New communications link for IIoT

Louise Smyth

The industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) is dependent on the greatest possible versatility and flexibility of the communication channels. Here, the gateways used as intermediaries between sensors or actors and the network play the decisive role. As an intelligent IoT gateway, the new industrial Box PC Matrix-713 from Artila offers the option to use mini PCIe cards as individual communication modules. With this, the permanently installed Ethernet interfaces (of which 1x gigabit) are extended by the important cordless communication paths of the mobile communications standards 4G and 3G as well as WLAN (802.11 b/g/n). Two CAN bus interfaces support the widespread industry standard.

It is ideally suitable for the remote management of modules such as sensors and actors in factory automation, building and vehicle networking or logistics applications. Low energy consumption and the diverse communication options (LAN, WLAN, LTE and UMTS) provide the best possible flexibility for use. With its two mini PCIe slots, the device can be equipped with the desired communication interfaces - in addition to the two independent, permanently installed LAN connections (respectively 1 x gigabit and 10/100-Mbit). In addition to the four RS-485 interfaces (also including an RS-422), the Matrix-713 has two insulated digital inputs and outputs which, for example, can be used for monitoring tasks and alarm signals as well as two USB interfaces and a console connection.

The core of the hardware is the Cortex-A5-CPU (535 MHz). As RAM, 512 MB LPDDR-2 memory is available, augmented with 8 GB eMMC flash and 8 MB DataFlash as a backup file system for fast, easy updates and problem-free system recovery. A MicroSD slot supports SDHC cards up to 128 GB.

The standard equipment includes the operating system Linux 4.9 with a pre-installed file system and a software utilities bundle such as Web server, PHP server, Python, Java, MySQL and SQLite. Equally, Node-RED is supported; the distributor acceed provides a free Snippets download.