Internet of Things (IoT)

IoT is a very broad term and the whole IoT world can be divided in three main layers:

  1. Edge - contains the things in IoT, end-nodes which are usually the small networked devices with interfaces to real world like sensors, actuators or cameras
  2. Gateway - devices that collect and aggregate data from multiple end-nodes and provide internet connection and protocol to send data to the third layer
  3. Services - comprised of clouds for data storage and processing and a platform for the end-user applications

Aldec provides FPGA-based solutions for the Gateway and Services layers of IoT infrastructure.

IoT Gateway

Based on the TySOM board, Aldec delivers an IoT Gateway reference design developed using Xilinx Zynq FPGA. The TySOM Gateway runs on the core of embedded Linux used as a host that provides Internet LAN or WAN (wired or WiFi connection) and handles cloud protocols designated for IoT applications such as MQTT protocol used by the Amazon Cloud (AWS). On the other side the TySOM gateway supports multiple wireless and wired protocols used to build Personal Area Networks (PAN) comprising of Edge layer devices. Currently the supported protocols include Bluetooth, Z-wave, ZigBee, WiFi and USB.

DOWNLOAD WHITE PAPER: Scaling an IoT network with Aldec Gateway and Amazon AWS Cloud

Additionally the Xilinx Zynq device used on TySOM boards is powerful enough to implement advanced processing algorithms on the data collected from the Edge. The data can be filtered, compressed or encrypted before sending to the cloud so the TySOM gateway is not just a simple traffic router but an advanced device which allows to optimize costs of IoT Cloud and Services and handle hundreds of Edge nodes in an organization. The TySOM Gateway also includes an Android end-user application and web server examples that can be used to access and control Edge nodes directly from the TySOM board.

Main Features

  • TySOM - Xilinx Zynq based hardware platform
    • Dual core ARM Cortex A9 to run software
    • FPGA for custom hardware - accelerators & interfaces
    • On-board wireless peripherals - Wi-Fi, Bluetooth
    • On-board wired - USB, Ethernet
  • IoT Gateway reference design
    • Embedded Linux OS with graphical desktop interface
    • Edge devices connected via:
      • Bluetooth
      • Z-wave
      • ZigBee
      • USB
    • Amazon AWS cloud
    • Web server application
    • Android end-user application

Solution Contents

  • Aldec TySOM EDK: TySOM-1-7Z030 board and Riviera-PRO Advanced RTL Simulation/Debugging Platform
  • TySOM board technical documentation and tutorials
  • IoT Gateway reference design image and source code
  • Webserver application source code
  • Android application source code
  • IoT Gateway getting started guide


IoT Services/Cloud Infrastructure

IoT Services and Cloud providers face a big challenge of enormous amount of data storage, management and processing. They have to provide reliable and responsive solutions to the end users, application developers and to billions of devices (the things) interconnected. Machine to Machine (M2M) communication should take fraction of second which imposes a huge demand on network infrastructure innovations and rises the bars for servers efficiency. At the same time power consumption must be minimized. This is why IoT service providers like Amazon or Google open up for new technologies to construct turbo-processors that accelerate data processing algorithms running on the servers. The FPGA technology is often chosen for its computation potential and power efficiency.

Based on HES-7 FPGA prototyping board with the high speed PCI Express x8 interface Aldec provides a reliable hardware acceleration platform High Performance Computing (HPC) for IoT Services and Clouds providers.

The HES-7 accelerator board contains two largest Xilinx Virtex-7 FPGA and DDR3 external memory slot supporting up to 8GB of RAM. These resources allow to implement complex algorithms as pipelined hardware accelerators or coprocessors. High speed PCI Express link and standard AMBA AXI based local bus in FPGA allows transferring data between the host and the HES board at speeds exceeding 2GB/s. The cutting edge FPGA devices forged in 28nm silicon process provides power efficiency outperforming graphic processors (GPU) that could be considered as an alternative solution. For organizations lacking from FPGA technology experience Aldec provides engineering support and HPC application integration services.

Main Features

  • Aldec HES-7 accelerator board in two configurations - with Virtex-7 2000T or 690T
  • PCI Express 8x Gen 2 Host interface
  • DDR3 SDRAM up to 8GB
  • AMBA AXI local bus - standardized interface supported by High Level Synthesis (HLS) tools
  • Automated algorithm compilation from C to FPGA with Xilinx Vivado HLS
  • Support for servers with Linux and MS Windows
  • Backed up by Aldec engineering support & services

Solution Contents

  • HES-7 accelerator board
  • Linux and Windows server drivers
  • C/C++ high level API for software developers
  • Proto-AXI module providing local AMBA AXI bus
  • Documentation and reference designs
  • Extended support and services available as option
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