The Internet of Things (IoT) connects devices that exchange data with other devices and systems over the internet. Connecting everything everywhere leads to a continuous stream of enormous data being generated and this data needs to be processed in real-time to make good use of it and drive applications.
Devices connected to the internet may only require short-range communication based on their use cases, such as ones deployed in connected homes, while many other applications need wider-area, ubiquitous coverage. Connecting the Internet of Things will require heterogeneous connectivity technologies that offer different levels of optimization to address the varying needs. The popular wireless connectivity technologies available today are Near Field Communication (NFC), Bluetooth, WiFi and cellular data and their applicable range with sample use-cases is depicted in the infographic below.
A wired network uses an Ethernet cable to connect to the network. The Ethernet cable is in turn connected to a Digital Subscriber Line or a cable to the network gateway to get internet access. Wireless networks connect to a wired network at some point of the topology and it is hence common to have a hybrid of both wired and wireless network connectivity. Ethernet is an interface specification (IEEE 802.3) that defines the physical and data-link layers of the Open Systems Interconnection (OSI) model. The components involved in a data transfer from an Ethernet cable into the Qualcomm Snapdragon processor is shown below.
The media-independent interface (MII) defines the interface between the MAC and the PHY. The PHY provides the physical link between the Ethernet controller and the network. The magnetics enable transmission over long distances and the RJ45 is a standardized port for Ethernet links. A network will comprise of many components like a router to control the path through which information is sent in and out, gateways to link dissimilar networks, repeaters to enhance and propagate the network.
Connected devices need to power a wide variety of applications across many different industries and SMART Wireless Computing’s Qualcomm Snapdragon based products offer efficient solutions on product-ready designs suited for IoT solutions that can be deployed seamlessly.
All our products have on-board WiFi and BT. They also have Access Point (AP-mode) hardware support. This means that other devices can connect to our platform wirelessly and use the internet. Hence, it is also possible to configure these products as routers and gateways too with the necessary software like routing tables etc. Some use-cases may require a static IP address on the device that can be easily arranged through your local Internet Service Provider.
Ethernet connectivity is not natively available from the Snapdragon typically and has been typically achieved through a USB or PCIe to Ethernet signal conversion on our platforms. With Power over Ethernet (802.3at/bt/af compliant PoE) powered Ethernet ports, solutions like the Inforce 6320 achieve concurrent STA+AP (device having internet connectivity while being able to provide connectivity to another device connected). This is equivalent to the more common STA+AP use-case on WLAN, but on a wired connection. The PoE is in addition to the DC power supply to the platform of course.
For the wide-area Internet of Things, cellular data is evolving to become an attractive platform to address the growing connectivity needs. Our latest solution based on QCS410/610 that is currently in design, accelerates product development by delivering an integrated LTE-Cat4 certified module in addition to onboard WiFi and BT connectivity.