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Wednesday, August 09, 2017

congatec looks to drive IoT cloud API standardisation with ComX

By Nick Flaherty

German board maker congatec is looking to develop a standard for APIs and middleware in the Internet of Things (IoT).

ComX would go beyond the current specifications for computer-on-modules and target API and middleware standardization including APIs for IoT Gateways or embedded features of COM Express Type 7 server-on-modules. This would also include approved circuit diagrams and logic for demanded carrier board implementations such as FPGA integration, switching logic for USB-C, or for SMART battery logic.

However there is intense competition between cloud APIs, so congatec is coming at this from the computer module hardware up.

“Significant improvements for design efficiency are highly demanded by embedded and IoT system engineers, who are faced with the design challenge of having to deliver more new product designs in the same or even shorter time frames. They can meet these challenges by switching from full custom, single PCB designs to more flexible designs based on application ready computer-on-modules. We can boost this efficiency even more, by offering an additional standardization on top of the computer-on-module centric specifications”, said Christian Eder, director marketing at congatec and draft editor of various PICMG and SGET specifications.

The goal of ComX is to establish an additional design-in and API standardization on top of the core standards to further simplify the development of customers’ dedicated applications based on standard embedded computing building blocks.
“ComX standardization includes the CPU technology independent implementation of a carrier board. A clever designed carrier board can use I2S for ARM and HDA for x86 sound implementation,” said Eder.  “An important standardization within the server sector was accomplished by launching the COMe Type 7 specification. Now we need to extend the EAPI standardization for server type functionality.”

congatec itself has a new Cloud API designed for IoT gateways and edge servers and a proposed element of SGETs API standardizations as the universal hub between local sensor networks and the IoT clouds. This allows communication with local smart sensors, processes and converts the acquired data and executes automated actions based on a local rule engine, reducing traffic to the IoT cloud and enabling fast local actions. Secure bidirectional data exchange with any suitable clouds is achieved by using the TLS secured MQTT protocol. Clients can access this cloud via https in client or administrator mode. 

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