New Edge XRT technology provides extended OT connectivity, auto-discovery for easy device onboarding, a new MQTT API to simplify integration and management, combined with improved performance and scalability.
Edge XRT technology is the basis of an edge software platform designed specifically for time-critical and resource-constrained embedded Industrial OT (Operational Technology) and IoT (Internet of Things) systems. It provides a powerful edge software framework that supports key capabilities such as Southbound OT connectivity, edge data processing and Northbound IT/Cloud connectivity. Edge XRT delivers these capabilities while also supporting the following key non-functional properties:
- Small memory footprint (e.g. less than 100 KB)
- Ultra-low latency data processing (e.g. less than 100 microseconds)
- Predictable and deterministic real-time execution
- Easily ported legacy hardware and/or operating systems
Edge XRT from IO Tech is targeted at high-performance edge applications such as industrial control, high-frequency signal processing and real-time analytics in different vertical markets including factory automation, oil and gas, utilities, autonomous systems and smart energy. It also enables integration between the real-time industrial edge applications and higher-level SCADA, MES and IT/Cloud systems .
Due to its small memory footprint XRT is perfectly suited for resource constrained embedded applications such as those enabled by the next generation of connected microcontrollers, for example Microsoft’s Azure Sphere devices.
Edge XRT is a complementary commercially-licensed extension of the Linux Foundation’s EdgeX Foundry platform. It enables the EdgeX ecosystem and commercial derivatives such as IOTech’s Edge Xpert to support the full spectrum of secure hard and soft real-time Edge Computing requirements.
Major new release for time-critical OT systems
Edge XRT v2.0 is a major release of the XRT open software platform designed for time-critical and embedded OT applications at the industrial IoT edge. It greatly simplifies the development of OT applications and enables faster time-to-market for new edge systems. It is hardware agnostic, independent of the silicon provider (Intel or ARM) and operating system. Users have complete deployment flexibility. They can deploy it as a native application, containerized and/or into a virtualized environment.
With its small memory footprint and efficient use of computing resources, Edge XRT 2.0 is also suitable for microcontroller-based applications where CPU and memory resources are limited. This makes it ideal for use cases such as connected commercial or consumer electronic devices (e.g., refrigeration unit), medical device applications or automotive engine management systems.
The product’s open APIs make third-party application integration very easy. Major industrial OEMs and ISVs are leveraging the product’s multi-vendor OT connectivity, cloud interoperability and high-performance, real-time edge processing capabilities to create a new generation of protocol-agnostic edge solutions.
“As a configurable, embeddable, high-performance OT platform, Edge XRT 2.0 is unique,” said Andrew Foster, Product Director at IOTech. “It provides a rich set of OT and IoT capabilities that our customers can easily use to create their own edge solutions. In most cases, this is through simple configuration without the need for lots of custom code.”
The new release adds a number of important features including:
- OT connectivity: In addition the existing pluggable OT connectivity for Modbus, EtherNet/IP and EtherCAT, BACnet and OPC UA protocols, the platform now supports PROFINET, S7, GPS and BLE.
- For protocols that support device discovery such as OPC UA, BACnet and EtherNet/IP, devices can be discovered and then onboarded easily without any manual configuration.
- A new MQTT API allows Edge XRT clients to easily manage the lifecycle of connected device/sensors, support read/write OT data access, control device discovery and resource scheduling.
- When deployed on an Azure Sphere device, an Edge XRT application can now be dynamically configured and reconfigured via a Device Twin running on Azure IoT Hub.
- IOTech has made scalability and performance improvements to address customer demand for concurrent access to an increasing number of OT devices and their data.
Edge XRT is designed for high-performance edge computing use cases, such as industrial control and real-time signal processing applications across a variety of vertical markets. These include factory automation, renewable energy, building management, retail and hospitality. It also enables integration between the real-time edge applications and higher-level enterprise IT, SCADA and cloud applications.