75% Of Data Will Be Processed Outside The Cloud By 2025. Are You Rugged Edge Ready?
August 03, 2021
What Are The Top Hardware Needs For Edge Computing?
As the number of IoT and IIoT devices continues to increase, so does the volume and velocity of data being generated. Edge computers are deployed to alleviate the burdens placed on the cloud and data centers. What are the hardware needs for edge computing? Here are the top 5 key features.
#1 Edge Computers Must Be Ruggedized
Edge computers are often deployed in industrial environments. Therefore, edge computers must be ruggedized to withstand environmental elements such as water and dust, extreme temperature, and shock and vibration. One defining feature is fanless system designs due to its overall reliability for industrial computing applications. Instead of vents and openings, fanless computers disperse heat through special made chassis. The sealed chassis prevents dust and debris from entering and damaging internal components. Also, fans are a common point of failure for computers, fanless design eliminates this issue and make the computer more durable.
Second, ruggedized computers use wide temperature components, allowing them to withstand extreme cold and heat. Ruggedized computers have a wide temperature tolerance ranging from -40⁰C to 85⁰C while regular desktop PCs are designed to work within a safe temperature range from 5⁰C to 40⁰C. These purpose-built computers are hardened and tested to operate in the harshest deployments from factory floors to even remote and mobile transportation vehicles.
Also, a cableless design allows ruggedized edge computers to withstand frequent shocks and vibrations. The absence of cables eliminates the possibility of cables coming loose and causing unnecessary downtime.
#2 Edge PCs Must Be Equipped With Sufficient Rugged Storage
Edge PCs are deployed to process and analyze large amounts of data collected from industrial IoT sensors and devices. A solid-state drive is usually used for its high capacity and fast data transfer speed. Also, SSDs store data on NAND chips, which handle shocks and vibrations much better than spinning metal platters that are used in traditional HDDS.
#3 Edge Computers Need To Support Performance Accelerators For Real-Time Processing
Performance accelerators are often used in edge computers for real time data analysis. Here are some of the most common performance accelerators that benefit hardware acceleration at the edge.
Multi-core sequential processing allows the processor to utilize multiple cores to process data with each core functioning as an individual processing device. This permits multiple tasks to run simultaneously resulting in faster response rate and better energy efficiency.
GPUs are often added to edge computers to accelerate artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) workloads. GPUs are extremely effective with real-time processing and inference analysis using parallelism processing with incredible speed and accuracy.
Vision Processing Units are specifically optimized for machine vision, machine learning, AI, facial recognition, and high-end image processing using less power and producing less heat than GPUs, which makes VPUs ideal for fanless computers.
A field-programmable gate array (FPGA) is used to accelerate workloads such as inference analysis, AI, and performing analysis of large amounts of data for machine learning.
NVMe Computational Storage
With computational storage technology, data is stored and processed locally on the drive itself. Therefore, data no longer leave the drive for processing or routed back, reducing latency for mission critical processing.
#4 Edge Computers Need Rich Wired And Wireless Network Options
Rich connectivity options are required for constant data collection, transfer, and offload. Edge PCs often come equipped with both wired and wireless network adapters, as well as multiple SIM modules to provide 4G, LTE, and 5G data services for uninterrupted network connections especially for remote and mobile deployments. Bluetooth is also commonly used to connect with low powered Bluetooth and IoT devices, providing reliable one-to-one or many-to-many connections.
#5 Rugged Edge Computers Must Have Rich I/O
Rugged edge PCs are equipped with rich I/O ports for both new and legacy factory machinery, devices, and equipment. USB ports, COM ports, Ethernet ports (RJ45/M12), and General Purpose I/O ports (GPIO) are commonly equipped on edge computers. By being able to support a variety of I/O ports, rugged edge computers can consolidate an array industrial and IoT workload efficiently.
The Rugged Edge Survival Guide
Interested in learning more about hardware strategies for edge computing? This eBook highlights how edge computing is moving technology and processing closer to where data is generated– and how rugged edge computing is advancing this strategy into more challenging physical surroundings with dedicated hardware technologies and strategies.
Readers will gain insight into how the rugged edge is defined by its need for reliable computers that process and pass data back and forth to core industrial applications and systems, accelerating the demand for machine learning and intelligent decision-making capabilities.
For more information, visit: https://www.embeddedcomputing.com/application/industrial/premios-rugged-edge-survival-guide-ebook