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Turbocharge Cloud Computing with the LiFi and 5G Technologies How Smart Systems Can Save Your Life? Technology Reduces the Run-Away Chronic Care Costs Real World Connected Systems Magazine. Produced by Intelligent Systems Source

Vol 17 / No 1 / JANUARY 2016

What is the future? An RTC Group Publication


Real World Connected Systems Magazine. Produced by Intelligent Systems Source


2.0: The Wireless Future


2.1: The Future of Wireless Using LiFi


2.2: 5G 3GPP Evolution Signals a Wireless Revolution

by John Koon, Editor-in-Chief

by Nikola Serafimovski and Harald Haas, LiFi R&D Centre, Institute for Digital Communications

by Cary Snyder, E2E Wireless Solutions


2.3: Patient Experience the Key to Digital Health by Scott A. Nelson, Reuleaux Technology



by Sol Jacobs, Tadiran Batteries


The Future of IoT




2.5: Wireless Health: A Look Ahead

by Mehran Mehregany, Engineering Innovation at Case Western Reserve University



2.4: Industrial Grade Power for Remote Wireless Devices


3.0: Smart Devices Enable Us to Live Better, Safer and Get Us Around by John Koon, Editor-in-Chief

Embedded Technologies Empowers the Future!

Embedded Market Industry Leaders & Financial Market


3.1: The Future of the Smart Home


3.2: Powerful and Efficient Deep Learning: The Impetus to Modern A.I.

by Cees Links, GreenPeak

by Deepu Talla, NVIDIA



3.3: How Smart Helmets Protect Workers


1.0: How the IIoT Can Be Truly Successful


3.4: Embedded Computing: It’s about Brilliant Machines


1.1: The Future of IoT


1.2: Trust in IoT Security


1.3: Global IoT Trends


1.4: IoT Holds the Key to Transforming Supply Chains

by John Koon, Editor-in-Chief

by Travis Siegfried, IBM Internet of Things

by Ian McMurray, Abaco Systems

by Ian Chen, NXP

by Gregory Rudy, Green Hills Software by Tim Howard, SNS Research

by Amarnath Shete, Wipro Digital

26 Wireless Health: A Look Ahead RTC Magazine JANUARY 2016 | 3


PUBLISHER President John Reardon, Vice President Aaron Foellmi,

EDITORIAL Editor-In-Chief John Koon,

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Embedded Technologies Empowers the Future! by John Koon, Editor-In-Chief

Embedded technologies are touching every aspect of our lives. New, high-performance innovation in small packages has propelled the development of industrial automation, smart warehouse, robotics, smart home, Internet-of-Things (IoT), Industrial-Internet-of-Things (IIoT), cloud computing, smart wearable devices, mobile devices and healthcare. The Universe will be more connected, market will be more global with more partnerships formed to stay competitive and profitable. And we will see many more innovative ideas like visual computing, autonomous-driving vehicles, development of even higher speed wireless LiFi and 5G. IIoT will enable smart manufacturing, energy management, wireless healthcare and remote monitoring of many devices. In this special report (January and February), we explore the future by inviting industry leaders to share their visions and experiences. The five areas of interests include: • The IIoT impact (January) • Wireless connection (January) • Smart systems (January) • Industrial automation (February) • Human-machine-interface (February) What is Industrial Internet-of-Things (IIoT) and how does it differ from the Internet-of-Things (IoT)? The common term IoT refers to a giant network connecting billions of intelligent devices together. Those intelligent devices inside the home can be connected and controlled to create a smart home. In healthcare, vital signs can be monitored remotely by a caregiver via medical devices worn by the patient. The above scenarios about home and personal healthcare are referred to by some as consumer IoT. IIoT, on the other hand, focuses on industrial applications such as monitoring and improving the manufacturing process. Though the implementation can be complicated, the concept of IIoT is relatively simple. The millions of intelligent nodes together can be sensors, intelligent devices, or machines. By passing data 6 | RTC Magazine JANUARY 2016

IIoT has made manufacturing more efficient and predicatable (Image courtesy of Cisco)

back and forth, the giant network can monitor, control and manage various preprogrammed functions. Why is the industry buzzing about IIoT? It represents limitless potential. According to Dan Isaacs, Marketing Manager of Xilinx, IIoT provides smart solutions to medical, energy, automotive and manufacturing segments. In many cases, IIoT can reduce unplanned down time provide potential savings. So where are these opportunities? They are happening all around us. Jaishree Subramania, Global Marketing Director of Cisco says: “IoT is here and now, across industries. It’s not only changing business models, but revolutionizing how industries across the board are interacting with customers. Companies who are embracing IoT are fast developing a competitive edge over those being slow to act.” Dell feels IIoT would help them in vertical segments like industrial automation, transportation and smart building. Indeed, IIoT can have benefits go beyond productivity. “To me the most exciting part of IoT and data-driven innovation is how the technology

can transform and improve people’s lives,” said Kevin Terwilliger, IoT Innovation and New Technology Manager, Dell. “Some examples of this are; using data from refrigeration trucks to decrease food spoilage and leveraging video surveillance in trucks to help decrease car crash fatalities.” IIoT still has hurdles ahead. Among them are the constant battle with hackers, ongoing changes and how the various IIoT standard organizations ( IPSO, IEEE, AllSeen Alliance, Industry 4.0, Industrial Internet Consortium and more) coexist. Gareth Noyes, Chief Strategy Officer of Wind River, pointed out, “The IIoT will force companies to face some fundamental issues, including how they will evolve and transform their business models. By nature the IIoT will be massively disruptive and will challenge the dynamics of existing supply chains, creating opportunities for some and threats to traditional business practices for others.” The report will continue to explore the wireless future, smart systems, industrial automation and human-machine-interface (HMI).

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This month RTC will launch its market watch column and its accompanying tool – RTC EMBEDDED INDEX. We’ve taken 24 of the most influential (and publically traded) companies in the embedded industry and created our own index to monitor the relative health and vitality of the embedded marketplace.

We’ll be using this forum as a means to discuss many of the financial and market forces forging the future of embedded technology. We will also be talking to some of the movers and shakers within the market to get a glimpse of where we’re headed and what’s affecting the direction of business decision-makers. We have endeavored to make this an essential tool for industry leaders within the realm of real-world embedded solutions.

Markets Communicate Pragmatism to Embedded Tech on IoT by Aaron Foellmi, The RTC Group

With the Dow Jones dropping over 2,000 points in just a few weeks and analysts on the verge of declaring a bear market – we’ve seen investors signal market changes that may communicate the year to come. Microchip Technology just announced their purchase of Atmel Corp. in a transaction that is valued at $3.56 billion. This announcement is just the latest in a historic shift within the semiconductor market toward consolidation. Citing increased costs and smaller customer bases the semiconductor market is reacting to what many of us in the embedded arena are feeling – a maturing market. IoT – while widely considered a technology phenomenon – is being used to drive shareholder value in an already maturing marketplace. As we look around at the market, it becomes striking how companies with a strong IoT story have shown stronger than average investor faith. What is still unclear- is IoT pushing the markets or are the markets pushing IoT? With little on the horizon considered divergent and game-changing, 8 | RTC Magazine JANUARY 2016

older concepts like wearables, VR/AR, and centralized data analytics are being given new life through IoT applications. If indeed IoT is pushing the market, embedded technology companies are positioned well to reap rewards from decades of experience developing and managing distributed systems. Until a few weeks ago, investors appeared to be giving technology leaders the thumbs-up to this interpretation of the IoT story. Over the past few weeks, however, this optimism has given way as pragmatic questions arising from the softening of Chinese markets, and a review of underlying fundamentals take root. If the IoT phenomenon is merely a symptom of markets pushing a story of tech optimism for its investors we may see 2016 as a year of shifting technology priorities. Embedded technology companies hungry for sound fundamentals will naturally move toward traditional havens in communication, industrial control, infrastructure and defense. M&A activity will mirror the need for companies to develop strong footholds


Embedded Market Industry Leaders & Financial Market

in established market segments; rather than invest in potential, yet undeveloped, application areas. Already there are signs that fully mature application spaces will see growth. With the recent exception of Boeing, the top aerospace and defense contractors continue to outpace the Dow Jones – signaling strong confidence. As our sister publication, COTS Journal, points out – much of this optimism comes from the need for legacy systems upgrades required to make our modern fighting force more flexible, more intelligent and more precise. Developing programs like CANES (Consolidated Afloat Networks and Enterprise Services) for the US Navy with multi-billion dollar budgets will fuel opportunities for many supplying rugged computing solutions. This is much needed

good news for embedded suppliers struggling through years of congressional funding stagnation. What is clear is that 2016 will be a pivot point for the entire embedded technology industry as we either expand to include more diverse and specialized market segments or slide back to traditional business models focused on demanding and established applications. Tell us what you think. Will 2016 be the year of IoT or back to basics? Aaron Foellmi

(RTECC EMBEDDED INDEX: 89.67 – as of January 20, 2016) Name


Last Price


Currency/$ Last price $

Mkt Cap

52Wk High 52Wk Low


P/e 22.33


Adlink Technology Inc











Advanced Micro Devices











Advantech Co., Ltd












Arm Holdings PLC












Arrow Electronics, Inc












Avnet, Inc












Concurrent Technologies












Curtiss-Wright Corp.












Enea AB












Eurotech SPA









-€ 0.29


Imagination Tech. Group











Infineon Technologies AG









€ 0.55



Intel Corporation












Kontron AG









-€ 0.20


Mercury Systems Inc












Microsemi Corporation












Microsoft Corporation












Nvidia Corporation












Nxp Semiconductors NV












Oracle Corporation












Radisys Corporation











Super Micro Computer












TE Connectivity Ltd












Xilinx, Inc











RTC Magazine JANUARY 2016 | 9


For IIoT to be truly successful, we must have a secured network and an international standard The potential of Industrial Internet-of-Things (IIoT) is limitless. Not only does IIoT provide limitless ways to solve problems; it is also a worldwide phenomenon. Here we include an example of how IIoT can transform supply chains. But first we must overcome two hurdles. We need to have a secured network, and standardization. Security is the most important aspect, but it is difficult to achieve because it is a moving target. Sometimes I wonder if there are unadvertised hacker-schools teaching them new ways to hack. So where we go for answers? Whom do we trust? Some time ago, a local news station broadcasted that a box was placed in front of the ATM of a bank. On the box was a note saying, “ATM not working. Place your deposits in the box.” The broadcaster went on to say that the thief got away with an unspecified amount of cash. We laugh, because we know better than to trust

10 | RTC Magazine JANUARY 2016

such a statement. When it comes to security, whom do you trust? Do we rely on the company’s reputation and experience, or on our friends’ referrals? Here we turn to Green Hills for security ideas. The second hurdle we need to overcome is that of developing an IIoT standard. As NXP’s Chen pointed out, “There isn’t a clear consensus on what, exactly, the IoT encompasses”. When companies get together to form alliances, there will be many proprietary standards. Geoff Mulligan, Executive Director of IPSO Alliance, an open-source IoT standard organization, emphasizes the importance of using open standards. He says, “We promote the idea that the devices must use open standards to connect to the Internet - intermediate gateways that translate proprietary protocols create points of failure”.


The Future of IoT Ian Chen, Marketing Manager, NXP

It may be a little awkward to discuss the future of the Internet of Things (IoT) when there isn’t a clear consensus on what the exactly the IoT encompasses. What aren’t in short supply, however, are the assertions and projections on its fast growth trajectory. Much of the growth of IoT will come from the application of the “network effect” to connected things– allow me to elaborate. Metcalf ’s Law is often cited to describe the growth of the Internet and social networks: that the value of a communications network is proportional to the square of the number of users. However, the original claim made by Bob Metcalf actually talked about “compatibly communicating devices” which applies to the IoT as well as to a social network. Consequently, it follows that unleashing the value of interconnectivity will spur super linear growth. The concept of interconnectivity is an important one. It is important but not enough that a smart device is connected, it can get even smarter by leveraging information from other devices in the IoT. Making interconnectivity happen comes with a set of challenges that is driving the improvement of sensor products at NXP.

Trusted Data

When the overall device functionality depends on other devices connected to the same network, it becomes even more important that the system can trust all its incoming data sources. Consider a connected car, trust must go well beyond merely encrypting messages between Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS), smart sensor data coming from the infrastructure and other vehicles on the road. Such interconnectivity must enable data exchanges to allow a car to receive up-to-the-minute information on road conditions and traffic hazards, long before such information would be updated to a centralized database.

The ultimate goal for any deployment of smart sensors is to get timely, actionable information. Taking the time to corroborate untrusted data from multiple sources diminishes the response time of the system and wastes communications bandwidth.

Actionable Information

We want smart devices and IoT to help save our time, and not to distract us with meaningless trivial information. To do so, new smarter algorithms are required to translate physical changes into actionable information. Most cars do not deploy airbags in their entire operating life. The smart sensor system, consisting of multiple crash sensors and the electronics control unit (ECU), runs a complicated algorithm preventing any other situation from being misinterpreted as a crash. Likewise, smart sensors in the IoT need to be coupled with sensor data analytics targeted to specific use cases.

Low Power Consumption

Sensors in the IoT need to operate continuously, however many of them are battery operated. While consumers put up with charging their smartphones daily, it is inconceivable to recharge billions of IoT sensors on any regular basis. A tire pressure monitor sensor today operates ten years on a single coin cell battery. That level of power consumption will be a requirement for other IoT sensing systems.


IoT promises to be the next inflection point for technology companies. To fulfill that promise, IoT applications- including sensors- will require ultra-low power systems with trusted connectivity and smart algorithms.

RTC Magazine JANUARY 2016 | 11


Trust in IoT Security

IoT is great but the threat of being attacked is always there. The three major ones are sniffing, spoofing, and injection. Properly designed end-to-end security embedded system architectures help defend against these attacks. by Gregory Rudy, Green Hills Software

12 | RTC Magazine JANUARY 2016

machine-to-machine connections to remote sensing, monitoring and actuating devices, together with associated aggregation devices�. Protocols such as MQTT, CoAP, and XMPP, along with programming languages like JavaScript, Python, and PHP, are enabling engineers to develop connected code for IoT devices

Network Devices


As the Internet of Things (IoT) era advances, it continues to generate passionate conversation regarding the critical need to shore up security and reliability. While some maintain that these are the same embedded systems that Green Hills Software has been protecting for years, others welcome the new industry term and recognize the renaissance of efficiency brought on by this new class of connected devices. Regardless of viewpoint, IoT is here to stay and growing rapidly. Driving IoT innovation is the convergence of Internet and embedded industries. Formerly constrained hardware is now robust enough to support the layers of software required to develop rich IoT applications. However, each layer of software brings with it the increased risk of failure if anything goes wrong. We trust our devices in automobiles, infusion pumps, credit card readers, home security systems, and phones. There is an expectation of reliability. If that reliability waivers, it triggers a backlash of outrage and page-one headlines. As IoT devices become increasingly critical in our lives, so does our trust in their secure and reliable operation. If the benefits of IoT are to keep pace with the number of devices, IoT developers must carry the responsibility of preserving that trust through an end-to-end security strategy. According to Machina Research, presented at the 2015 Security of Things Forum, the growth of connected devices from 5 billion in 2014 to 27 billion in 2024, is being driven by “global





OS Bootloader Figure 1 Authenticate Software from the Root

without having to know the details of underlying hardware and software platforms. In this emerging landscape of open source protocols and platforms, IoT devices are still innately, embedded systems. Maybe we don’t program in the C language anymore, but the same reliability and security concerns previously addressed by telecommunications, avionics, and military industries are just as applicable, if not more widely applicable, concerning, today. IoT devices are embedded systems. Underneath their layers of software are inputs, outputs, state- of- the- art machines, and data - engineered for a specific purpose. Complex systems contain multiple subsystems, developed by multiple partners, each with their own external network interfaces. IoT also consists of multiple networked devices, exchanging data as sensor and controller, constrained by size, weight, and power. Whether smart energy or networking, automotive or wearables, trust is dependent upon security and reliability during operation.

Types of Attacks

End-to-end security architectures defend embedded systems against three main categories of attacks – sniffing, spoofing, and injection. Described in Table 1, attackers use a combination of each to gain access to sensitive data and modify functionality. Network attacks are performed at the black box level, from the network external interfaces, to gain access to operating system, stacks, and applications. Physical attacks are performed on exposed hardware within the chassis. While network attacks are far-reaching and more dangerous, physical attacks are harder to defend. There is nothing that software can do to block malware if the system is powered down.

Assessing the Risk

End-to-end security design begins before hardware and software selection by assessing the impact of these threats. Depending on the concept of operations, not all threats are feasible. For example, automotive right to repair laws limits how an OEM performs authentication on a diagnostic interface. Medical device data is sensitive and should be encrypted, while the status reported from my smart refrigerator is not necessarily as critical. Each system differs, so risk assessments should be performed on each device. Attack



During a risk assessment process, security architects examine data, interfaces, and software against network and physical threats within the target environment. • Sensitivity of the Data: What is the impact of someone viewing or modifying your data? This includes both network traffic (data-in-transit) and data in memory (data-in-storage). Consider both user data and intellectual property to determine what should be encrypted. • Sensitivity of the Interfaces: What is the purpose of each external interface? Following implementation, vulnerability scanning ensures additional ports are not left open by the operating system or services. How does the device authenticate the user and vice versa? What is going to keep someone from sniffing the network and building their own application to replay commands? • Sensitivity of the Software: What is the impact of someone injecting or replacing software in your system? What peripherals are accessible? Consider the target network and determine what other systems are now vulnerable to attack. Consider a simple IoT device such as a smart toaster. The sensitivity of data is very low. The impact of spoofed commands is also minimal. However, what is the impact of malicious software? Network monitoring, Internet backdoors, and ability to pivot and attack other devices causes the economic risk to drastically increase. It’s not just the one embedded system that gets attacked; it’s the vast amounts of other devices that are harnessed to that system. Embedded systems – medical units, cars, alarms, home computers – are no longer isolated devices. They are entrance points to your entire life-network and livelihood.

Establishing Trust in IoT

Trust in embedded security refers to an expectation of integrity that a system is operating as designed. Software trusts that hardware is operating properly. Applications trust that the operating system is not corrupting data. Remote systems trust in the identity of the device to which they are connected. The process of establishing trust is authentication. A system’s root-of-trust is the point where authentication starts, and then Methods




Passive data collection of protocols and data as it passes between systems. Attackers use sniffing to reverse engineer protocols and mount spoofing attacks.

Collect data going to/from an external interface using pass through or device on same network

Analyze data between subsystems using debug equipment (i.e. probes & logic analyzers) May include irradiated emissions and side channel attacks



Reproduction and corruption of messages by an invalid source in attempt to gain access or impact operation.

By Direct or Man-in-the-middle connection to the target network interface

Usually committed by compromised software from a connected subsystem



The loading and execution of malicious software to replace or add functionality such as backdoor access ports.

Software defects, bypassing access control via spoofing, or corrupting lower level protocol stacks to execute new software.

Modifying contents of program memory with malicious software via programmer or debug ports (i.e. JTAG and USB loading of Root Kits).

Vulnerability Analysis & Secure Boot Verification

Table 1 Best Practice Embedded Security Defends Against Network and Physical Attacks

RTC Magazine JANUARY 2016 | 13



Man In The Middle


Figure 2 A Man-in-The-Middle as the Ability to Sniff and Spoof Interfaces

extends through each layer of software. High-assurance solutions support a root-of-trust in hardware or immutable memory, so it cannot be modified. At each power on, the process of Secure Boot verifies the authenticity of each software layer before allowing it to execute. This ensures that software is not corrupted, and comes from a valid source. A component is never executed unless proven trustworthy. The purpose of Secure Boot is to eliminate the risk of network and physical code injection by verifying that software is free of malware at each power-up. There are many tradeoffs to consider with secure boot, including boot time, which components to verify, and how to recover. In personal computers where data and applications are constantly changing, the value of UEFI secure boot is to ensure that the BIOS and kernel are not modified to eliminate rootkits. Embedded systems are different, in that software is compact and static, allowing for authentication of the entire image.

Extending Trust Remotely

before accepting data. Certificate Authorities are common in Internet security to prove the identity of a web server. In Transport Layer Security (TLS), the client is sent the server’s certificate during connection. A pre-loaded CA certificate is used to authenticate the server before setting up the encrypted session. Rather than assuming the costly task of issuing and managing client certificates, websites, instead, authenticate the user via name and password through the encrypted tunnel, despite well-known brute force and phishing attacks.

Software Authenticity

How do you make sure software does not get modified? Yes firewalls, port scanning, vulnerability analysis, separation, and remote authentication all prevent network attacks during operation. However, what about when powered down? What prevents someone from opening the lid and accessing flash-memory to inject code or counterfeit? Using the same PKI principles as certificates, developers can sign software images to prove authenticity during start-up and operation with Secure Boot. Code is signed using an asymmetric private key, and verified on the device at run-time using the corresponding trust anchor.

Enterprise Security Infrastructure

Using cryptography IoT developers are able to create systems of trustworthy interconnected devices over untrusted public networks. Implementing an end-to-end security strategy requires a platform including cryptographic module, network security pro-

Networks should never be trusted. Always assume that, just outside each connector, there is an attacker trying to capture data, issue commands, and play Release man-in-the-middle with your devices. Figure 3 Software Update Encrypts and below illustrates a man-in-the-middle attack. At Sign Images a minimum, the attacker can monitor all data and commands between two devices (laptop & camera system). Communication between the endpoints can be forwarded to backdoor collection systems. Attackers can also spoof both Manual / Legacy devices simultaneously; turning off the camera Distribution and faking status while replacing the camera’s video stream. Firmware Over The Air Public key infrastructure (PKI) cryptography Update eliminates the man-in-middle threat by using Diagnostic Tool certificates to mutually-authenticate endpoints. A certificate authority (CA) generates the certifService Port Trusted Load & Secure Boot icates for each device, vouching for the identity Authentication-only Mutually-Authenticated Encrypted TUnnel of each by digitally signing the certificate. DigTrust Anchor ital signatures issued by a private key are only verified by the corresponding public. Therefore using the CA certificate, each device is able Figure 3 to authenticate the identity of another system Enterprise Security Infrastructures Establish Trust in IoT through CA and Code Signing Services 14 | RTC Magazine JANUARY 2016


tocols, key protection, and secure boot. After all the man-hours expended in securing the device, the investment is still at risk if CA and software signing keys are ever compromised. Compromise of root PKI keys impacts every device manufactured, and with access to the root key, an attacker can sign malicious software and create fake certificates. Attackers then have the ability to masquerade as valid systems, able to collect data and issue commands at will. Weighing the impact (one device vs. all), protecting the root keys is the most critical function of the entire system and must be prioritized accordingly. In today’s complex manufacturing and supply chains, a workstation with a hardware security module just won’t do. IoT supply chains’ multiple offshore and third party manufacturing locations, where partners need to add software to the security platform without exposing intellectual property to co-located competition. The Security Infrastructure provides stakeholders with the ability to use keys without the risk of compromise.

When Good Software Goes Bad

A guarantee is only as good as the software that makes it. Digital signatures identify the software’s source, but make no claim about its quality. According to the 2015 Symantec Intelligence Report there were 12 zero-day attacks, and an average of 512 vulnerabilities reported every month in 2014. Starting with the operating system and cryptographic libraries, what 3rd party certifications do they have to assure high reliability of your system? Green Hills Software promotes PHASE – principles of high-assurance software engineering. PHASE consists of minimal implementation, componentization, least privilege, a secure development process and independent expert validation. These same principles used in the development of INTEGRITY real-time operating system apply to application development in order to minimize the likelihood and impact of a software error.

Developing an End-to-End Security Strategy

INTEGRITY Security Services (ISS), a subsidiary of Green Hills Software, continues to support the IoT revolution by helping clients build trust in their devices through end-to-end embedded security design. Starting with threat assessments to analyze the impact of unauthorized events, organizations can architect a security strategy addressing the ISS 5 Rules of Embedded Security. End-to-end security protects during all lifecycle phases throughout manufacturing, operation, and maintenance. An attack does not just occur after the product is sold. Employees, partners, and counterfeiters are also threat candidates, which is why a zero-exposure key management infrastructure is critical. Unlike production test stations, the security architecture and infrastructure can be reused across multiple product lines. By developing the infrastructure solution first, organizations are able to incorporate use of the system into multiple products, thereby reducing per-unit cost. The cost of security can be further reduced by value-added features, such as remote software update, feature control, and “in-app” purchases. Leveraging the trusted platform and digital identities, developers have the ability to securely communicate and distribute uniquely encrypted files.



Figure 4 An Enterprise Security Infrastructure Provides Secure Key Usage Across Distributed Supply Chains

Looking Ahead

The truth is, the IoT, and its massive growth, is an amazing innovation. This is a whole new revolution, and it’s just getting started. A parent can get regular reports of their diabetic child’s blood sugar throughout the day thanks to a port on the child’s abdomen, and a Bluetooth connection to their phone. You can monitor your business security cameras, and heating and cooling system, while away on vacation. What we see today is only the tip of the iceberg. And while we continue to invent, develop, and hypothesize more ways to further the IoT revolution, and better our world, we must remember the basis of trust and reliability. The world is excited about the connectivity and possibilities. Many take for granted how connected our world already is. But the minute reliability breaks, a breech leaks vulnerable personal information or confidential data, or the second a hack leaves a life hanging in the balance, that’s when trust is broken, and the world notices. The exponential possibilities of the IoT and its impact are astounding, but security is not a luxury – it is an expectation. End-to-end security is the foundation for the world of devices that connect us. Rule


1. Communicate without Trusting the Network

Authenticate all remote endpoints using certificates to prevent man-in-the-middle attacks and encrypt communication of sensitive data

2. Ensure Software is not Tampered

Digitally sign and verify software during boot up and periodically during operation to ensure it has not been modified

3. Protect Critical Data

Encrypt sensitive data stored in non-volatile memory and place trust anchors in read-only memory.

4. Separate for Security

Separate key material in a cryptographic boundary isolated from physical and network attacks.

5. Operate Reliably

Consider the impact of a vulnerability within the operating system and application. Use PHASE methodology to develop high-assurance software.

Table 2 Best Practice Embedded Security Defends Against Network and Physical Attacks

RTC Magazine JANUARY 2016 | 15


Global IoT Trends

by Tim Howard, SNS Research

The use of IoT services continues to grow globally. Powered by M2M connectivity, IoT services have opened a multi-billion dollar revenue opportunity for mobile operators, mobile virtual network operators (MVNOs) and service aggregators, addressing the application needs of several verticals markets. As voice revenue continues to deteriorate, mobile operators are keen to introduce new services that will fill their revenue gap. M2M and IoT services top the list of potential revenue-generating services for the future. In addition, vertical market players are equally keen to capitalize on the opportunity. For example, automotive OEMs continue to invest heavily in dedicated connected car programs to integrate embedded IoT modules to support telematics, infotainment platforms, advanced security and safety features. Healthcare providers have similar ambitions with the growing incorporation of IoT connectivity in patient monitoring systems. In addition, regulatory legislations and the demand for cost-effective and efficient energy monitoring systems are accelerating smart meter deployments throughout the globe. SNS Research estimates that global spending on IoT technologies will reach nearly $250 billion by 2020, driven by a host of vertical market applications and over 10 billion connected devices.

16 | RTC Magazine JANUARY 2016

Within North America and Western Europe, the market is relatively mature, with widespread proliferation of applications such as connected car services, remote asset tracking, healthcare monitoring, smart metering, digital signage, home automation and intelligent buildings. In 2016 alone, bot of these regions are expected to witness IoT revenue reach $50 billion. This figure represents nearly 60% of all IoT revenue worldwide. However, over the coming years, the sheer size of the developing world’s population will drive a higher proportion of the revenue share to other regions. Asia, the largest of these regions, is expected to account for over $80 billion in IoT revenue by the end of 2020, growing at a CAGR of 32% between 2015 and 2030. The growth will be largely driven by China, where the use of connected car services is already widespread. With an estimated 2 billion IoT connections by 2020, China is expected to witness increasing IoT investments in healthcare, energy, smart cities and retail over the next four years.


IoT holds the Key to Transforming Supply Chains by Amarnath Shete, Wipro Digital

Volatile demand patterns, intense competition and rising consumer expectations for fast delivery continuously challenge supply chains around the globe. While conventional supply chain levers have improved the customer experience, there are still significant gaps and numerous opportunities to innovate. These levers, which are typically structured around people and process, IT enablement, and industrial automation, are typically difficult to modify and operate at a process transaction level only. More so, most of these are investment intensive – requiring a long period of time to break even. There’s an obvious need for a lever that requires incremental investment, is flexible for deployment and modification, operates at a sub-transactional, granular level, and prioritizes the customer rather than the process. Internet of Things (IoT) enabled levers can do exactly that, and can create a more seamless supply chain – even a supply stream. IoT increases innovation and communication, delivering an enormously improved customer experience in the supply chain: • Manifold customer touch points: With IoT, a higher number of touch points are monitored, producing abundant data on customer interactions and impacts. • Clearer insight into processes: Analysis at a sub-transaction level enables granular insights, paving the way for improved detailed analysis. • Preventative capabilities: The alerts triggered from IoT-based applications can generate recommendatory alerts and enable precautionary measures. IoT can transform supply chains in key areas such as the warehouse, inventory, logistics, shop floors and new product development.

IoTizing the Warehouse

By enabling IoT levers, warehouse managers are able to better track, trace and move inventories. IoT helps prevent loss and damage to stock with proactive health monitoring. IoT enables better integration between intra and inter logistic elements, thereby reducing wait time and streamlining coordination.

point. IoT can also integrate data from logistics to provide an accurate and comprehensive view of replenishment and withdrawals. It can therefore drastically reduce the discrepancy between physical stock and what’s recorded in inventories.

IoTizing Logistics

IoT platforms can marry GPS-based tracking with other transactional data to provide logistics operators with a clear overview and insights to support tactical decisions. In addition, IoT can integrate hyper-localized weather forecasts with route schedules, allowing more responsive, granular decisions for scheduling and routing. IoTizing logistics processes can help avoid stock losses while transporting perishables by continuously monitoring their health and subsequently enabling precautionary steps. Additionally, as stringent regulations are placed on the Hours of Services (HoS) for drivers, IoT can combine HoS with real-time route data to help logistics supervisors plan and schedule trips more efficiently.

IoTizing Shop Floor Management

IoT provides live production status at workstations, helping shop floor managers determine how close they are to achieving target production schedules. It can help Quality Managers measure process through sensors at a granular level and predict final product quality, identifying root causes with greater accuracy. IoT can also help companies improve workplace safety by warning operators if they’re using inappropriate methods or tools. In emergencies, a real time view of the incident’s scale and criticality can facilitate swift curative action.

IoTizing New Product Development

IoT can provide sensors and device capabilities, as well as the platform to view product movement through the supply chain. Product development teams can leverage this data and analysis to improve supply chain efficiency for launching new products in the market. From product development to delivery, IoT fills in the gaps left by conventional supply chain levers to create a seamless, predictable and enormously more efficient supply stream.

IoTizing Inventory Management

IoT provides a multi-level true view that includes in-transit and at-rest inventory across all echelons, providing supply chain managers with a true visual of their entire inventory at any given

RTC Magazine JANUARY 2016 | 17


The wireless future is all about mobility, convenience and productivity. Miss Idaho gained her mobility with a wearable diabetic device. According to the National Diabetes Statistics Report, published by CDC, 29.1 people, or 9.3% of the U.S. population, have diabetics. This is significant. The daughter of my good friend became a diabetic at a young age. She had to give herself an insulin injection every day, and she carried an injection kit to school. This was 25 years ago. The advance of technology has enabled patients to be truly mobile. Miss Idaho wore her diabetic device on stage. (Photo 1). Today, one can wear a diabetic device attached to the body. It has a small reservoir to hold the insulin, along with a monitor. The daily dose of insulin is then administered via a wireless device. The person then can carry on his or her daily routine, including swimming, all week long when wearing this device. It has enabled true mobility.

18 | RTC Magazine JANUARY 2016

The wireless future is all about mobility. The market will continue to get bigger, and it will encourage new innovation, like 5G and WiLi. T-Mobile, among other carriers, is very eager to support 5G, the next generation of cell connection after 4G (LTE), but it is still in development. The wireless technologies have enhanced the healthcare services. In this section, we have invited experts to share their perspectives. On the hardware side, even though we have seen wireless charging, it still requires a battery. Tadiran Batteries will discuss and compare the various types of batteries and their future development.


LiFi is the new Wi-Fi with speed 15 times faster than the fastest WiGig (part of Wi-Fi) by Nikola Serafimovski and Harald Haas, LiFi R&D Centre, Institute for Digital Communications

Understanding the impact of exponential growth is key to understanding the long term consequences of nascent trends. In simple terms, if something grows at 7% per year, it means that it will double in size in 10 years. To put it into context, modern demand for wireless capacity is growing at 70% compound annual growth rate. At that rate, in less than 5 years, our demand for wireless data will grow by over 14 times. It’s impossible to avoid Wi-Fi in today’s world. It’s everywhere; your neighbors have it, it’s free in coffee shops, and it’s essential for smartphones. We all know Wi-Fi, but what is LiFi? LiFi, like Wi-Fi, enables electronic devices like computers, laptops and smartphones to wirelessly connect to the Internet. Even though Wi-Fi was also originally intended for such devices, it is widely used today to connect all sorts of things: printers, televisions, speakers, headphones, and even running shoes! In simple terms, LiFi is equivalent to Wi-Fi, but using light waves instead of radio signals. LiFi uses the light waves from LED light bulbs – that are rapidly replacing incandescent light bulbs for their energy saving and safety – to transmit data so it provides illumination and wireless data communications. Anywhere that is illuminated by the LiFi-enabled LED, can also communicate via LiFi.

What is LiFi?

LiFi, a term first coined by Professor Harald Haas at his TED Global talk in 2011, is a disruptive technology that delivers high speed, bidirectional and networked wireless communications, similar to Wi-Fi, except using light. This is also the official definition according to the IEEE 802.15.7r1 committee that is developing the standard for Optical Wireless Communications. Standard LED light bulbs are controlled by a driver that by dimming or turning the LED on and off. With LiFi enabled LED light bulbs, the driver is used to transmit encoded data by controlling the LED light. An optical sensor is used to receive the data, which is then decoded. This is conceptually similar to Morse code – but at rates of many millions and trillions of times a second. Subtle light flicker at those speeds is unnoticeable by the human eye. The transmission speeds can be up to 100 Gbps, but require special LEDs ( lifi-news/2016-01-04-1329/downlink-performance-optical-at-

tocell-networks). This is 14 times faster than the fastest Wi-Fi, referred to as WiGig. With current commercial and inexpensive, phosphorous-coated white LEDs, it is possible to achieve about 100 Mbps on a single link. However, LiFi describes a fully-fledged wireless network with multiple transceivers (just imagine how many lights are in a typical room). The network capacity of a LiFi network with commercial LEDs can be three orders of magnitude greater than Wi-Fi networks, while at the same time enjoying massively improved security. The full potential of a LiFi networks is analysed in a recent invited paper in the Journal of Lightwave Technology:

“...modern demand for wireless capacity is growing at 70% compound annual growth rate.” lifi-news/2016-01-04-1329/downlink-performance-optical-attocell-networks. “ The receiver has optics, and is fast enough to ‘see’ the light dimming and brightening, smart enough to decode the LiFi data, and then deliver it to the attached device such as a laptop computer. Devices can include both a transmitter and receiver for twoway communications.


Industry commentators see LiFi as the catalyst for the inevitable merger of the lighting and wireless communications industries. pureLiFi are working with partners across many industries including defense, healthcare, lighting, IT infrastructure, Tier 1 telcos, device integrators, alongside research partners such as the University of Edinburgh’s LiFi R&D Centre to deliver continued product development, commercialization and, ultimately, to grow the LiFi market in the UK and worldwide.

RTC Magazine JANUARY 2016 | 19

2.1 THE WIRELESS FUTURE The company’s solutions provide a fundamentally new dimension for security and information assurance, diversification and differentiation for lighting companies, and will facilitate the continued exponential grown of the mobile communications industry. Fundamentally, the competitive advantages of LiFi over traditional radio-based communications stem from the physics of the propagation medium. Light by its very nature is directional, does not penetrate opaque objects and is inherently safe, offering more secure and better localized wireless communications. Similar to other disruptive technologies, LiFi will be commercialized first in areas where it can leverage a competitive advantage before expanding into the mass-market as the technology matures. Technology is accelerating, and lights in the future will become smart sensing and high speed communication devices that are not replaced because they fail, but because of the new functions and applications that the next generation enables, similar to smartphone releases today. The first mobile phones served only one purpose: mobile telephony. Today, smartphones serve hundreds of applications. Similarly, light bulbs today serve one purpose: lighting. In the next five years, the LED lightbulb will serve countless applications and be an integral part of the emerging smart cities, homes

20 | RTC Magazine JANUARY 2016

and the Internet of Things where Light-as-a-Service (LaaS) will be a dominating theme. LiFi will be ‘pulled’ into the lighting industry by new business models. Finally, supplying wireless capacity for a system that will demand 14x mobile data in 5 years means that the next generation of wireless communications or 5G systems is to rely on ever smaller cell sizes to provide the expected demand. Transforming a standard LED light fixture to offer connectivity similar to a 5G base station is the logical next step and provides the basis for an almost unlimited increase in wireless capacity without the need for investing in more spectrums. Indeed, every color in the light spectrum could be used to transmit data at the same location, creating an almost limitless supply of wireless capacity. Secure, localized, safe and incredibly fast, LiFi is here and set to increasingly shape our working and domestic lives in the future.

High Bandwidth Applications in a Very Small Package. VPX3000 is a convection cooled, fanless enclosure that accepts up to three 3U conduction cooled VPX modules. It includes a configurable I/O Adapter Board (IAB) that is designed to mate with Emerson’s iVPX7225 processor blade, itself based on the Intel (R) 3rd generation Core mobile chipset. The IAB routes I/O from the payloads to the front of the enclosure and is designed to be customizable. VPX3000 includes a VITA-62 compliant power supply slot fitted with a DC power supply with a MIL-38999 power input connector and a front panel switch. Two Data Plane Fat Pipes from each slot are connected in a full mesh configuration. Two Control Plane Ultra Thin Pipes from each slot are routed to the IAB as 1000Base-T interfaces. USB 2.0 and a Display Port interface is also routed to the IAB in all variants. VPX3000 has been designed to minimise Size, Weight and Power (SWaP) and yet provide an intensely powerful system level solution including power, storage and processor elements. A rugged variant, targeted at Mil/

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The future of wireless is 5G but the real focus should be on broader 3GPP mobile wireless technology by Cary Snyder, E2E Wireless Solutions

Everyone on the planet is familiar with cellular technology in one way or another. Fewer know or care that 5th Generation or 5G cellular technology is coming. However, no one knows precisely when or how 5G appears. No doubt, the 5G + LTE Advanced Pro promise of ubiquitous wireless information and communication technology (ICT) networking creates incredible opportunity for companies and organizations worldwide. Their collective challenge is to either figure out a way to capitalize on 5G ROI before their competitors else secure schedule-tolerant 5G-related R&D funding. A lot has been made of partners in the Verizon 5G Technology Forum claims they will deploy 5G technology in early 2016. People ask, “how is 3GPP (3rd Generation Partnership Project) 5G deployed before it’s defined? The simple answer is that this group and many others have secured funding for early 5G R&D in a quest to make meaningful contributions to the 3GPP Release 14 work that begins

22 | RTC Magazine JANUARY 2016

in 2016. Specifically the international community that creates mobile wireless technology has agreed on fundamental 5G requirements. Furthermore, as the hub for cellular technology development since 1999 the 3GPP will start specific 5G technology development this year that will result in commercial deployment—defined as serving existing cellular customers—of end-to-end 5G networks by 2020. The following Qualcomm slide presented at the 3GPP RAN 5G Workshop – The Start of Something illustrates the carefully orchestrated 5G timeline and development process. It starts with 5G study items (SIs) spanning work on Release 14 and 15 with the expectation that it will take 24 to 30 months. “1st phase 5G work items WI(s)” align with Release 15 (R15) work that scheduled to start in 2017 and deliver a finished spec that adequately defines the use of 5G towards the end of 2018. Successful development of telecommunications’ equipment that fully meet

spec requirements has a typical best-case schedule of 20 months appropriately setting initial 5G commercial deployment midyear 2020. The proven and time-tested 3GPP cellular and now wireless R&D process partitions 5G development work into manageable study items (SIs) and work items (WIs) assignments in parallel with “Continued LTE evolution” technology development. What is not emphasized in most all 5G content is that it does not exist in isolation rather 5G capability is minimally tightly coupled and for R15 phase 1, wholly dependent “5G and LTE technology’s” seamless integration and interworking whereas currently LTE always includes 4G, 3G, and 2G which is 3GPP technology.

3GPP Cellular Technology in a nutshell

What sets the 3GPP (5G+) wireless technology work apart from other pay-to-play specification and technology development work is twofold, first its proven international success and second that most all study/work groups (4 of 6) are accessible to anyone. The 3GPP 5G technology must coexist with LTE/4G and legacy 3G/2G as R15 based on the International Mobile Telecommunications (IMT) and its International Telecommunication Union’s (ITU) framework of standards developed by its Radiocommunication Sector (ITU-R) work group. This group published ITU-R M.2083 titled IMT Vision - “Framework and overall objectives of the future development of IMT for 2020 and beyond” in September 2015 and by doing so set baseline 5G requirements. The ITU-R experts will review and issue a detailed report on R15. 5G and LTE-A Pro technology developers come from commercial, educational, and governmental entities. Of all participants Intel, Nokia-ALU, Ericsson, NEC, Samsung, Huawei, and Qualcomm, along with the many worldwide carriers they work, appear to have the biggest commitment to 5G-related success. The 5G+ technology plan has attracted more networking, automotive, and

telematics experts who are committed to the broad-based success and rapid expansion of IoT and M2M services. The path to what will be 5G five years from now is foggy yet its expansive trajectory and impact on embedded markets beyond traditional telecommunications and network markets is most promising.

3GPP fueled revolution

If the transformational nature of 5G-related technology and the evolution of cellular ecosystem meet stated objectives, 3GPP-created technology will fuel the revolutionary disruption of high-tech markets as they are today. Intel and many others are not only counting on but have firmly position themselves to sell “Pre-5G” as the foundation on what will come. The incredibly disruptive nature 5G will have on other Low Power Wide Area (LPWA) networks, including carrier Wi-Fi is truly significant. 3GPP capability from a system architectural perspective to fully support the “u” in uMTC (machine type communication) as ultra-reliable, -available, and -responsive drives 5G to places competing technologies cannot go today. While all the 5G-goodness is well on its way thanks to international cooperation concerns exist that Silicon Valley may not reap the benefits from higher LTE and 5G download rates. The US, and Silicon Valley in particular ranks #10 in LTE coverage worldwide but close to the bottom (#54) for LTE download speed. Japan, Korea, and even Europe download speed is double and triple that of the US. This suggests we are ready and waiting for 5G and 5G-related (LTE Advanced Pro) enhancements. Let the wireless revolution begin!

Source Qualcomm 5G Views on Technology & Standardization 3GPP RAN workshop on 5G Slide 8 RWS-150012 QCOM5G.pdf Sept 2015)

RTC Magazine JANUARY 2016 | 23


Patient Experience the Key to Digital Health 85% of all healthcare dollars are spent on chronic care. How can we reduce that? by Scott A. Nelson, Reuleaux Technology

24 | RTC Magazine JANUARY 2016

When I was asked to opine on “the future of digital health’ I first started writing about accountability -- the driving force of change in healthcare. Accountability is changing how we provide and implement healthcare in the US because more than 85% of all healthcare dollars are spent on chronic care and 50% of those dollars are due to the lifestyle of the patient, i.e. are avoidable with more accountable patient behavior. The Accountable Care Act was passed primarily as a political device, but the first letter in the name is functionally correct. Physicians and hospital systems must be accountable to the outcomes of the care they provide. Insurers and payers must be accountable to the promise they make to facilitate the care patients need to be healthy. But by far the biggest return on investment will be solutions that help patients be accountable to their own health. But digital health and healthcare in general are separable topics. Certainly there is overlap as healthcare transforms under the weight of new accountabilities, but digital health is the specific application of technology, primarily informational technology, to the practice of healthcare. In the past, primarily due to regulations, digital health centered on IT systems and electronic medical records (EMR). EMR focused digital health is a system-centric movement that, quite honestly, is still controversial as to its value. But today digital health has a new definition. New technologies have shifted the focus to the patient. Wearables capture data continuously to give doctors a view of patient behavior and lifestyle in addition to the traditional laboratory tests. Personalized genome mapping makes it possible to tailor drugs, procedures, and devices to a formula optimized by individual - precision medicine. And Watson is now ready to gather and understand every digit we produce physically, socially, and intellectually to then counsel us, without human intervention, to a healthier life. In order to forecast and understand digital health today one must focus on the patient experience. So what does this mean for technologists? Where will digital health need us and how can we accelerate progress. I offer three areas in which the patient experience will be the key to stimulate your thinking on how embedded technology can be applied.

DIY Care – As stated above, nearly 45% of all healthcare dollars spent, now $3 trillion per year in the US, is due to patient lifestyle and behavior. Accountable Care will require patients to take care of themselves and follow their care regiments for diagnosed conditions. This means that patients will be looking for DIY medical products and services to help them with this responsibility. The more intuitive and easier it is to use these products in everyday life, the better the DIY result. Home Health – Most of us spend at least half of every day at home and if we are going to be accountable for our own care we must practice it in at home. The medical therapy devices that our providers use in hospitals today will be coming home with us in the future. Those medical devices must be tracked for both their value and their use. The data patients generate at home must seamlessly stream from wherever we are in our homes to providers who need that data to monitor and assist our care. Again, patient experience will determine which products are most effective because we buy and use products that fit seamlessly into our lifestyle. What is the future of digital health? It is the seamless, digital integration of the patient into the healthcare system and success will be determined by how well product designers do their job making the technology a simple part of patients everyday lives.

Population Health – Population health is one of the

buzz words of Accountable Care. Population health is defined as the health outcomes of a group of individuals, including the distribution of such outcomes within the group. Digital devices will be critical to population health because one cannot treat a group of individuals nor understand the distribution of outcomes if one does not have a continuous survey of the health of the patients. The only way healthcare systems are going to be able to address population health is with continuous streams of trusted data from the patients for whom they care: wearables, home monitoring devices, and self-reported data will make up the Patient Generated Health Data (PGHD) that will be the critical commodity for population health. RTC Magazine JANUARY 2016 | 25


Industrial Grade Power for Remote Wireless Devices Comparing the Performance Differences Between Consumer and Industrial-Grade Batteries Helps Identify the Ideal Power Supply that Delivers Long-term Cost Savings by Sol Jacobs, Tadiran Batteries

Figure 1 Wireless parking meters, developed by the IPS Group Inc., use built-in solar panels, with industrial-grade rechargeable Li-ion batteries used to store the harvested energy. These autonomous-meters establish a mesh network that uses Cloud-based connectivity to process transactions, while serving to reduce pollution by alerting motorists about open parking-spaces.

This is an exciting time for remote-wireless technology! It has been brought about by a confluence of favorable developments. These include: the rapid emergence of the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), and the ongoing development of low-power communications protocols such as ZigBee, Bluetooth, DASH7, INSTEON and Z-Wave. There are also energy-saving components and circuitry. And recent advancements in lithium battery technology allow certain remote wireless devices to operate maintenance-free for up to 40 years! The burgeoning IIoT is spreading wireless technology across a wide range of industrial applications! These encompass: automated metering infrastructure (AMI), wireless mesh networks, structural sensors, machine-to-machine (M2M) and system control and data acquisition (SCADA), data loggers. The list doesn’t end there! IIoT wireless technology has also been applied to measurement while drilling, oceanographic measurements, and emergency/safety equipment, to name a few. 26 | RTC Magazine JANUARY 2016

Designing the ideal power supply for an industrial-grade application is often far more technically challenging than with consumer-grade devices. The vast majority of industrial-grade remote-wireless devices are self-powered by primary (non-rechargeable) lithium batteries. However, certain applications may be ideally suited for energy-harvesting technologies utilized in conjunction with rechargeable batteries or supercapacitors that store the harvested energy and deliver high pulses. This article will explore both technologies.

Key Considerations in Choosing the Ideal Power Supply

A remote-wireless device is only as reliable as its power supply, which needs be optimized based on application-specific requirements. The battery specification process encompasses certain fundamental parameters, including: energy consumed in active mode (including the size, duration, and frequency of pulses); en-

ergy consumed in dormant mode (the sleep current); storage time (as normal self-discharge during storage diminishes capacity); thermal environments (including storage and in-field operation); equipment cut-off voltage (as battery capacity is exhausted, or in extreme temperatures, voltage can drop to a point too low for the sensor to operate); battery self-discharge rate (which can be higher than the average current draw from sensor use); as well as cost considerations. The battery selection process must also take other factors into consideration, including: • Reliability – Remote sensors can be located in hard-to-reach areas, making battery replacement difficult. This is especially crucial in situations where data integrity cannot be compromised by premature battery-failure. • Long operating-life – The self-discharge rate of the battery can often exceed the actual energy- usage of a device that draws low-rate power, thus requiring high initial battery capacity. • Wide operating temperatures – Industrial devices tend to operate in very cold or very hot climates - no place for a consumer-grade battery with a limited temperature-range. •S mall size – Battery-powered devices are becoming increasingly miniaturized, demanding batteries with high-energy density. • Voltage – A higher-voltage battery may reduce the total amount of cells required. • Lifetime costs – Replacement costs over time must be taken into account, including hidden labor expenses that can far exceed the cost of the batteries themselves Trade-offs are inevitable, so establishing a prioritized list of desired performance attributes is helpful when evaluating com-

peting power-management solutions.

Choosing among primary lithium batteries

Remote-wireless devices that require long operating-life are predominantly powered by primary lithium batteries. However, in situations where extended battery operating-life is not required, it could make sense to use an inexpensive alkaline-battery, which is often the case with standard consumer-products such as flashlights, television remote controllers, and toys. Alkaline batteries are generally not recommended for industrial-grade applications due to their low voltage (1.5V or lower), limited temperature range (0°C to 60°C), high annual self-discharge rates that severely limit their life expectancy, and crimped seals that may leak. The low initial cost of a consumer alkaline battery can also be highly misleading. This relatively short-lived investment may need to be replaced every few months, which greatly increases the total cost of ownership over the lifetime of the device. These added-costs can become even more significant if the wireless device is deployed in a remote, inaccessible location, causing labor expenses to skyrocket. Lithium battery chemistry is preferred for remote wireless applications due its intrinsic negative potential, which exceeds that of all other metals. As the lightest non-gaseous metal, lithium offers the highest specific-energy (energy per unit weight) and energy density (energy per unit volume) of all available battery-chemistries. Lithium cells also feature a normal operating-current voltage (OCV) ranging between 2.7 and 3.6V. The electrolyte is also non-aqueous, allowing lithium batteries to handle more extreme temperatures than water-based battery chemistries. Numerous options are available within the family of primary lithium-chemistries, including iron disulfate (LiFeS2), lithium manganese dioxide (LiMNO2), lithium thionyl chloride (LiSO-

Primary Cell

LiSOCl2 Bobbin-type with Hybrid Layer Capacitor

LiSOCl2 Bobbin-type

Li Metal Oxide Modified for high capacity

Li Metal Oxide Modified for high power


LiFeS2 Lithium Iron Disulfate

LiMnO2 CR123A

Energy Density (Wh/1)









Very High


Very High

Very High





3.6 to 3.9 V

3.6 V

4.1 V

4.1 V

1.5 V

1.5 V

3.0 V

Pulse Amplitude




Very High







Very Low





Performance at Elevated Temp.








Performance at








Low Temp. Operating life








Self-Discharge Rate

Very Low

Very Low

Very Low

Very Low

Very High



Operating Temp.

-55°C to 85°C, can be extended to 105°C for a short time

-80°C to 125°C

-45°C to 85°C

-45°C to 85°C

-0°C to 60°C

-20°C to 60°C

0°C to 60°C

Table 1 Comparison of industrial grade batteries

RTC Magazine JANUARY 2016 | 27

2.4 THE WIRELESS FUTURE Cl2), and lithium metal oxide chemistry. (See comparison Table 1) Consumer-grade 1.5V lithium iron disulfate (LiFeS2) cells are relatively inexpensive and can deliver the high pulses required to power a camera flash. Limitations include a narrow temperature range (-20°C to 60°C), a high annual self-discharge rate, and crimped seals that may leak. Lithium Manganese Dioxide (LiMNO2) cells, including the popular CR123A, offer a space-saving solution for consumer toys and cameras, as one 3V LiMNO2 cell can replace two 1.5V alkaline cells. LiMNO2 batteries can also deliver moderate pulses, but have certain limitations, including low initial- voltage, a narrow temperature range, a high self-discharge rate, and crimped seals. 3.6V bobbin-type lithium thionyl chloride (LiSOCl2) cells remain the preferred choice for remote-wireless applications that demand exceptionally-long battery life, especially in extreme environments. These batteries deliver the highest capacity and highest energy density of any lithium cell, along with an extremely low annual self-discharge rate of less than 1% per year. Bobbin-type LiSOCl2 batteries also feature a glass-to-metal hermetic seal, and deliver the widest possible temperature range (-55°C - 85°C). Specially modified bobbin-type LiSOCL2 batteries have been utilized in the cold chain, where wireless sensors are used to monitor the transport of pharmaceuticals, tissue samples, and transplant organs at carefully controlled temperatures as low as -80°C. Certain cells were able to survive prolonged testing at -100°C,

which far exceeds the maximum temperature range of alkaline cells as well as consumer grade lithium batteries. Bobbin-type LiSOCl2 batteries are also utilized in other extreme environments, such as windshield-mounted electronic toll tags that must endure extreme temperature cycling, along with environmental and seismic sensors deployed by scientists at the South Pole.

Lithium batteries are not created equal

How a bobbin-type LiSOCl2 battery is manufactured, and the quality of the raw materials used in its manufacture, can greatly impact product performance. For example, certain brands of bobbin-type LiSOCl2 batteries can only deliver about 10 years of operating life due to an annual self-discharge rate of 2% to 3% per year, while a different brand using the same chemistry can achieve up to 40-year operating life by offering a much lower annual self-discharge rate of just 0.7% per year. Specifying a battery with the lowest possible self-discharge rate can significantly reduce your total cost of ownership by eliminating the need for future battery replacements. For example, if a water utility deploying automated meter infrastructure (AMI) was to use longer life batteries to power thousands of meter transmitter units (MTUs), resulting in the elimination of just one system-wide battery change-out over a 20-year period, it could potentially save millions of dollars without compromising system reliability. Extended battery operating life is especially beneficial for inaccessibly located devices, such as structural sensors

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attached beneath bridge trusses, as the labor expense and safety rigging required to replace these batteries would far exceed the cost of the batteries themselves. To achieve 40-year operating life, a bobbin-type LiSOCl2 battery must be manufactured to extremely high quality standards using high grade raw materials, with strict adherence to total quality management tools such as six sigma methodologies and statistical process controls (SPC) to ensure greater lot-to-lot consistency. Therefore, it is essential to verify the accuracy of any claims made by battery manufacturers regarding battery life expectancy.

Specialized batteries deliver high rate current

Applications that require continuous high rate power and/or high pulses of short duration (i.e. surgical power-tools, automatic external-defibrillators (AEDs), emergency beacons, and smart munitions) demand a unique power-management solution, which is now available through the development of lithium metal- oxide batteries. Constructed with a carbon-based anode, a multi metal-oxide cathode, and an organic electrolyte, lithium metal-oxide batteries can deliver up to 20-year operating life with an annual self-discharge rate of less than 1% per year. These small (AA and under) but powerful cells feature a nominal voltage of 4V, and are capable of handling 5A continuous loads and 15A maximum pulses. Lithium metal-oxide batteries also feature a wide temperature-range (-40°C to 85°C.), along with a hermetic seal.

High pulse applications offer unique challenges

A growing number of remote-wireless devices require high pulses of energy to power advanced two-way communications and/or remote shut-off capabilities. In order to conserve energy, these devices must remain in a ‘standby’ mode that requires little or no current, periodically switching to an ‘active’ mode that draws the medium to the high pulses required to initiate data acquisition and transmission. Due to their low-rate design, standard bobbin-type LiSOCl2 batteries tend to experience a temporary drop- in voltage when first subjected to this type of pulsed load: a phenomenon known as transient minimum- voltage (TMV). One way to minimize TMV is to use supercapacitors in conjunction with lithium batteries. Supercapacitors are not typically recommended for industrial grade applications, as their drawbacks include high self-discharge rates that can cause premature battery failure, and a limited temperature-range, which prohibits their use in extreme environments. Solutions involving multiple supercapacitors require the use of balancing circuits that also draw power. An alternative way to minimize TMV is to combine a standard bobbin-type LiSOCl2 cell with a patented Hybrid Layer Capacitor (HLC). The battery and HLC work in parallel: the battery supplies long-term low-current power in the 3.6 to 3.9 V nominal range; and the single-unit HLC delivers the required high pulses while avoiding the balancing and current leakage-problems associated with supercapacitors. This hybrid version of the bobbin-type LiSoCl2 battery also features a unique end-of-life performance curve that allows the device to be programmed to deliver low battery-status alerts. A new type of bobbin-type LiSOCl2 battery has been developed

that features high capacity and high energy-density, and can also deliver moderate-to-high pulses without requiring an HLC to eliminate voltage drop or power delay. These specially modified bobbin-type LiSOCl2 batteries utilize available capacity so efficiently that they can extend battery life up to 15%, especially in extremely hot or cold temperatures.

A growing niche for energy harvesting

There is considerable excitement surrounding energy-harvested devices that tap into natural energy sources such as solar, wind, thermal and kinetic energy, and RF/EM signals. As a relatively new technology, the decision to deploy energy harvesting must be well founded based on numerous factors, including the reliability of the device and its energy source; the expected operating-life of the device; environmental requirements; size and weight considerations; and total cost of ownership. In some instances, the amount of harvestable energy can be relatively small, as certain devices gather only a few microamps of current each day. The typical energy-harvesting device consists of five basic components: a sensor, a transducer, an energy processor, a micro-controller, and an optional radio-link. The sensor detects and measures environmental parameters such as motion, proximity, temperature, humidity, pressure, light, strain vibration, and pH. The transducer and energy processor work in tandem to convert, collect, and store the electrical energy in either a rechargeable lithium-battery or a supercapacitor. The microcontroller collects and processes the data. The radio link communicates with a host receiver or data collection point. The rechargeable-battery technologies utilized to support energy harvesting continue to evolve. Lithium-ion (Li-ion) and TLI-1550 (AA)


Industrial Grade


Diameter (max)




Length (max)








Nominal Voltage




Max Discharge Rate




Max Continuos Discharge Current








Energy Density




Power [RT]




Power [-20C]


> 630

< 170

Operating Temp

deg. C

-40 to +90

-20 to +60

Charging Temp

deg. C

-40 to +85

0 to +45

Self Discharge rate




Cycle Life

[100% DOD]



Cycle Life

[75% DOD]



Cycle Life

[50% DOD]



Operating Life




Table 2 Comparison of battery from competitor

RTC Magazine JANUARY 2016 | 29

2.4 THE WIRELESS FUTURE lithium polymer batteries are gaining popularity. Lithium-polymer batteries are mainly used in consumer applications. These batteries are manufactured in thin, flexible sheets, which is ideal for use in consumer hand-held devices that need to be thin and stylish. Lithium-ion (Li-ion) batteries are more commonly utilized in industrial applications. Consumer grade Li-ion cells are reasonably inexpensive and widely available, but are not ideally suited for long-term deployment in industrial grade applications. These limitations include an average life expectancy of less than five years and 500 recharge cycles, a moderate temperature range (-10 to 60°C), and an inability to deliver high pulses. Industrial grade Li-ion batteries are the preferred choice for long-term deployment in remote, inaccessible locations due to their ability to operate for up to 20 years and 5,000 full recharge cycles. Industrial-grade Li-ion batteries also provide a much wider temperature range (-40°C to 85°C), can deliver high pulses (5 A for an AA-size cell), and feature glass-to-metal hermetic seals, whereas consumer rechargeable batteries use crimped seals more prone to leakage. (see comparison Table 2) Here are some recent examples involving energy harvesting and the IIoT:

The solar-powered parking meter

Demand for wireless devices is expected to skyrocket with the expansion of IIoT. One prime example is the solar-powered parking meter manufactured by the IPS Group. These devices incorporate energy- harvesting technology along with industrial-grade-rechargeable Li-ion batteries to support state-of-the-art functionality, including multiple payment-system options, access to real-time data, integration of vehicle detection sensors, user guidance and enforcement modules, and a Cloud-based connection to comprehensive management-reporting systems. The parking meter contains a miniaturized photovoltaic-panel that gathers solar energy, which is then stored in the industri-

al-grade-rechargeable Li-ion battery to deliver the required capacity and high pulses needed to initiate two-way wireless communications. This power management solution enables IPS parking meters to deliver 24/7/360 reliability, with the 20-year battery serving to minimize long-term maintenance costs. Figure 1.

Remote cattle ranching

Another recent example from the IIoT is CattleWatch, an innovative product that utilizes solar-powered ‘smart collar’ units on cattle. The entire herd is outfitted with collars that communicate with the solar-powered hub collars to form a wireless-mesh network. The hub collars provide continuous Cloud-based wireless connectivity via Iridium satellites, thus providing ranchers with real-time access to critical data regarding daily animal behavior, including herd location, walking time, grazing time, resting time, water consumption, in-heat condition and other health-events. Ranchers also receive instant notifications if the system detects potential threats from predatory animals. Industrial grade Li-ion rechargeable batteries provide the high pulses required for satellite-based communications, along with extended battery-life. These batteries were chosen over bulkier supercapacitors because they enabled the ‘smart collars’ to be smaller and more lightweight, and thus more comfortable for the animals to wear. Figure 2.


Explosive growth in wireless technology, caused in part by the emergence of the IIoT, is building demand for truly wireless devices that can operate maintenance-free for decades, powered either by long-life primary LiSOCl2 batteries, or by a new generation of industrial-grade Li-ion rechargeable devices. Having two distinct types of advanced battery-technologies available, offers enhanced design flexibility to optimize the power supply based on application-specific requirements.

Figure 2 The CattleWatch system utilizes solar-powered ‘smart collars’ to create a wireless-mesh network that enables a rancher to manage a herd of cattle remotely through satellite-based communications. Use of industrial-grade rechargeable Li-ion batteries enables these ‘smart collars’ to be more comfortable for animals to wear.

30 | RTC Magazine JANUARY 2016

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RTC Magazine JANUARY 2016 | 31


Wireless Health: A look ahead by Mehran Mehregany, Engineering Innovation at Case Western Reserve University

The convergence of sensing, connectivity, computing and social network technologies is fueling new possibilities in remote patient monitoring and treatment (referred to as wireless, digital or mobile health). Technology is only one part of a wireless health solution; it enables offering a service based on data gathered or stimuli administered. Another key part of wireless health solutions is a viable business model, i.e., who will pay and why. Looking ahead, device integration and business model innovation are key areas of evolution. Many wireless health solutions today are based on one device, one applicationâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;naturally resulting in limited business model creativity. Multi-functional devices with multiple applications are few and far between in medical devices, but are emerging in consumer health. Regarding the latter, take for example activity monitors. They were initially step counters, from which they evolved into monitoring activities and now can measure heart rate. Smart watches expand the functionality of activity trackers to a new level. They integrate activity monitoring into what essentially amounts to a computer on the wrist. Additional health and wellness measurements (blood pressure and pulse oximetry) are on the horizon, both for smart watches and activity monitors. A bottleneck of integration pace is that making additional desired measurements is limited by available technology. For example, it would be nice to monitor respiration, hydration and calorie intake with the same smart watch or activity monitor. However, the techniques to do so are not presently available. The former two measurements can be made readily with other devices worn on other parts of 32 | RTC Magazine JANUARY 2016

the body, however. A way around this problem is smart garments that integrate sensing, connectivity and computation strategically. The garment can then provide multiple functionalities in a natural way. Integration will be a driver of packing more functionality into smaller form factors. Such integration is possible because the converging technologies are rooted in microelectronics. They are manufacturing in fabrication processes that are generally compatible. Other contributors to enabling such integration are is low power design strategies and advances in battery technology. For garments, stretchable electronics and electronic textiles are additional contributing technologies. Generally speaking, it is harder to make chemical and biological measurements with sensors due to sensitivity, selectivity, stability and reproducibility challenges. Even when promising sensors are developed, their integration into a practical monitoring platform (e.g., activity monitor, smart watch, smart garment, etc.) is challenging. The sensor needs access to the parameter being monitored, while it has to be protected from the surrounding environmentâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;a difficult packaging problem. Nevertheless, the integration of chemical and biological sensors into health and wellness monitoring platforms will be on the rise. Devices with multiple functionalities provide more opportunities for a broader set of services, which in turn enables more business model flexibility. To the extent that multiple functionalities produce more data sets, these data can be mined for different purposes and benefitsâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;to each of which a specific business model may be attached.


Figure 1 Simulation of fire fighters wearing intelligent helmets created by Honeywell and Intel

Smart Devices Enable Us to Live Better, Safer and Get Us Around Smart devices to enable us live better, a smart home to provide convenience and safety, and an autonomous car to get us around The world is getting smarter. There are smart devices to help us live better, and a smart home to provide convenience and safety. In the future, autonomous cars may help us get around. A smart warehouse will help us manage inventory easier. There will be many more new innovations coming. Honeywell and Intel are collaborating to develop smart IoT-connected helmets to help improve the safety of industrial workers and first responders. Data will be collected by the sensors inside the helmet. If the helmet is struck by a hard object, those sensors will assess the damage. The design also includes a mechanism to spread the force of the impact across the whole helmet, and thus minimize the blow (Photo 1). At a recent ARM TechCon, IBM demonstrated a similar concept of an “intelligent-helmet” in an amusing way. In our previous publication, we discussed an “autonomous car”. Ford recently tested one - driving on snow (Photo 2). The Federal Highway Administrative Office appeared in the news recently, to promote smart vehicle-to-vehicle communication in order to reduce collision. The idea is that each vehicle will be equipped with wireless devices and sensors so that, when

another vehicle is approaching to an unsafe proximity, both vehicles would brake automatically. This requires a lot of intelligent design, wireless control, IIoT and regulations. Perhaps the most difficult part, in all this, is the simulation of a human driver who, based on visual data and experience, can do a lot more than a machine. Nonetheless, this appears to be the trend for the future. We will also see that more time and effort being spent in the development of visual calculation, smart embedded computing, smart homes and more smart devices.

Figure 2 Ford’s autonomous car driving on snow

RTC Magazine JANUARY 2016 | 33


The Future of the Smart Home – Smart Services Not Just Connected Devices The exploding Smart Home market requires design engineers to think bigger than just their connected devices – they need to be considering the entire system. Consumers want smart home services that make their lives, safer, more secure and more efficient. by Cees Links, GreenPeak

Figure 1 The new GreenPeak Family Lifestyle solution senses family activities and status as well as monitoring home security, environmental issues, energy efficiency, and even entertainment, all managed by a single dashboard on a smart phone or other web connected device.

Many manufacturers and product developers are viewing the rapidly expanding Smart Home sector as a gold rush for new products and technologies. Industry experts and industry analysts have made incredibly alluring predictions of multi-billion dollar markets. Customers are buying and installing these solutions, but this market is not growing as explosively as hoped. There are a several reasons – the most critical are lack of interoperability standards for connecting these various devices and the fact that consumers really don’t want just connected devices, they want smart systems that actually solve problems and make their lives safer, more secure and more efficient. The first challenge is the battle between connectivity standards. In addition to established and proven wireless technolo34 | RTC Magazine JANUARY 2016

gies like WiFi, Bluetooth and ZigBee, many of the world’s leading technology companies and industry groups are developing and pushing out their own proprietary technologies for connecting these gadgets and devices. This plethora of possibilities is confusing and slowing down market growth as behemoths battle over who will be THE Smart Home solution. Instead of working with the standards groups, this fighting is making the market very fractured and confusing. This confusion over what technology will eventually work in the home leads many consumers to just give up and wait until the industry gets its act together. It is also confusing for developers and engineers tasked to develop solutions for the new Smart Home market. Which connectivity solution do they go with? Should they pick a standard like WiFi or ZigBee or should they take a chance on one of the

new and so far unproven emerging technologies? There are a lot of risks here for engineers. If they decide to ride the wrong horse, in a year or two, their product line may get thrown onto the pile of stuff that just didn’t work out. Customers want smart services, not just smart devices. Many customers do not want to undertake the hassle of figuring out what devices will perform the appropriate functions in their home. They want a service that works right out of the box, not a bunch of components that need to be hooked together and programmed. They want a system that is smart enough to learn what is normal for their home and then has the intelligence to assess situations that are out of the norm and to take appropriate action. This could be an alert to parents or caretakers. Or, if the system is smart enough, it can resolve the issue on its own. For example, if a storm suddenly arrives during the middle of the day while everyone is out of the home, and the windows are open, the house can be smart enough to close the windows, turn on the heat, and maybe even start boiling some tea. Or, in the case of senior citizens living independently at home, the system knows how they live their daily lives, and if there is a problem – i.e. they don’t get out bed or don’t cook dinner at the normal times, the system can send alerts to the family or a caregiver.



Developers and manufacturers should be looking to develop entire easy-to-install solutions, not just the individual components of the system. Instead of developing a web-enabled door lock, they should be invested into developing a total system that includes home security, as well as environmental control, energy management and lifestyle monitoring. This may mean developing an ecosystem with partners who can provide the other parts of the solution – the connectivity between the various sensors, actuators and controls, as well as the intelligence that analyzes and assesses the incoming data and then compares it to what is normal for that household, as well as the online dashboard for monitoring and management. In some ways, what we are proposing is sort of like a webbased smart home butler – smart enough to know the basics of what is normal for a home and insightful enough to learn the specifics of that family and how and when they live their life. Also, by developing a complete system, and providing all the sensor, communication and management components in a single package, manufacturers and service providers can reduce their concerns about lack of interoperability and can confidently move into production, with less worry about the future and the battling communication technologies.


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RTC Magazine JANUARY 2016 | 35


Powerful and Efficient Deep Learning: The Impetus to Modern A.I. Visual computing has made progress thanks to deep learning which requires serious computing power by Deepu Talla, NVIDIA

36 | RTC Magazine JANUARY 2016

Figure 1 10X energy efficiency for machine learning

Deep learning is revolutionizing the world. Ever since a neural network called “AlexNet” dominated the 2012 ImageNet competition, deep neural networks (DNNs) have been conquering various algorithm domains related to computer vision, in particular, and machine perception, in general. Today, deep learning is the fastest-growing field in machine learning. Deep learning uses many-layered DNNs to learn levels of representation and abstraction in data such as images, sound, and text. While traditional machine learning required handcrafted feature extraction for machine learning algorithms to analyze images or recognize voices, today’s advanced DNNs use algorithms, big data, and the computational power of the GPU to realize vastly better results. Machines are now able to learn at a speed, accuracy, and scale that drives broader artificial intelligence. Deep learning is used in the research community and in industry to help solve many big data problems such as computer vision, speech recognition, and natural language processing Practical examples include: • Self-driving cars • Vehicle, pedestrian and landmark identification for driver assistance • Image recognition • Speech recognition and translation • Natural language processing • Diagnosis in medicine

Once deployed to the field, a DNN repeatedly runs inference calculations (giving an input to a DNN which then extracts information based on that input). Examples of inference include classifying images, localizing faces, and translating human speech in real-time. NVIDIA’s Jetson TX1 offers the perfect combination of GPU performance and energy efficiency for deep learning computing, and inference calculations in particular. Jetson TX1 is the world’s first supercomputer on a module. Built around the NVIDIA Maxwell™ architecture, TX1 features 256 CUDA cores delivering over 1 TeraFLOPs of performance. Jetson TX1’s raw performance is greater than the latest highend Intel processor, the core i7-6700K (Skylake). But it’s Jetson TX1’s incredible energy efficiency that suits it so well to embedded computing applications. As the chart below demonstrates, Jetson TX1 outperforms Skylake by an order of magnitude in energy efficiency. (Figure 1) Using the industry-standard AlexNet image classification test as a benchmark, Jetson TX1’s deep learning prowess was measured against Skylake. The two systems were given a series of images to recognize and classify. Put simply, Jetson TX1 is an order of magnitude more energy efficient than Skylake for deep learning. NVIDIA provides high-performance tools and libraries to power innovative GPU-accelerated deep learning applications in the cloud, data centers, workstations, and embedded platforms with the Deep Learning SDK. GPU performance is key to the breakthroughs powering current advances in deep learning. These advances, including image classification, are paving the way to next-generation artificial intelligence and autonomous robots and drones. NVIDIA’s has played a vital role in the growth of the field. ImageNet Challenge accuracy spiked in 2012 following the release of the GPU-accelerated library, NVIDIA cuDNN, of primitives for deep neural networks architecture. Today, the power of CUDA is available on Jetson TX1, a supercomputing module perfectly suited to high-performance embedded computing applications in which energy efficiency is critical.

These days, working with DNNs goes hand in hand with the use of GPUs. As NVIDIA CEO Jen-Hsun Huang detailed in a recent blog post, “Accelerating AI with GPUs: A New Computing Model,” GPU-powered deep learning has powered incredible advances in artificial intelligence, and computing research at large, over the past five years. And the best is yet to come. “In 2012, deep learning had beaten human-coded software,” Huang wrote. “By 2015, deep learning had achieved ‘superhuman’ levels of perception … Popular Science recently called the GPU ‘the workhorse of modern A.I.’ RTC Magazine JANUARY 2016 | 37


How Smart Helmet’s Protect Workers By sensing the force of the blow, the condition of the worker can be analyzed quickly by Travis Siegfried, IBM Internet of Things

IBM recently demonstrated how intelligence can be designed in the IBM IoT Platform increase productivity and reduces costs while administering one of the world’s top 10 most dangerous jobs, that of a construction worker. This amusement parkthemed asset supplies visualizations of how one may take these concepts and apply them to their own requirements or industry. During this demo, attendees are introduced to “Bob” a life-like manikin mannequin worker. Bob is wearing a hardhat instrumented for impact, temperature, air quality, and noise levels. Clients would strike Bob over the head with a plastic bat to simulate the helmet being struck by a hard object. IBM analytics are used to display cumulative results of the impact on a compelling and intuitive web display in IBM Bluemix. The severity 38 | RTC Magazine JANUARY 2016

of the impact is simultaneously displayed on a carnival-style “high striker” that allows the attendees to have “fun” with bells, lights and competition. (Figure 1)

The Details….

This demo shows how ARM mBed can be used with IBM’s IoT Foundation (IoTF) to monitor employee safety on a large jobsite. A fun and interactive way of demonstrating this was to fit a hard-hat for construction workers with sensors to track an employee’s current conditions via air-quality, temperature, sound and accelerometer readings. The information from the sensors flows to the IBM IoT Foundation platform via a combination of mBed-enabled Multitech mDot endpoints and a LoRa-enabled

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Figure 1 Demonstration of smart helmet by IBM

single board computer

Multi Tech Conduit Base station. LoRa is a subGhZ radio standard that allows wireless data transmission ranges of up to 9 miles from devices with multi-year battery life. The IBM IoT Foundation is used to securely connect to the Multitech gateway and interpret the data using rich analytics. To demonstrate the power of this approach, visitors to the demo were invited to hit the manikin mannequin over the head with a lightweight plastic bat. The force and direction of the impact were relayed to IoTF via the Multitech mDot and Conduit. IoTF is used to calculate the potential heath danger of each of the impacts recognizing that impacts to the head can have cumulative damage impact. The analytics data that is displayed is rolled up to allow an industrial supervisor a real-time health intelligence dashboard. This allows a single rolled-up view of many employees dispersed across a large job site. This dashboard allows easy addition of employees as appropriate and also gives the ability to drill down into the details of the live sensor data. For instance, further review of an employee could show ambient temperature and noise within the environment. This helps one to meaningfully make decisions about the employee as well as the overall safety and health of a job site. The capabilities that this will provide the industrial sector are endless. In fact, the number four most dangerous job in the world, according to CBS news, is a construction worker. Because of this, the insurance required for companies specializing in this industry is extremely high. Implementation of this kind of Internet of Things solution will be extremely beneficial to the industry and to individual health and safety. Combining this type of solution with the Watson cognitive and Weather Company analytics that IBM provides can augment this further to provide real-time, external condition-based proactive safety management to industrial workspace and sites and not only potentially lower costs around liability insurance for workers or even help enforce and monitor employment safety laws adherence for standards as OSHA (explain), but it may also enable workers to become more aware of their surroundings to allow them to work more effectively and safely as individuals. This proof of concept has shown how intelligence design can help analyze the impact of a blow and, as a result, develop ways to increase safety for workers.

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single board computer



smart delivery



full development kit

full development kit

NOVAsom8© is a module card designed with a System On Module (SOM) architecture full development kit full development kit based on quad core ARM Cortex-A9 from 512MB to 4GB of 64 bit DDR3 Memory.



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Z single board computer RTC Magazine JANUARY 2016 | 39 single board computer


Embedded Computing: Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s about Brilliant Machines These brilliant machines can deliver processing powers in GFLOPS by Ian McMurray, Abaco Systems

40 | RTC Magazine JANUARY 2016

There’s a major transformation taking place in industry – and it’s being enabled by brilliant machines. What are these “brilliant machines”? In many cases, they’re a whole range of equipment types that have embedded computing subsystems at their heart. These subsystems deliver processing power that can run to hundreds of GFLOPS – often enabled by GPGPU (general purpose processing on graphics processing units) technology with its massively parallel architecture. That’s what enables Abaco’s mCOM10-K1 rugged COM Express module to deliver 326 GFLOPS of processing power -- yet consume 10 watts or less. Why do they need such incredible processing power? Simply because, in the future, these brilliant machines will be equipped with, or have access to, multiple sensors of different types, collecting enormous amounts of data that needs to be captured, processed, analyzed, stored and transmitted. The transformation noted previously is all about the big data” that is capable of revolutionizing how decisions are made. Those sensors are generating that data – at greater frequency and at higher resolutions. Organizations are using it to derive significant value through advanced analytics that can, for example, substantially increase reliability, uptime or productivity. With these intelligent insights, decision makers can drive improved design, operations, and proactive maintenance as well as higher quality service and safety.

The importance of SWaP

These brilliant machines are also small and lightweight, enabling them to be deployed in spaces that are highly constrained. These days, the focus is not only on price/performance – but also SWaP. The size, weight and power requirements of a system have an increasingly vital role in determining its suitability for a given application.

And: these brilliant machines are also rugged, allowing them to function in challenging environments that are subject to extremes of shock, vibration, temperature, and survive moisture and contaminant ingress. Think energy exploration, transportation, heavy industry and so on. They are designed to operate right out at the furthest edges of the network. That ruggedness is vital. These new generations of systems will become increasingly mission-critical. Failure cannot be tolerated. In the case of Abaco Systems, we’re taking what we’ve learned from our work with the world’s armed forces, where “mission critical” invariably means “a matter of life and death”. Abaco rugged embedded computing is deployed in submarines, helicopters, tanks, fighter aircraft, and so on – and we’re applying the same expertise to rugged embedded computing for challenging industrial environments. The trick is to connect machines, data and people – and rugged embedded computing has a vital role to play in that. Leading-edge embedded computing is taking open standards to maximize interoperability technologies and allying those to industry standard technologies that are driving the world’s most capable commercial data centers – and deploying them in places that don’t have the benefit of air conditioning or a crew of engineers on standby. Many of those brilliant machines are already in place – and the vectors are clear. Increased processing performance will be delivered in smaller, lighter enclosures that consume minimal power and that can withstand anything that industry can throw at them. These are exciting times for embedded computing.

Figure 1 Abacos mCOM10-K1 COM Express capable of delivering 326 GFLOPS of processing power

RTC Magazine JANUARY 2016 | 41

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Company...........................................................................Page................................................................................Website Design and Verification Embedded World............................................................................................................. Intrinsyc Technologies Men Micro............................................................................................................................. 4...................................................................................................... Middle Canyon.............................................................................................................. 21, 28...................................................................................... Novasom One Stop Systems......................................................................................................2, 20................................................................................. Pentek Tadiran RTC (Issn#1092-1524) magazine is published monthly at 905 Calle Amanecer, Ste. 150, San Clemente, CA 92673. Periodical postage paid at San Clemente and at additional mailing offices. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to The RTC Group, 905 Calle Amanecer, Ste. 150, San Clemente, CA 92673.

42 | RTC Magazine JANUARY 2016

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January 2016

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