Intelligence on the Edge - OpenBlocks IoT Gateway

OpenBlocks® IoT VX2 is a Intelligent Edge IoT Gateway with the high functionality and reliability required for the actual operation of an IoT system. OpenBlocks® IoT VX2 is equipped with Plat'Home’s powerful IoT Gateway Software called "FW3.1", which can respond flexibly to the need of intelligent IoT together with Microsoft Azure.
OpenBlocks IoT VX2

Features

Plat'Home IoT Gateway Software FW3.1

FW3.1 is includes Plat'Home Data Handling Module System (PDHMS) which is a message handling system supporting flexible and high-speed communication between the device and the cloud. PDHMS is a system designed to realize inter-process communication flexibly and at high speed between application modules inside the IoT Gateway. It enables implementation of application modules of various functions on the edge side, realizing flexible and high performance IoT edge computing. PDHMS supports multi-devices and multi-clouds, and is capable of responding flexibly to a variety of IoT system needs of the customer’s.

Docker support

FW3.1 supports the Docker Container as a standard feature. It can build and operate a scalable and seamless IoT system throughout the operational environment by supporting Docker, which can develop, release and execute cross-platform applications regardless of the edge or the cloud side.

Microsoft Azure IoT Edge support

As a standard FW3.1 supports Azure IoT Edge which is the edge computing function of Microsoft Azure. It can seamlessly realize Intelligent Edge system on the gateway side. Also, if the customer wants, Azure IoT Edge can be preinstalled under an appropriate license from Microsoft. By using this software, the customer can use various intelligent IoT services provided by Microsoft Azure such as Azure Machine Learning (AML), Azure Stream Analytics (ASA), Azure Functions etc. (Note: It depends on the time of GA of each service.)

Gateway Management UI

FW3.1 comes with a Management UI which will be visually manageable. With this Management UI, the customer can connect various sensors and devices, access various cloud services. It can also deploy and allocate Docker containers resources, install and monitor Microsoft Azure IoT Edge, and update IoT Edge Runtime Module.

High-Performance Hardware for IoT Edge Computing

The product is equipped with hardware and interfaces required for full-scale IoT edge computing, including a high-performance 64-bit CPU (1.33 GHz dual core), high capacity built-in storage (32 GB) and high capacity RAM (2 GB), in addition to two Ethernet ports.

Service Subscription

In order to support long-term operations of this product, Plat’Home will provide annual subscription services for integrated customers. Those who subscribe to this service can receive our support for the product over a long period of time together with our notice at the time of version upgrades. In the future, additional supplementary services such as SaaS type services for the integrated remote management of the IoT gateway will be added.

Software Detail

Plat'Home IoT Gateway Software FW3.1

FW3.1 is equipped with Plat'Home Data Handling Module System (PDHMS) which is basically a message handling system supporting flexible and high-speed communication between the device and the cloud. PDHMS is also a system designed to realize inter-process communication flexibly and at high speed among application modules inside the IoT Gateway. It enables the implementation of application modules of various functions on the edge side, realizing flexible and high performance IoT edge computing. PDHMS supports multi-devices and multi-clouds, and is capable of responding flexibly to a variety of IoT system needs of the customer.

Architecture

OpenBlocks® IoT VX2 comes with a pre-integrated Plat'Home IoT Gateway Software called "FW3.1." It offers full support for the intelligent IoT edge computing, including sensor, device and cloud service connectivity settings, Docker container deployment and allocation resource settings as well as Microsoft Azure IoT Edge Monitoring and Runtime updates via visually operable Management UI.
Additionally, it facilitates direct data communication between Plat’Home Gateway Data Handling Module System (PDHMS) as below and Azure IoT Edge enabling data collection from the IoT device and bidirectional communication with the cloud. It also adds a near-real-time data analysis capability to that which is located closer to IoT leaf devices in order to enrich big data analytics performed in the cloud.

Plat’Home IoT Gateway Software FW3.1 Archtecture

Archtecture Diagram Plat’Home IoT Gateway Software FW3.1

Features

Plat'Home Data Handling Module System(PDHMS)

The system architecture of PDHMS is designed to enable a flexible and high-speed inter-process communication among application modules inside the IoT Gateway of VX2**. Application modules with various functions can be installed on the edge side, thereby ensuring flexible edge computing.

PD Handler BLE/UART

A group of applications to acquire data from sensors and other IoT devices using BLE or UART (serial communication, etc.). They support a wide variety of IoT devices, while also supporting an extension of IoT device control applications of Lua language* by users.

  • *Lua language: A script language featuring high-speed operations and easiness of integration.
  • **PD stands for Plat'Home Data.Same as bellow.
  • PD Handler Management UI screen

    Lua program Management UI screen

PD Handler Modbus Client/Server

An application to control equipment using PLC (Programmable Logic Controller) and other Modbus protocols.

PD Agent

An application to execute preset shell scripts, etc. by receiving control messages from the cloud via PD Repeater.

PD Broker

An application to distribute inter-process communications between the above-mentioned application modules and multiple other modules.

PD Repeater

An application to support two-way communication with the clouds and web servers.

Key support services.
  • Azure IoT Hub (Two-way communication supported)/Azure Event Hubs
  • AWS IoT (Two-way communication supported)/Amazon Kinesis
  • Google IoT Core (Two-way communication supported)
  • Watson IoT for Gateway/Watson IoT for Device (Two-way communication supported)
  • Toami for DOCOMO
  • KDDI IoT Cloud Standard
  • PD Exchange (Two-way communication supported)
  • General-purpose web server/General-purpose MQTT server (Two-way communication supported)

PD Repeater Management UI screen

Management UI

The web-based Management UI is to carry out search of the sensors and beacons along with their pairings, connection setups with cloud services offed by different service providers. It also sets up and carries out the operation of IoT communication functions through the web browser screen. When IoT goes live, knowledge of command lines is not required, hence the engineering burden will be alleviated.

Docker management from Management UI

It supports Docker as an application execution environment. Docker containers can be used on OpenBlocks® IoT VX2 and also be controlled from the Management UI. In addition, they support the function to deploy Docker images released from the Docker image sharing service Docker Hub, and also to deploy them from a self-constructed private Docker image registry, thereby enabling users to make use of a wide variety of Docker images. The Management UI can also deploy Docker containers, in addition to carrying out start, stop and resource allocations.

Key functions
  • Deployment and deletion of Docker images
    • Downloading Docker images from Docker Hubs
    • Downloading Docker images from private registries
  • Start and stop of Docker containers
  • Setup of allocated resources
  • Indication of resource usage
Docker Management UI screen

Docker Management UI screen

Azure IoT Edge Management from Management UI

The IoT edge computing support software from Microsoft, Azure IoT Edge*, is supported by this product. In other words, Azure IoT Edge can run on OpenBlocks® IoT VX2, while the Management UI of OpenBlocks® IoT VX2 can monitor the status of Azure IoT Edge. Intelligent processes that are conventionally conducted via the cloud, such as Azure Stream Analytics and Azure Machine Learning, can be executed on OpenBlocks® IoT VX2 on the edge side, thereby drastically reducing device latencies and substantially decreasing communication traffic of the entire system. In addition, as FW3.1 supports direct data linkage between PDHMS within the edge gateway and Azure IoT Edge, it can also, for example, analyze sensing data collected by a wide array of sensors, devices that support OpenBlocks® IoT VX2, and it strongly supports IoT edge computing that takes advantage of Azure IoT Edge.

Key functions
  • Status monitoring of Azure IoT Edge
  • Deployment and deletion of Azure IoT Edge
  • Start and stop of Azure IoT Edge
  • Azure IoT Edge runtime update
Azure IoT Edge Management UI screen

Azure IoT Edge Management UI screen

Node-Red on the Edge

Node-RED is a programming tool that involves wiring together hardware devices, APIs and online services. From WEB UI, it can process data received from sensors and visually program it to be sent to a particular cloud service or take a particular action, allowing easy realization of edge computing for IoT. It can also employ additional functions for Node-RED that are provided by software and cloud service vendors, making the addition of various applications a relatively easy task.

Node-RED Dashboard Capture

Specifications

CPUModelIntel Atom E3805 64-bit 1.33GHz two-core two-thread 1 MB L2 cache
Clock speed1.33 GHz (Dual core)
Built-in secondary cache1024 kB/Core
Main memoryOn-board 2 GB (64-bit bus DDR3L)
Built-in storage32 GB (eMMC)
Additional storage1 x micro SD card slot
Wireless interfaceBT 4.0 (BLE) + 2.1 EDR
WLAN (IEEE802.11a/b/g/n/ac)
Wired interfaceUSB (HOST)1 x 3.0 (type-A)*1
USB (Console)1 x micro USB (type-B)*1
Ethernet2 x 10BASE-T/100BASE-TX/1000BASE-T
RS-4851 x Half duplex (Wire range: AWG22)
SecurityTPM 2.0 (Trusted Platform Module)
Measurements91.9 (W) x 114.8 (D) x 25 (H) mm (Excluding protrusions)
Weight160 g (Excluding accessories)
Power supply4.75 to 5.25 VDC (DC-jack)/10 to 48 VDC (Wide DC supply*2)
Power consumptionIdlingAC adapter 5.5 W (11.2 VA)/Wide DC (with 48 V input) 4.0 W
At high loadAC adapter 9.0 W (16.9 VA)/Wide DC (with 48 V input) 7.5 W
Operational temperatures-20℃ to +60℃*3
Authentication (WLAN/BT):JATE / TELEC
Compatible standardsPSE・VCCI Class A
IEC60950-1
FCC Part 15 Subpart B class A/UL 60950-1/CAN/CSA-C22.2 No. 60950-1
RED/RoHS
RTC backup time10 years
OS at time of shipmentDebian GNU/Linux (64-bit)

*1 Supported cable length is less than 3 m.
*2 When using this function, it is necessary to connect an external noise filter (SNR-10-223-T (COSEL)) or equivalent
*3 When installing this product in an environment where the ambient temperature exceeds 40°C, please use the attached heat dissipation /installation bracket.

Service Subscription

In order to support the long-term operation of OpenBlocks® IoT VX2, a subscription service is available on an annual basis. This subscription service includes software update notifications and technical support in order to help the customer constantly maintaining their systems that use OpenBlocks® IoT VX2.

Technical support

Technical support for installation, operation and maintenance at the product will be available as an optional service.(*1)

Notification of system updates

Notification of the software / system updates to registered e-mail addresses.(*2)

  • *1: This service is offered as long as the customer uses FW3.1 with standard specifications. If the customer has customized FW3.1 for example by, adding an application by themselves, the provision of this service may be refused.
  • *2: Most of the Standard devices are supported by to this service. (The latest information on all the supported devices is available from our website).

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