Firms Team Up on Advanced IIoT and Edge Analytics Solutions

Eurotech and Horsa have announced a partnership to enable final users to reduce production costs by taking advantage of the integration of high computational capabilities and analytics at the edge. Eurotech’s expertise in embedded hardware and Operational Technology and Horsa’s advanced IT and analytics skills enable innovative business models by creating Manufacturing Execution Systems (MES) that combine high computational performance and machine learning at the edge with advanced IT solutions and software to build an open, integrated, managed and flexible IoT infrastructure
Eurotech’s Multi-service IoT Edge Gateways provide IoT connectivity to industrial machinery in the field, providing native support for the most common field communication protocols, as well as edge computing and machine learning capabilities for data collection and management. The valuable data collected by this intelligent edge infrastructure are integrated with Horsa’s leading enterprise IT solutions in order to perform advanced analytics for IoT applications, from simple anomaly detection and alert management to predictive maintenance and full quality control systems.

Eurotech | www.eurotech.com

Horsa | www.horsa.com

 

Benchmarks for the IoT

Input Voltage

–Jeff Child, Editor-in-Chief

JeffHeadShot

I remember quite vividly back in 1997 when Marcus Levy founded the Embedded Microprocessor Benchmark Consortium, better known as EEMBC. It was big deal at the time because, while benchmarks where common in the consumer computing world of desktop/laptop processors, no one had ever crafted any serious benchmarks for embedded processors. I was an editor covering embedded systems technology at the time, and Marcus, as an editor with EDN Magazine back then, traveled in the same circles as I did. On both the editorial side and on the processor vendor side, he had enormous respect in the industry—making him an ideal person to spin up an effort like EEMBC.

Creating benchmarks for embedded processors was more complicated than for general purpose processors, but EEMBC was up the challenge. Fast forward to today, and EEEBC now boasts a rich list of performance benchmarks for the hardware and software used in a variety of applications including autonomous driving, mobile imaging, mobile devices and many others. In recent years, the group has taken on the complex challenge of developing benchmarks for the Internet-of-Things (IoT).

I recently had the chance to talk with EEMBC’s current president, Peter Torelli, about the consortium’s latest effort: its IoTMark-BLE benchmark. It’s part of the EEMBC’s IoTMark benchmarking suite for measuring the combined energy consumption of an edge node’s sensor interface, processor and radio interface. IoTMark-BLE focuses on Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) devices. In late September, EEMBC announced that the IoTMark-BLE benchmark is available for licensing.

The IoTMark-BLE benchmark profile models a real IoT edge node consisting of an I²C sensor and a BLE radio through sleep, advertise and connected-mode operation. The benchmark measures the energy required to power the edge node platform and to run the tests fed by the benchmark. At the center of the benchmark is the IoTConnect framework, a low-cost benchmarking harness used by multiple EEMBC benchmarks. The framework provides an external sensor emulator (the I/O Manager), a BLE gateway (the radio manager) and an Energy Monitor.

Benchmark users interact with the DUT via an interface with which they can set a number of tightly defined parameters, such as connection interval, I²C speed, BLE transmission power and more. Default values are provided to enable direct comparisons between DUTs, or users can change them to analyze a design’s sensitivity to each parameter. IoTMark-BLE’s IoTConnect framework supports microcontrollers (MCUs) and radio modules from any vendor, and it is compatible with any embedded OS, software stack or OEM hardware.

It makes sense that IoT benchmarks focus on power and energy use. IoT edge devices need to work in remote locations near the sensors they’re linked with. With that in mind, Peter Torelli says that the benchmark measures everything inside an IoT system-on-chip (SoC)—including the peripheral I/O reading from the I2C sensor, the transmit and receive amplifiers in the BLE radio—everything except the sensor itself. Torelli says it was important to not use intelligent sensors for the benchmark, the idea being that its important that the MCU’s role performing communication be part of the measurement. Interestingly, in developing the benchmark, it was found that even the software stacks on IoT SoCs have a big impact on performance. “Some are very efficient when they’re in advertise mode or in active mode, and then go to sleep,” says Torelli, “And there are others that remain active for much longer times and burn a lot of power.”

Shifting gears, I want to take moment to praise long time columnist and member of the Circuit Cellar family, Ed Nisley. Over 30 years ago, Steve Ciarcia asked Ed to write a regular column for the brand-new Circuit Cellar INK magazine. After an even 200 articles, Ed decided to make his September column his last. Thank you, Ed, for your many years of insightful, quality work in the pages of this magazine. You’ll be missed. Readers can follow Ed’s continuing series of shop notes, projects and curiosities on his blog at softsolder.com.

Let me welcome Brian Millier as our newest Circuit Cellar columnist—his column Pickup Up Mixed Signals begins this issue. Brian is no stranger to the magazine, penning over 50 guest features in the magazine since the mid-90s on a variety of topics including guitar amplifier electronics, IoT system design, LCDs and many others. I’m thrilled to have Brian joining our team. With his help, we promise to continue fulfilling Circuit Cellar’s role as the leading media platform aimed at inspiring the evolution of embedded system design.

This appears in the November 340 issue of Circuit Cellar magazine

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EEMBC Releases SecureMark-TLS Benchmark for IoT Devices

EEMBC, an industry consortium that develops benchmarks for embedded hardware and software, today announced that its SecureMark-TLS benchmark is now available for licensing. Part of the SecureMark benchmarking suite for measuring the efficiency of cryptographic processing solutions, SecureMark-TLS focuses on the Transport Layer Security (TLS) protocol for internet of things (IoT) edge nodes.

SecureMark-TLS measures the performance and energy consumption of processors when implementing the TLS protocol on an edge device. The benchmark uses a common IoT cypher suite comprised of elliptic curve cryptography for key exchange and digital signing, and standard primitives such as SHA256 and AES128, in both CCM and ECB modes. The energy measurements are aggregated into a single final score that is representative of the TLS operations for the IoT edge node device.

“While security has become a paramount concern, implementing security comes at a price. SecureMark-TLS is intended to help system and silicon designers evaluate the performance and energy costs of implementing security,” said Jim McGregor, principal analyst at TIRIAS Research. “By using the most common encryption protocol for IoT edge nodes, SecureMark-TLS provides a new metric for comparing processors and SoCs.”

Other differentiators between products, such as cryptographic certifications (e.g., NIST or Common Criteria), countermeasures (xPA, fault injection), and hardware implementation specifics, can be described in a disclosure report. The disclosure report also includes a description of all relevant implementation details, such as the hardware device tested, the software library version used, compiler options and flags, and hardware crypto engine details if applicable.

“EEMBC’s SecureMark suite is designed to provide an industry-created and standardized tool that allows applications developers to analyze security implementations,” said Peter Torelli, EEMBC president and CTO. “Within the suite, we plan to support the testing and analysis of various security profiles for different application domains. For secure IoT communication, we are proud to introduce SecureMark-TLS as the first of these available for licensing.”

To request a SecureMark-TLS license, visit
https://eembc.org/memberinfo/requestinfo.php?reg=LIC&suite=securemark

EEMBC | www.eembc.org

The Midwest’s Only Embedded Systems Conference

Embedded Systems Conference (ESC) Minneapolis is the premier conference for chip, board and systems design engineers, deep dive into testing and measurement equipment, system boards, debugging software tools, security products, and more. It’s running October 31 – November 1, 2018 at the Minneapolis Convention Center
Minneapolis, MN

GO HERE TO REGISTER NOW