Living on the AI Edge at embedded world

February 26, 2019 Kenton Williston

On day two, embedded world hit the accelerator. Vendors were showing off their platforms geared for virtualization, edge-to-cloud, and high-speed system performance via integrated systems. The show floor was filled with innovative solutions designed to streamline development—and enable faster time-to-market.

From hardware built for the rigors of industrial environments to software tools addressing safety-critical applications—there was no lack new technologies to test drive.

For example, there may be a number of ways of addressing the challenges of building IoT edge solutions. But to do so without burning a lot of power, spending a lot of money, and taking up space requires an all-in-one platform. Take a look at the Congatec Real-Time Systems Hypervisor, which can harness multicore processing power for AI and real-time control—while also keeping costs under control.

Using virtualization, the system enables multiple operating systems—both real-time and general purpose—to run concurrently on Intel® Xeon® multicore processors platform.

This means designers can achieve increased flexibility in system design and remarkable enhancements to functionality and performance—at the same time reducing overall system cost. Swing by Intel® booth, Hall 1 / 1-338 to find out more.

While we’re on the topic of virtualization, Wind River is introducing its Helix Virtualization Platform designed for edge devices—combining a heterogeneous mix of industrial applications on a single virtualized system based on Intel® architecture.

Especially important for the IIoT, Helix securely partitions a VM running a safety-critical application—to ensure that there are no conflicts or interference from other VM applications.

It’s also worthwhile noting that the platform meets the stringent certification requirements of the DO-178C, IEC 61508, and ISO 26262 safety standards—absolutely essential in industrial applications. You can find Wind River at Hall 4A / 4A-320.

Time-to-market is a big topic this year, and there’s no do doubt that Microsoft Azure can accelerate edge-to cloud development—particularly in areas such as machine learning, stream analytics and IoT application management.

Azure IoT Edge 2.0 a hot topic in the Microsoft booth (Hall 4 / 4-422) where there’s much to see and learn. Like how designers can push workloads out to the edge by containerizing modules and deploying them onto devices running Linux or Windows. This means that cloud intelligence and analytics can be extended to devices such as industrial gateways.

Get the details on Azure managed IoT services and solution accelerators, which are designed for scenarios like remote monitoring, predictive maintenance, smart spaces, and even more.

While there’s a host of solutions designed to help developers accelerate edge-to-cloud solution time-to-market, there’s a bevy of platforms that enable higher platform performance. For example, ADLINK is showing how to take embedded computing to the next level with its GPU- and VPU-accelerated heterogeneous computing platforms.

The company is demonstrating a series of IIoT applications for AI at the edge. One very cool example is how an automated optical inspection (AOI) system—based on its next gen, fanless, embedded computer MVP-5100 and embedded graphics module EGX-MXM-P1000—can find solder defects on printed circuit boards in varying illumination conditions.

Other demos include automated mechanical meter reading and a wood inspection application with AI-enabled smart cameras.

But the sweetest one of all shows how AI-accelerated frame grabbers will detect cracked candies and read deformed labels. There’s a lot to see at ADLINKs stand in Hall 1 / 540.

Continuing on the topic of the IIoT, these environments are often downright extreme. Supermicro is addressing this challenge with its embedded fanless systems with ruggedized chassis—designed to endure even the harshest settings.

Supermicro embedded Fanless systems tackle IIoT machine failures that are the result of dusty environments, heat damage, and lack of maintenance. Plus, they are flexible—providing a wide range of performance options, connectivity and I/O, in multiple form factors. See this edge device in action at booth 3A-510.

Portwell is another company innovating in the IIoT space—with a series of ruggedized intelligent IoT Gateway solutions. Check out its recently announced KUBE-2100 Industrial Computer, built on the Intel Atom® processor and packaged in a rugged, fanless case.

Be sure to make time to stop by the Portwell stand (Hall 2 / 2-340) where the company is uniquely showcasing its solutions in a Universal IoT Connector (UIC) framework demo. UIC is an open standard that facilitates the configuring and deploying of IoT solutions on multiple devices.

This provides value from the local hardware through EDMs (such as EAPI-EDMs) and connects them to any cloud solution from a simple configuration. The UIC framework is supported through the not-for-profit association SGET.

Telit is helping to speed IoT deployments with its new Telit OneEdge initiative to enable a leap ahead into the new 5G super-connected world.

It’s an innovative software suite providing a new generation of solutions built on Telit’s cellular LPWA IoT modules—simplifying the design, set-up, and management of IoT solutions with integrated, secure, easy-to-use tools.

How so? With capabilities such as zero touch on-boarding, device management, built-in security, SIM-less cellular subscription management, and a whole lot more. You’ll find Telit at Hall 3 / 3-539.

How about a PC that fits in your pocket? The Elite Group is one on display with its one-of-kind LIVA Q. This ultra-tiny device measures 70 x 70 x 31.4mm and is powered by the Intel® Apollo Lake SoC and Intel® HD graphics. Quiet, low-power and loaded with expansion slots it’s an ideal platform for IoT applications where space is limited—from digital signage to smart factories.

About the Author

Kenton Williston

Kenton Williston is the Editor-in-Chief of insight.tech and served as the editor of its predecessor publication, the Embedded Innovator magazine. Kenton received his B.S. in Electrical Engineering in 2000 and has been writing about embedded computing and IoT ever since.

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