Tuesday, May 17, 2022

A Deep Look at IoT gateways

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Travon Marner
Travon Marner
Travon Marner is a seasoned journalist with nearly 12 years under his belt. While studying journalism at Boston, Travon found a passion for finding local stories. As a contributor to Business News Ledger, Travon mostly covers human interest pieces.

What is an Internet of Things Gateway? Simply, a device or virtual platform to connect sensors, IoT modules, and smart devices to the cloud. Gateways are placed as a wireless access portal to connect internet of things devices to the net.

Gateways play a vital role as the bridge between devices and The Things Network.For example, LoRaWAN uses low power networks to connect devices to the Gateway, while WiFi, Ethernet or Cellular, uses high bandwidth networks to connect to The Things Network.

All gateways connect a device’s messages to The Things Network. The network will duplicate the messages and select the best gateway to forward any messages queued for downlink. A single gateway can serve thousands of devices.

What is Gateway?

If you have invested in developing your business using Internet of Things (IoT) devices, you may have noticed “IoT Gateway” in search and email nearly. Not only you might have questions, such as: what is an IoT gateway, what is the use of a gateway in IoT, but also the most important question is: Should you be investing in them?

A gateway is a device, software program or an intelligent central hub that connects the cloud and controllers, sensors and intelligent devices. The gateway also transforms the communication between devices and filters the data into useful information. Data moving between IoT devices and the cloud through it, which can be a software program. It acts as a network router, routing data between IoT devices and the cloud. While you can have different remotes that all work with different devices, a general remote allows you to control all of them from a central place, saving you time and cost.

How does gateway work?

However, some gateway devices only send data from the IoT devices to the cloud. Now, it’s common for a gateway device to handle both pass data. Gateway collects large amounts of data from many devices and sensors in any given IoT ecosystem. It also receives information from the cloud, sent back to devices to control devices as a complete management platform.

AI and Security at the Edge

AI and Security at the Edge

Imagine that only one tiny sensor can generate tens of thousands of data points per second, you can see why pre-processing at the edge might be a good idea! Some gateways do more than just route traffic. A gateway device may sometimes be used to preprocess that data locally at the edge before sending it to the cloud. It’s important to note that IoT gateways are an example of “intelligence at the edge” or “intelligent edge.”  This means data can be processed and understood by the gateway itself, rather than requiring a human to decode and process the information. Shortly, gateways play a crucial important role as the intelligent edge.

In doing so, the device might prepare or mass data as a way of reducing the volume of data that must be forwarded to the cloud. This can have a big effect on network transmission costs and response times.

To sum up, Gateway Connecting devices to one another, connecting devices to the cloud, translating the communication between IoT devices which are manufactured or operated by different companies, Filtering data, Mitigating security risks, Intelligence at the edge.

IoT gateway or Central Hub

Think of Internet of Things gateways that look like general remotes. While you can have different remotes that all work with different devices, a general remote allows you to control all of them from a central place, saving you time and cost. Without it, your devices still work and can be controlled individually, but they can’t be programmed to work together.

As a central hub, the gateway provides a single place to internet connectivity and exchange data with and from your device. This communication comes from other devices and users via the cloud. When you receive information or provide information to an IoT device like changing in protocol, you’re communicating with these devices through IoT gateways via cloud-enabled software.

They are also able to connect to one another to streamline and expand their functionality throughout a physical location and in use with a growing number of IoT devices and smart sensors. By installing general IoT gateways early in your technology plan, you can add devices seamlessly while saving time and effort.

Internet of Things gateways are intelligent and able to work at the edge, meaning each gateway can think about and comb through the data provided then only send the necessary filtered data to the cloud, improving communication and response times.

Not only you might have questions, such as: what is an IoT gateway, what is the use of a gateway in IoT, but also the most important question is: Should you be investing in them? Gateways will appeal to users in three major use cases: industrial automation, building automation and transportation. While intelligent edge gateways are just rolling out to the market, the advantages of having a programmable and manageable platform closer to the IoT devices is clear.

gateway parts:

Internet of Things gateways are also able to connect to one another to streamline and expand their functionality throughout a physical location and in use with a growing number of IoT devices and smart sensors.To understand how Internet of Things gateways do different from routers, sensors, and devices, it’s a good idea to know the architecture of IoT gateways.:

  • hardware has a microprocessor or a controller, it’s adaptable for different projects in processing speed and memory, a connectivity module (cellular, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, etc.) and IoT sensors.
  • software runs gateway hardware and other programs on the device. It depends on gateway’s application to choose Java, Linux, RTOS, etc.
  • layers allow the software to be developed and controlled independently of the hardware. This adds flexibility and agility to application design and makes software updates and evolution easier.
  • Sensor and actuator drivers layer serves as the interface between the device and sensors and modules. Specific stacks are integrated depending on what the application demands.
  • It needs to keep track of all the connected devices and sensors it communicates with. This layer tracks and manages sensors’ configurations, settings, properties and connected devices within its whole system.
  • Security is a crucial consideration in gateway architecture. This layer ensures that gateways have trusted identities, strong encryption, and crypto authentication schemes. It provides a secure boot to protect devices from intrusion and ensure data integrity and confidentiality.
  • Keeping your gateway firmware up-to-date, activating security patches and fixes, and protecting against evolving threats is paramount to maintaining device integrity. This layer ensures that Firmware Over The Air (FOTA) updates are managed securely and efficiently to preserve device memory, power, and network bandwidth.
  • protocols are selected according to the amount and frequency of data communicated to the cloud. Gateways need to connect via a cellular module (5G/4G/3G), Ethernet, and/or Wi-Fi, but the underlying communication protocol layer is typically TCP IP protocol.
  • It manages data from sensors and connected devices and data coming from the cloud. The data management layer controls streaming, filtering, and data storage, and it provides data traffic control to minimize delays and ensure device fidelity.
  • Cloud connectivity manager is responsible for seamless, secure connectivity with cloud platforms and device and cloud authentication.
  • Data transfer controls the gateway’s connection to the Internet using either a 5G/4G/3G/GPRS modem or IoT module, Ethernet, or Wi-Fi
  • Integrate custom software to manage specific application needs. This layer interacts with all other layers to efficiently, securely, and efficiently manage data needs specific to the IoT application.
  • Data transfer controls the gateway’s connection to the Internet using either a 5G/4G/3G/GPRS modem or IoT module, Ethernet, or Wi-Fi. It also analyses and determines which data needs to be communicated to the cloud and which data should be cached for processing offline to save processing power and data plan fees.

To sum up, IoT gateways are managing and securing IoT devices, and they might also help an ecosystem to reduce its internet bandwidth and become an iot ecosystem.

Fatima Hanjani R&D Engineer at Arshon Technology Inc.

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