Introduction to IoT Hardware
In the Internet of Things, hardware comes in many forms, whether the underlying processors control the phones, the sensors collecting information from the physical world, or the edge machines processing and analyzing the data. At the heart of any wired venture is IoT hardware and the technical capabilities of these boards have only become more important as the Internet of Things has developed. But, because of the sheer number of design boards and modules in the room, choosing the right IoT hardware for a project can be daunting. In this article, we will look at different aspects of IoT hardware and see how these devices communicate data to the internet.
IoT Hardware Devices
The building blocks of an IoT device are remarkably similar, whether undertaking projects related to the wearable device, an integrated lighting system, or even a jet engine. Wireless sensor node consists of three major hardware components they are sensors, microcontrollers, and communication medium.
Sensors are the most critical hardware in IoT applications and are used to gather information from the surroundings. These systems are made up of power management modules, RF, energy and sensing modules. Communication from Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, transceiver, BAW, and duplexer is managed by an RF module.
A microcontroller is a device in a single integrated circuit devoted to executing a single task and running an application. This contains programmable peripherals for contains programmable, memory unit, and a CPU. Microcontrollers are designed primarily for embedded applications and are widely used in remotely operated electronic devices such as mobile phones, washing machines, microwaves, and cameras.
3. Other IoT hardware
Smart wearable devices such as smart memory, glasses, rings, and shoes are examples of IoT hardware. Smart devices allow us to access more of the content and resources that we love and create a new approach to collaboration as part of an IoT network. Desktop, mobile phones, and tablets are standard command center and remains an integral part of IoT application. Other network distribution devices like switches, hubs, and routers act as a key connector in IoT application.
IoT Hardware Providers
In today’s market, one can find many IoT hardware providers who will be able to provide the required hardware-based up on the project requirement. Let’s take a quick overview of a few of the hardware providers.
- Adafruit offers DIY electronic hacking courses online and provides a space to learn. ‘Adafruit Feather’ is a production line of boards designed for fly prototyping. This production line includes a wide catalog of accessories that speed up IoT application development.
- Arduino is the omnipresent name in the space for electronic development. The company offers a range of open-source development kits, billing software, and microcontrollers.
- Lantronix is a company that offers Infrastructure, modules and gateway kit to support connectivity between IoT applications. This California based company has recently launched advanced gateways based on XP200 industrial standard.
- Espressif is well known for its low energy consuming IoT hardware applications for Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. Espressif is popular for its processors, modules, and production boards series ESP826. Most industry-wide development boards are working on Espressif chipset.
All IoT apps have certain commonalities or ‘building blocks’ irrespective of the request. Things, Data Acquisition Module, Data processing module, and communication module together consist of building blocks of IoT application.
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The “thing” is fully integrated into the smart device in many IoT products. Think about things such as a smart water pump or an autonomous vehicle. These products can Self-control and manage themselves. In other applications “thing” stands alone as a “stagnant” device, and to make it a smart device, a separate product is connected to it. This is very popular in industrial applications where companies have existing products, and by linking them to the internet they want to make them “smart.” jet engines, turbines, conveyor belts, etc. are some examples.
2. Data Acquisition
The data acquisition module focuses on obtaining physical signals from the “thing” that can be manipulated by a computer and converting them into digital signals. This is the component of hardware that includes all sensors that acquire real-world signals such as temperature, light, vibration, motion, etc. However, the module for data acquisition includes more than sensors. It also includes the appropriate hardware for the computer to convert the sensor signal into digital information. This includes the conditioning of signals, conversion from analog to digital and data interpretation.
3. Data Processing
The third essential component of IoT hardware is the data processing module. This unit performs a series of operations on the data, performs spatial analysis, internal data storage, and performing any other edge computing operations. To have a deep discussion about this system with the engineering team, one doesn’t require any expertise in computer architecture. Your job should be to consider the product’s overarching goal and ask the right questions to direct your team in making the right decisions. Depending on your data retention policy, the local storage requirement can be decided. If your product is being designed for offline operations, connection running time local storage space needs to be predefined.
The communication module is the last but very essential part of the device’s hardware. This is a unit that allows communication between devices and storage either locally or in the cloud space. This module can include, to name a few, communication ports like USB, Modbus or Ethernet/IP. It may further consist of wireless communication radio technology such as Wireless fidelity.
In this article, we have looked at different building blocks of IoT devices. The hardware component is the most important part of the IoT application that enables things to communicate with the Internet. We have further looked at a few of the IoT hardware providers in today’s market and evaluated them individually.
This is a guide to IoT Hardware. Here we discuss the Introduction to IoT Hardware and its Advanced Applications like Thing, Data Acquisition, Data Processing, etc. You can also go through our suggested articles to learn more –