watt hours every day. In this scenario, over the course of a year we use 9kWh to save roughly 4kWh. Oops. This doesn’t eat into our cost of the device, either. No, in order for this to make any sense at all, our smart plug has to save us a lot more energy. But remember, most of the other devices in standby are only consuming a watt as well, so controlling them via a WiFi plug doesn’t yield any net savings, just displacement.

  31. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Data Protection Laws Will Change How Electronics Systems are Designed

    The advent of 5G cellular service is upon us (see “The 5G Future Begins Now!”). This is great news for the chip and electronic system industries and — possibly — outstanding news for the digital security industry.

    I pointed out that weaknesses in data security exist in the technologies that are purchased by media and retail companies. Even if those companies do everything in their power to protect customer data, a hacker can access that data through the equipment anyway. I asked how long he thought it would be before the EU went after the equipment providers for data breaches or if their customers would seek financial relief from them if they were fined. His face went white for a few seconds and then red. “I think this interview is over,” he said, and then he walked away.

    Here’s the revelation that he had: In the EU, the fine for violating the GDPR is €20 million, or 4% of a company’s annual global revenue, whichever is greater. Read that again just to let it sink in. Let’s say that Apple had a breach in their devices that was exploited by a group of hackers working for the Chinese government, giving access to the data of a couple of thousand customers in Europe. The fine for that is more than €2 billion.

    Could that happen? Well, before the GDPR went into effect, researchers discovered the Meltdown/Spectre hole in every commercial processor on the market, including all Apple products. As I wrote several times last year (see my “The Illusion of Security” columns), the hole was quickly patched at a significant cost to device performance.

    Apple and the rest of the device world is safe from the GDPR at the moment. This is because no one is thinking about applying it to devices and also because the EU regulation is an “opt-in” service. Users have to choose to have the protection, and the patch protects the device world from liability. he patches, however, can be turned off voluntarily, which constitutes a decision to opt out of the protection. This will protect them with the CCPA in 2020 because that law is opt-out, and turning off the patches could constitute a decision to opt out.

    The problem comes in when tech support doesn’t tell users that bypassing the patch to regain performance will eliminate their protection. Guess what? They don’t. That will have to change because when the CCPA goes into effect, the financial penalties could kill a company.

    The handwriting is on the wall about what data breaches will cost in the next decade, and it’s time for the hardware industry to get very serious about dealing with this issue.

  32. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Improving industrial network communications
    Selecting a Profinet interface may enhance industrial network communication for devices.

  33. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Industrial Ethernet enables smarter, more reliable machines

    Machine builder uses industrial Ethernet for remote monitoring and diagnostic services to improve machine reliability and uptime.

  34. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Energy Harvesting Chip Startup Funded by Amazon Web Services

    Wiliot, which is building Bluetooth chips that can be powered by ambient radio frequencies, has raised $30 million in funding from Qualcomm Ventures, Samsung Venture Investment, Avery Dennison and Amazon Web Services, among others, as it moves closer to entering production. The funding increases the company’s total to $50 million since it was founded in 2017.

  35. Tomi Engdahl says:

    5 Technologies Embedded System Engineers Should Master in 2019

    Here are the technologies that have the greatest impact on the way we design and develop embedded systems.

    Technology #1 – Defect Management

    In 2018, I spent a lot of time talking about debugging techniques that developers can use to minimize the defects that are in their systems. The fact is, debugging techniques are the last resort to remove defects from an embedded system. The processes that are put in place during the design and development are far more important in minimizing defects. There have been several advances in the last few years that many embedded developers have not been taking advantage of. These include:

    Continuous integration servers
    Hardware-in-loop testing
    Unit testing
    Automated testing

    There is a lot that developers can do in these areas to reduce the time spent debugging. In many cases developers tell themselves that they will look into these items or implement them after the next delivery when there is more time.

    Technology #2 – Cloud Connectivity

    Many “traditional” embedded systems are, or were, disconnected systems that had no access to the Internet. With the big push for the IoT, many systems are now adding wireless or wired connectivity and streaming loads of data up to the cloud for processing and storage. The traditional embedded software developer in general doesn’t have much experience with setting up cloud services, working with MQTT, or the many other technologies that are required for use with the cloud. There are several activities that developers should put into their calendars this year in order to become more familiar with cloud connectivity. These activities include:

    Setting up a cloud service provider such as Amazon Web Services, Google Cloud, etc

    Set up private and public keys along with a device certificate.
    Write a device policy for devices connecting to the cloud service
    Connect an embedded system to the cloud service
    Transmit and receive information to the cloud
    Build a basic dashboard to examine data in the cloud and control the device

    Technology #3 – Security

    With many devices now connecting to the cloud, a major concern facing developers is how to secure their systems. There are several new technologies, more than I could list in this post, that will be impacting how developers design their systems. These technologies vary from using security processors, Arm TrustZone, and multi-core microcontrollers to partition secure and non-secure application code. While there are several hardware technology sets available, the available software solutions have been expanding at an extraordinary rate. Many of these technologies are just being introduced and 2019 is an excellent year to focus in and master security concepts and apply them your embedded systems.

    Technology #4 – Machine Learning

    A major theme that we are going to hear about nearly non-stop in 2019 is about moving machine learning from the cloud to the edge. Machine learning has been a force to reckon with in the cloud and the ability to move machine learning to microcontroller-based systems is going to be a game changer.

    Technology #5 – Low Power Design

    Embedded designers have always had to contend with battery operated devices but with more IoT connected devices and sensor nodes, low power design is becoming a crucial design criteria that can dramatically affect the operating costs of a company.

    Developers working with battery operated devices need to stay up to date in several key areas:

    Wireless radio technologies
    Hardware energy monitoring
    Software energy consumption monitoring
    Battery architectures
    Power regulators

  36. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Automation Suppliers Back OPC UA

    OPC UA TSN looks to leverage gigabit Ethernet bandwidth and Time Sensitive Networking to deliver open networking solutions for smart factories.

    One of the key automation technology megatrends of 2018, OPC UA TSN, took another big step forward with an announcement that the technology is being supported by a wide range of major automation suppliers worldwide, signaling the potential rise of a single, internationally-recognized standard for automation communications. Now, we’re nearing the tipping point, with less talk about the standards itself, and more new product introductions that will no doubt be coming as we head into 2019.

    The group of companies backing the technology initiative includes automation and control giants, Rockwell Automation and Siemens, along with a “Who’s Who” of leading suppliers including ABB, Beckhoff, Bosch Rexroth, B&R, Cisco, Hilscher, Hirschmann, Huawei, Intel, Kalycito, KUKA, Mitsubishi Electric, Molex, Omron, Phoenix Contact, Pilz, Schneider Electric, TTTech, Wago, and Yokogawa.

    OPC UA and Time Sensitive Networking

    It’s hard to remember a technology development in automation and control that has generated the amount of hyperbole surrounding the combination of OPC UA and TSN.

    OPC UA over TSN is also seen as the key to meeting the requirements of future IoT applications. The technology supports networks comprising tens of thousands of nodes and benefits from bandwidth extensions to the Ethernet standard.


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