The basic building blocks of the IoT system are – sensors, processors, gateways, and applications Each of the blocks has its own characteristics to form a dynamic IoT system.
The sensor is the front end of the IoT system. The main aim of the sensor is to collect data from the environment sensors or give out data to the environment (actuators) from its surrounding (actuators). Sensors are identified with a unique IP address therefore they can be easily determined over a large network. Sensors are active in nature because they collect real-time data. They can either work on their own or work by the user depending on their needs. Examples of sensors are gas sensors, water quality sensors, moisture sensors, etc.
Processors are the brain of the IoT system. The main function is to process the data captured by the sensors and process them so as to extract valuable data from the enormous amount of raw data collected. Processors mostly work on a real-time basis and can be easily controlled by applications. These are also responsible for securing the data – that is performing encryption and decryption of data. Embedded hardware devices, microcontrollers, etc are the ones that process the data because they have processors attached to them.
The main function of the gateway is to route the processed data and send it to the location for proper utilization. Examples of a gateway are LAN. WAN PAN. LAN, WAN, PAN, etc are examples of network gateways.
Applications are important for the proper utilization of all the data collected. These cloud-based applications are responsible for rendering effective meaning to the data collected. Applications are controlled by users and are a delivery point for particular services. Examples of applications are home automation apps, security systems, industrial control hubs, etc.
From the above figure, we can understand that the information is collected by the sensor and then processed first via connectivity now. It reaches the embedded processing nodes which can be any embedded hardware devices and are processed there as well. It then passes through the connectivity nodes again and reaches the remote cloud-based processing that can be any software and is sent to the application node for the proper utilization of data collected and also for data analysis via big data.
Building Blocks of IoT
The set of devices that respond and have the capabilities to capture data, and follow instructions can be considered IoT Hardware. The following fall into such categories where they not only collect data but also respond to instructions based on the processed data.
- Chips: Chips contain all electrical and electronic appliances such as microcontrollers, chips, integrated circuits, radio frequency systems, etc.
- Sensors: Sensors, which are one of the base components of an IoT system, have three modules to it – Power Management modules, Sensing modules, and Energy modules.
- Actuators: These devices provide the motion to a data collection system such as the solenoids, comb drives, etc. to fetch details based on movements.
- Standard Devices: Standard devices constitute the generally used devices such as Tablets, Smartphones, Switches, Routers, etc. Each of these devices has its own set of settings that allow them to collect data.
Software is the set of programs that facilitates the data collection, processing, storage, and evaluation instructions based on the processed data from the IoT Software. Operating Systems, firmware, applications, and middleware are some of the examples that fall into this category.
- Data Collection: Data collection includes a core of the data collection aspects ranging from sensing the data, filtering it, measuring it, aggregating it, and in the end managing 2/ the security of the collected data. It can be performed from various sources, and once done is distributed over devices and then to a central data repository.
- Device Integration: In this category, all components within the IoT system are integrated. It manages all the limitations, protocols, and applications are handled properly to ensure proper communication among the devices.
- Real-Time Analytics: Over the collected data and the processing that is done over this data, there can be automated tasks that could run and analyze this data for specific patterns.
- Application and Process Extension: This ensures that the data collection process can be accentuated to get the most out of it, from all possible sources, These are more like the enhancers over the existing data collection infrastructure.
We can understand this through the example. The basic architecture of IoT is shown in the diagram.
Other IoT Tutorials
- IoT Architecture Layers
- IoT Communication Models
- IoT Levels – Deployment Templates
- IoT Communication APIs
- IoT Enabling Technologies