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There are many small and compact Arm Linux SBCs, starting from the NanoPi NEO to the Raspberry Pi Zero or Rock Pi S, but lately a smaller board based on the MStar MSC313E Cortex-A7 SoC from BreadBee with a 64MB RAM appeared, enough to run embedded Linux.

Despite MStar MSC313E being a camera processor, the camera interface does not seem exposed in the board, so it looks to be designed to control I/Os over Ethernet. There’s no WiFi for now, but there may eventually be a future model that replaced the Ethernet jack with an Ampak WiFi module.

Source: https://www.cnx-software.com/2020/04/14/breadbee-tiny-embedded-linux-sbc-mstar-msc313e-camera-soc/

BreadBee specifications:

  • SoC – MStar MSC313E Arm Cortex-A7 processor @ ~1.0 GHz with NEON, FPU, 64MB DDR2
  • Storage – 16MB SPI NOR flash
  • Networking – 10/100M Ethernet (RJ45)
  • USB – 1x Micro USB 2.0 port
  • Expansion
    • 24-pin dual-row header (2.54mm pitch) with  SPI, I2C, 4x 10-bit ADC, 3x UART, GPIOs
    • 21-pin header (1.27mm pitch) with SD/SDIO, USB 2.0, GPIOs
  • Misc – RTC, Watchdog timer
  • Power Supply – 5V via micro USB port
  • Dimensions – 32 x 30mm

Source: https://www.cnx-software.com/2020/04/14/breadbee-tiny-embedded-linux-sbc-mstar-msc313e-camera-soc/

Raspberry Pi increase in IoT significance

More and more engineers and technology providers believe that it is suitable for industrial applications in the real world. Over the past few years, there has been a lot of discussion about the use of Raspberry Pi in industry, most of which emphasize that Raspberry Pi is a great tool for engineering experiments, but not so much for industrial applications in the real world. While it is true that the Raspberry Pi is not considered the best choice for mission-critical applications, it is also true that the Raspberry Pi is no longer a platform for experimentation.

Latest Raspberry Pi 4 development board, equipped with a 1.5GHz quad-core 64-bit ARM Cortex-A72 processor (approximately 3 times better performance than previous Cortex-A53 powering Raspberry Pi 3+ Model B and Compute Module 3 and 3+). can be chosen from 1GB / 2GB / 4GB LPDDR4 SDRAM options.

Raspberry Pi 4 continues the tradition of one of the most versatile and cheapest computer devices. It can be used for virtually anything from proprietary IoT solutions to a full-fledged desktop computer. The new Malinka has two micro-HDMI ports, a Gigabit Ethernet port, two USB 3.0 type A ports and two USB 2.0 type A ports.

Industrial use of Raspberry Pi 4

A year ago, TECHBASE released an updated version of the ModBerry M500 industrial IoT computer, replacing the aging Raspberry Pi 3 with a 3B+, giving it better performance. With the recent launch of the Raspberry Pi 4, TECHBASE has yet again, announced another upgrade to the M500, which now packs the latest single-board computer.

Raspberry Pi 4, with 2xHDMI, Gigabit Ethernet and 2xUSB3.0
Raspberry Pi 4, with 2xHDMI, Gigabit Ethernet and 2xUSB3.0

Over 10 million Raspberry Pi’s have been sold and the Raspberry Pi is likely to stay as a new standard in the industry. Official Raspbian OS is free operating system based on Linux Debian optimized for the Raspberry Pi comes with over 35,000 packages, pre-compiled software bundled in a nice format for easy installation. ModBerry devices are compatible with Raspberry Pi accessories, supported by Raspberry Pi Foundation. ModBerry M500 now with Raspberry Pi 3 Model B+ / Raspberry Pi 4 Model B support.

AI influence on IoT developers and their working installations

Raspberry Pi based controller with Modbus, M-Bus & MQTT support

Raspberry Pi Compute Module 3+ based ModBerry industrial computer series use latest Compute Module 3+, powered by Quad-core Cortex-A53 1.2GHz processor, 1024MB LPDDR2 RAM and up to 32GB Flash eMMC. The module increase the device’s performance up to ten times, maintaining low power consumption and optimal price of the solution. Raspberry Pi based ModBerry features industrial protocol support, e.g. Modbus, M-Bus, SNMP, MQTT and the possibility to add new protocols with ease.

ModBerry protocol modularity

ModBerry remote management

The iMod platform guarantees a quick start and full use of the ModBerry computer, without the need to write complicated software. One of the main advantages of the iMod platform is its ease of use and variety of available functionalities. Due to the available SDK, the platform can be extended with new, dedicated functionalities.

iMod can be installed directly onto ModBerry device or using external PC outside the installation (iModBOX). The third option is using dedicated hosting server to host the iMod software (iModHOST).

iModCloud Ecosystem

Another product is iModCloud software-service, which enables full control of ModBerry/iMod devices. Together they form a stand-alone solution – iModCloud Ecosystem, a combination of cloud services with web-based user interface and industrial devices, fully manageable remotely.

iModCloud can be hosted externally, using stable DELL servers to host the cloud service.(iModCloudHOST). For higher data security or depending on project features, iModCloud can be hosted internally, inside the installation (iModCloudBOX) hosted by the dedicated Mini-PC or from portable memory stick (iModCloudSTARTER).

More information Raspberry Pi based industrial device

TECHBASE provides solutions for industrial automation, telemetry, remote access and integration with IT systems. Since 2012 the company has been actively developing its competences in the market. Due to an innovative approach – based on the use of cutting-edge technologies, open standards and easy to maintain products – the company has earned the trust of Customers all over the world.

TECHBASE’s mission is to provide our Customers with tools, which will shorten and simplify the process of system implementation. With open architecture and high level of configurability, maintenance of a system is not expensive anymore.

To read more about ModBerry 500 M3 solution, download PDF datasheet: http://a2s.pl/products/ModBerry/ModBerry_500M3_EN.pdf
Read more about all ModBerry Industrial Solutions at: https://modberry.techbase.eu/

ModBerry hardware modularity

ModBerry 500 hardware modularity

The main features of ModBerry Industrial Computers series are the extension capabilities to increase input/output number, add up to 4 internal wireless communication modems and modules, support additional features such as accelerometer or opto-isolation options.

ModBerry 500 series offers wide range of industrial interfaces e.g.: digital inputs/outputs, analog inputs/outputs, relay outputs, serial RS-232/485 ports, Ethernet, 1-Wire, CAN, USB 2.0, HDMI, LTE/3G/GPRS, NarrowBand IoT/LTE, GPS, ZigBee, WiFi, Bluetooth, LoRa and many more via extension modules.

Raspberry Pi 4 is well known for its size and value, but will soon start to be seen for it’s significant performance. A few months ago, the Raspberry Pi Foundation announced the development of Vulkan support on Raspberry Pi 4. Today, the team published demonstration photos showing updates and progress in the current state of the project.

When we announced the effort back in January we were at the point of rendering a coloured triangle, which required only minimal coverage of the Vulkan 1.0 API in the driver. Today, we are passing over 70,000 tests from the Khronos Conformance Test Suite for Vulkan 1.0 and we have an implementation for a significant subset of the Vulkan 1.0 API.

Source: https://www.raspberrypi.org/blog/vulkan-update-now-with-added-source-code/

Rasbperry Pi 4 upgrade of ModBerry M500

In 2019, with the premiere of Raspberry Pi 4, TECHBASE upgraded their ModBerry M500 device with the latest revision of this popular SBC, further enhancing the performance of their device. New 1.5GHz quad-core 64-bit ARM Cortex-A72 processor (approximately 3 times better performance than previous Cortex-A53 powering Raspberry Pi 3+ Model B and Compute Module 3 and 3+). ModBerry M500 can now be configured from 2GB / 4GB LPDDR4 SDRAM options.

Revised ModBerry M500 features Gigabit Ethernet, USB3.0, two microHDMI ports supporting OpenGL ES 3.x and 4Kp60 hardware decode of HEVC video. The device is fully compatible with previous versions of Rasbperry Pi based Industrial IoT devices and accessories from TECHBASE.

Raspberry Pi based controller with Modbus, M-Bus & MQTT support

Raspberry Pi Compute Module 3+ based ModBerry industrial computer series use latest Compute Module 3+, powered by Quad-core Cortex-A53 1.2GHz processor, 1024MB LPDDR2 RAM and up to 32GB Flash eMMC. The module increase the device’s performance up to ten times, maintaining low power consumption and optimal price of the solution. Raspberry Pi based ModBerry features industrial protocol support, e.g. Modbus, M-Bus, SNMP, MQTT and the possibility to add new protocols with ease.

ModBerry protocol modularity

ModBerry remote management

The iMod platform guarantees a quick start and full use of the ModBerry computer, without the need to write complicated software. One of the main advantages of the iMod platform is its ease of use and variety of available functionalities. Due to the available SDK, the platform can be extended with new, dedicated functionalities.

iMod can be installed directly onto ModBerry device or using external PC outside the installation (iModBOX). The third option is using dedicated hosting server to host the iMod software (iModHOST).

iModCloud Ecosystem

Another product is iModCloud software-service, which enables full control of ModBerry/iMod devices. Together they form a stand-alone solution – iModCloud Ecosystem, a combination of cloud services with web-based user interface and industrial devices, fully manageable remotely.

iModCloud can be hosted externally, using stable DELL servers to host the cloud service.(iModCloudHOST). For higher data security or depending on project features, iModCloud can be hosted internally, inside the installation (iModCloudBOX) hosted by the dedicated Mini-PC or from portable memory stick (iModCloudSTARTER).

More information Raspberry Pi based industrial device

TECHBASE provides solutions for industrial automation, telemetry, remote access and integration with IT systems. Since 2012 the company has been actively developing its competences in the market. Due to an innovative approach – based on the use of cutting-edge technologies, open standards and easy to maintain products – the company has earned the trust of Customers all over the world.

TECHBASE’s mission is to provide our Customers with tools, which will shorten and simplify the process of system implementation. With open architecture and high level of configurability, maintenance of a system is not expensive anymore.

To read more about ModBerry 500 M3 solution, download PDF datasheet: http://a2s.pl/products/ModBerry/ModBerry_500M3_EN.pdf
Read more about all ModBerry Industrial Solutions at: https://modberry.techbase.eu/

ModBerry hardware modularity

ModBerry 500 hardware modularity

The main features of ModBerry Industrial Computers series are the extension capabilities to increase input/output number, add up to 4 internal wireless communication modems and modules, support additional features such as accelerometer or opto-isolation options.

ModBerry 500 series offers wide range of industrial interfaces e.g.: digital inputs/outputs, analog inputs/outputs, relay outputs, serial RS-232/485 ports, Ethernet, 1-Wire, CAN, USB 2.0, HDMI, LTE/3G/GPRS, NarrowBand IoT/LTE, GPS, ZigBee, WiFi, Bluetooth, LoRa and many more via extension modules.

Node-RED and Raspberry Pi

Node-RED is an interesting environment for modeling processes, by visually defining information flows. It is a module working in the node.js environment. It is a flow-based programming tool, originally developed by the IBM Emerging Technology Services team and now part of the JS Foundation.

History of Node-RED environment

Node-RED provides users with a ready-made set of easy-to-connect nodes and supports code creation by configuring data transmission and sensor communication to their applications. It is up to you whether you create a new flow of equipment to increase and control the economics of the IoT system. Hardware platform for this system can easily be Raspberry Pi based industrial device, like ModBerry computer.

Node-RED started life in early 2013 as a side-project by Nick O’Leary and Dave Conway-Jones of IBM’s Emerging Technology Services group. What began as a proof-of-concept for visualising and manipulating mappings between MQTT topics, quickly became a much more general tool that could be easily extended in any direction.

It was open-sourced in September 2013 and has been developed in the open ever since, culminating in it being one of the founding projects of the JS Foundation in October 2016.

Source: https://nodered.org/about/

Who can benefit from Node-RED?

Flow-based programming is ideal for the creators of IoT solutions for visualizing and controlling data flow, maintaining and managing a series of cause-related events. Apart from the fact that Node-RED can be run basically anywhere you can install NodeJS, this program is a card for IoT solution developers for mapping and maintaining solutions.

With the development and implementation of Internet of Things solutions around the world, Node-RED has become an invaluable tool for solution architects and programmers, due to its ease of use in flow programming and solution mapping. IoT solutions, also known as applications, are the convergence of the physical world with the digital world to extract valuable data for insight that increases process or system performance. This convergence results in countless triggers and events that must be performed to control systems or notify those responsible when the system is above its expectations.

How does Node-RED work?

Node.js is a runtime environment for programs written in JavaScript, currently based on the Chrome V8 engine. While I used to associate JavaScript only with scripts for animated galleries on websites, after a really short period of learning I notice the great advantages of using JS as a language for creating programs launched outside of the browser. Programs run in node.js work in the background, in the console, or even have their own UI with normal windows in Windows, macOS or Linux.

Node-RED example
Node-RED example

The principle of operation is relatively simple. Visually, we combine different blocks that perform specific functions. Through connections, Node-RED sends messages, which are basically a JavaScript object, consisting of various data.

Node-RED consists of a Node.js based runtime that you point a web browser at to access the flow editor. Within the browser you create your application by dragging nodes from your palette into a workspace and start to wire them together. With a single click, the application is deployed back to the runtime where it is run. The palette of nodes can be easily extended by installing new nodes created by the community and the flows you create can be easily shared as JSON files.

Source: https://nodered.org/about/
Arduino ESP32 Serial Port to TCP Converter via WiFi

TECHBASE posted new class, in which you will create serial port to TCP converter using Arduino code running on ESP32 processor. We will use one of device which uses such processor: Moduino X ESP32. For TCP communication WiFi module will be used.

You will need:

  • Moduino X4 ESP32 device (check this website to find out more)
  • PC with Linux operating system
  • socat application
  • RS-232/RS-485 port in your computer or USB to RS-232/RS-485 converter (for programmming and testing)

Introduction

In example, data sent to serial port (which is used as terminal port in regular Micropython ESP32 device) will be send via WiFi using TCP protocol. It also decodes incomming TCP packets and writes them to serial port. Then virtual serial port can be opened for that TCP packets and perform serial communication. We will use socat application for that.

You can read the complete tutorial at Hackster.io:

The latest research results from IoT Newark developers reveal that 49% of respondents use AI in their IoT applications. There is also a growing concern about user privacy and the more frequent introduction of ready equipment.

35% of respondents think security is the major concern for any IoT implementation, mainly due to the type of data collected from the things (machines) and humans, which is very sensitive & personal. We can expect to see more and more encryption everywhere. Businesses who initiate IoT projects treat IoT security as their top priority.

SBCs the main platform for Industrial IoT

SBC is still the preferred hardware foundation for IoT gates, then 54%, followed by personal projects (30%) and silicon supplier platforms (13%). It is unclear whether the latter includes a commercial computing module. As shown in the graph above, many IoT programmers need third party help, especially for edge-to-cloud communication.

About 45% of respondents use environmental sensors for IoT devices, followed by motion sensors (26%) and optical / image sensors (15%). WiFi (67%) is the most popular wireless technology in Internet of Things projects. The next places are Low cellular energy and Bluetooth, followed by LoRa at 21%. The survey results also include responses to programming languages, cloud platforms, IoT data, project motivation and more.

Artificial Intelligence influencing Industrial IoT

From the end of 2017 to 2018, artificial intelligence-specific processors (AI) began to appear on mobile devices. The goal is to make smartphones more intelligent. As GPUs shrink, AI-related equipment becomes necessary for the Internet of Things.

Support for enterprises from platforms such as Google TensorFlow will be introduced in 2020 with equipment adapted to artificial intelligence. TensorFlow is already optimized for mobile devices and can be quickly launched on single-board computers. In many ways, AI frameworks are better than other mobile frameworks, such as ReactJS. The AI structure is not designed to work with the user interface. It’s perfect for the Internet of Things.

Until the end of 2020, artificial intelligence will be as important for IoT devices as the cloud.

New industrial grade touch panel with Raspberry Pi

Latest addition to Industrial IoT Ecosystem from TECHBASE is TECHPANEL P500 is an industrial-grade touch panel automation controller for wide range of industrial installations. Equipped with up to date Raspberry Pi Compute Module 3/3+ or Compute Module 3/3+ Lite, 7” capacitive touch display and IP65 hermetic casing with cast gaskets, can be used in harsh conditions of industrial applications.

Raspberry Pi based touch panel features

New TECHPANEL P500 M3/3+ is powered by quad-core Cortex-A53 1.2GHz processor with 1GB RAM and up to 32GB eMMC or 8GB microSD flash memory. Wide range of modems and extra wireline/wireless interfaces via expansion cards makes the TECHPANEL micro-computer a versatile addition to Industrial IoT solutions offered by TECHBASE company.

TECHPANEL devices can easily work remotely with existing ModBerry Gateways & Moduino ESP32 Edge Controllers for data accumulation and monitoring, to perform specific actions before sending the data to cloud services. TECHPANEL with ModuinoModBerry installation can work as standalone Ecosystem (for example via MQTT), providing complex data management solution to any installation.

TECHPANEL P500 M3+ with Compute Module 3+ from Raspberry Pi
TECHPANEL P500 M3+ with Compute Module 3+ from Raspberry Pi

Visual management and available Raspbian OS

The device is equipped with compact 800 x 480 px 7-inch TFT panel with 10 points capacitive touch to allow the user to perform direct actions on-site. With IP65 casing and extended working temperature range, TECHPANEL can be placed almost everywhere.

Over 23 million Raspberry Pi’s have been sold and the Raspberry Pi is likely to stay as a new standard in the industry. Official Raspbian OS is free operating system based on Linux Debian optimized for the Raspberry Pi comes with over 35,000 packages, pre-compiled software bundled in a nice format for easy installation.

TECHPANEL P500 M3+ with Compute Module 3+ from Raspberry Pi
TECHPANEL P500 M3+ with Compute Module 3+ from Raspberry Pi

SPECIFICATION

  • Cortex A53 1.2GHz Processor
  • RAM 1GB, eMMC up to 32GB
  • 7″ TFT screen (800x600px)
  • Capactitive touch screen (10-point)
  • Wide range of expansion modules (Ethernet, RS-232/485/422,  Digital and Analog I/Os, Relay, M-Bus, CAN, optoisolated I/Os, Accelerometer, etc.)
  • Wide range of wireless modules (GPRS/EDGE, 3G/LTE, NarrowBand-IoT, GPS, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, LoRa, ZigBee, Z-Wave, Sigfox, Wireless M-Bus, etc.)
  • Water-Resistant casing (IP65)
  • Operating temperature: -20°C ~ 70°C
  • Optional SD card support instead of eMMC Flash

Hyperautomation is a process in which businesses automate as numerous commerce and IT forms as conceivable utilizing apparatuses like AI, machine learning, event-driven computer program, mechanical process automation, and other sorts of choice prepare and task automation instruments.

It is the key to both computerized operational greatness and operational resiliency for organizations. To empower this, organizations had to digitize their documents/artifacts and guarantee their trade and IT process workflows were advanced. They got to mechanize tasks, processes and coordinate computerization over utilitarian zones.

Hyperautomation is irreversible and inevitable. Everything that can and should be automated will be automated.

Brian Burke, Research Vice President, Gartner

Gartner prepared a Tech Trends 2021 summary with key features of the constantly changing market. Read more at: https://www.gartner.com/en/information-technology/trends/top-strategic-technology-trends-iot-gb-pd

Industrial IoT market evolution

Data generated over the Internet of Things is growing exponentially faster than the traditional cloud environment where data is stored, so just the amount of data can justify the acceleration. In addition, in the cloud as the destination, problems related to data transfer (delay and bandwidth) occur, so travel speed is the main issue. This edge is necessary as a solution to the inefficiency of IIoT to Cloud architecture.

Fast data processing of Industrial IoT devices

When industrial IoT devices and edge processing work together, digital information becomes more powerful. Especially in contexts where you need to collect data in a traditional edge context, such as a smart meter, a parking meter or a connected trash can in a street apartment. The installation of sensors with internet access in metropolitan garbage containers is becoming increasingly common for smart urban engineers. You can then remotely monitor the container using the sensor. When it is full, the city sanitation service receives a notification and can register an order and empty the container.

By introducing AI (artificial intelligence) into the device itself, edge computing can also make more context-sensitive, quick decisions at the edge. Data gathered from the sensors can be transferred to the cloud at any time after local work has been completed, contributing to a more global AI process, or archived. With the combination of industrial IoT devices and advanced technology, high quality analysis and small footprint will become the AI standard in 2020.

ModBerry AI GATEWAY with Raspberry Pi CM4 and Google Coral

Latest innovations used in industrial solutions

One of many uses of IoT can be edge devices, dedicated to data management, process control (e.g. with MQTT protocol) and monitoring. Latest ESP32-based eModGATE controller from TECHBASE company is a series utilizing MicroPython environment to provide data management solutions for end-points applications. The eModGATE has built-in Wi-Fi/BT modem and can be equipped with additional NarrowBand-IoT, LoRa, ZigBee, etc.

For example eModGATE eqipped with wireless NB-IoT modem are perfect for industrial automation solutions, e.g. data logging, metering, telemetrics, remote monitoring, security and data management through all Industrial IoT applications.