When we wish to bring new technologies into industrial applications–especially connectivity ones, devices known as gateways bridge the gap from old to new.

For example, when we were moving toward a variety of industrial wireless protocols and some analysts and engineers were concerned about a multiplicity of connectivity points and networks, I told them that gateways would be a solution on the path to complete integration. I guess I learned that in the 80s when my first resource for computing connectivity problems was a great catalog from “Black Box.”

I wrote previously about Dell’s announced Internet of Things Gateway. Two additional ones have hit my Inbox.

First–Mentor Graphics

Mentor Graphics Corporation announced the availability of the embedded industry’s first [note: marketing people are never shy] customizable edge-to-cloud IoT solution that enables companies to get to market quickly while reducing risk, cost, and development cycles. The Mentor IoT solution comprises a customizable IoT gateway System Design Kit (SysDK), a cloud backend, and runtime solutions on which to build a wide array of IoT edge devices. It enables the most demanding IoT requirements with support from 8-bit microcontrollers to the latest 64-bit microprocessors, and deployments of 100,000+ gateways each supporting dozens of edge devices.

Customizable Gateway Reference Design

Mentor Graphics provides a feature-rich hardware and software gateway platform that can be used as-is or customized in both hardware and software to meet specific gateway requirements, including compatibility with legacy and new IoT deployments. The Gateway SysDK reference hardware utilizes the ARM Cortex-A9 based i.MX 6 series applications processor from Freescale Semiconductor.

The base reference software includes a rich Linux BSP with full support for the reference board.  To support secure convergence, the Mentor Gateway SysDK can be customized to include secure gateway partitions using ARM TrustZone, which enables secure applications such as certificate management and secure remote firmware upgrades.  The integration of cloud middleware supports the functionality provided from the cloud backend.  By leveraging the Gateway SysDK, customers can move from concept to production in as little as eight weeks.

Connected and Secure from Edge to Enterprise

The Mentor Graphics end-to-end IoT solution includes support for a comprehensive set of physical connections complemented by a breadth of IoT and cloud protocols for wired and wireless edge device aggregation, and secure communication between the cloud backend, gateway, and edge devices.   End-to-end security is provided for data communications, access control, software execution, and intrusion detection.  Security integration with enterprise IT infrastructure is provided by Icon Labs’ Floodgate for McAfee ePO.

Second, Advantech

Advantech 1252 GatewayAdvantech’s Industrial Automation Group announced the UNO-1252G industrial computer designed to act as a gateway for industrial applications. As small as a micro-sized PLC, the UNO-1252G is only 10cm high and DIN-rail mountable. It comes with a low power Intel Quark processor which only uses 10 watts but powerful enough to perform data transmission and sensing in IoT gateway applications.

Gateway computers are useful because they help to connect legacy devices to the IoT without needing to replace the entire infrastructure. This small, economic UNO-1252G is ideal for this purpose since it has an array of integrated I/O ports and the ability to expand even further by using a choice of iDoor modules which is Advantech’s new modular way of adding versatile functionality to choose functions that are needed without purchasing devices that have excess cost or functions that are not needed. iDoor modules can be used to add additional cards such as Wi-Fi and GPS making the UNO-1252G ideal for use in remote locations.

The UNO-1252G includes one GB SD card to run a Yocto Project Linux distribution. The Yocto Project is an open source Linux distribution which allows the development of applications using an SDK. The UNO-1252G supports Advantech software applications such as SUSIAccess for remote control and monitoring. Also, two 10/100 LAN ports, a mPCIe card slot, five LED indicators for power, battery, SD card, COM ports and three programmable indicators to assign your own functions.

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