Computing at the Edge Needn’t Be Problematic

May 11, 2020 Rich Nass

Move your IoT compute engine to the Edge. If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it 100 times. The advantages are obvious:

  • Latencies are eliminated because you’re not sending/receiving data to and from the Cloud
  • Security is (mostly) assured because your data stays in one place
  • You can eliminate cellular transmissions to the Cloud, which can get pricey pretty quickly

I’m not saying that you never need to access the Cloud, but less often is obviously better.

While the reasons for moving your compute engine to the Edge are obvious, the methodology is not always so. That’s changing, thanks to solutions like Cypress Semiconductor’s IoT AdvantEdge. It’s dubbed a solution rather than a product as it includes various components, like connectivity devices, microcontrollers, software, tools, and support. There are also ecosystem partners that can aide in any aspect of the design.

The breadth of AdvantEdge can streamline just about any aspect of the design, including wireless connectivity, device and cloud security, power consumption, device management and maintenance, component integration, and human-machine interfaces (HMIs). The bundled software, dubbed the ModusToolbox development toolchain, simplifies the development of Wi-Fi and Bluetooth/BLE IoT products using Cypress’ PSoC family.

The ModusToolbox includes middleware that lets developers connect their products to most popular Cloud platforms or to proprietary Cloud services. Specifically, it offers an RTOS, an IDE editor, a compiler, a debugger, a configurator, and drivers. And the AdvantEdge toolset includes multi-radio coexistence, secure authentication, and over-the-air (OTA) updates.

As part of the AdvantEdge announcement, Cypress is releasing two new microcontroller products in the PSoC 6 MCU family—the PSoC 62 and PSoC 64 secure MCUs. Both are dual-core M4F/M0+ products, each with a different memory configuration (2 Mbytes of flash and 1 Mbyte of SRAM in the first and 512 kbytes of flash and 256 kbytes of SRAM in the second).

One of my (almost) must-haves for any new announcement is a development kit, and the AdvantEdge products don’t fall short in that regard. The available kits come with different variations of processors and wireless capabilities. And each is powered by the ModusToolbox software and validated for AWS IoT Core and Pelion Cloud applications. Note that a slew of web resources is available to further ease the design process.

Finally, I attended an informative webinar, led by Cypress’ Senior Vice President of Applications and Software Engineering, Alan Hawse. In the webinar, which I recommend if you’re designing anything in the IoT space, you’ll see a demo on how to create secure applications that run on the PSoC 6 MCUs discussed here, as well as the afore-mentioned Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity solutions, with middleware and libraries from the ModusToolbox.

About the Author

Rich Nass

Richard Nass is the Executive Vice-President of OpenSystems Media. His key responsibilities include setting the direction for all aspects of OpenSystems Media’s Embedded and IoT product portfolios, including web sites, e-newsletters, print and digital magazines, and various other digital and print activities. He was instrumental in developing the company's on-line educational portal, Embedded University. Previously, Nass was the Brand Director for UBM’s award-winning Design News property. Prior to that, he led the content team for UBM Canon’s Medical Devices Group, as well all custom properties and events in the U.S., Europe, and Asia. Nass has been in the engineering OEM industry for more than 25 years. In prior stints, he led the Content Team at EE Times, handling the Embedded and Custom groups and the TechOnline DesignLine network of design engineering web sites. Nass holds a BSEE degree from the New Jersey Institute of Technology.

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