IIoT imposes latency, determinism challenges

Feb. 18, 2015

The Industrial Internet of Things comprises a vast number of connected cyber-physical systems in smart-agriculture, smart-city, smart-factory, and smart-grid applications, according to National Instruments’ NI Trend Watch 2015. The systems help generate Big Analog Data, which can yield insights through data analytics.

Like the consumer-facing Internet of Things, the IIoT connects systems across the globe, but the IIoT adds stricter requirements for latency and determinism. The Trend Watch authors report, “When dealing with precision machines that can fail if timing is off by a millisecond, adhering to strict requirements becomes pivotal to the health and safety of the machine operators, the machines, and the business.”

In addition, IIoT implementations must be adaptable and scalable, they note, with data readily available to facilitate decision making. Security, too, is a concern. “As information on the grid becomes more accessible, so does the damage a security breach can inflict,” they write. And finally, IIoT systems must be easy to maintain and update.

Organizations that can be helpful in deploying the IIoT, they write, include the Industrial Internet Consortium (IIC), which documents use cases and ensure interoperability, and IEEE, which has formed the Time Sensitive Network task group to evolve IEEE 802.1 to meet IIoT requirements.

“The only way to meet the needs of today and tomorrow is not by predicting the future but by deploying a network of systems flexible enough to evolve and adapt,” they write. “The way forward involves a platform-based approach; a single flexible hardware architecture deployed across many applications removes a substantial amount of the hardware complexity and makes each new problem primarily a software challenge.”

Visit NI Trend Watch 2015 for more.

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