The number of electronic devices connected to networks is astounding. Billions of devices worldwide are connected to hosts via a network, with millions more being added each year. This explosion of network-connected entities has provided companies with many benefits in such areas as communication and data sharing, but those benefits carry certain costs.
Bandwidth issues including bottlenecks and single point of failure occur when too much data is sent across the network to a central computer. Because network latency is unpredictable, remote devices at the “edge” of the network are restricted to specific kinds of communication, and typically exclude real-time responses to time-sensitive events. Edge devices are dependent upon the host for instructions, which limits the design possibilities for many applications.
Edge computing addresses these problems by building a processor into network-connected devices such as HVAC equipment, alarm panels, and medical instruments. This intelligence allows them to independently react to contextual events, so systems can respond based on local feedback—in real time if necessary—sending intelligent, selective reporting to the central computer as needed. By pairing edge computing with the Linux operating system, developers can easily enable interoperability between machines.
Lantronix, an innovator in the area of embedded networking, has positioned itself in front of the market with the world’s smallest Linux networking computer. According to Daryl R. Miller, VP of Engineering at Lantronix, the XPort Pro packages a robust, Linux ready, 32-bit processor with 16 Mbytes of flash and 8 Mbytes of RAM in a component smaller than your thumb (see figure). “This unit increases design flexibility and speed to market for developers who now have access to Linux libraries, while also providing enough power to run complex application services at the local device. XPort Pro adds intelligence to the device and with Linux, designers can combine all functions on one processor.”If you are interested in Xport Pro pricing, contact Symmetry Electronics at (866) 506-8829. For further information about the features in Lantronix’s entire lineup of network-connectivity products, visit www.SemiconductorStore.com.