At a minimum, a successful IoT solution includes sensing, connectivity, processing and
security. While each of these elements is widely available from a number of
vendors on its own, they often aren’t all available from a single
By now you’ve certainly heard of the Internet of Things (IoT) and all
that it promises in terms of convenience and efficiency.
Historically, OEMs have met this challenge by adding resources to their
in-house development teams. In the era of incremental product development,
this strategy was effective, as the addition of engineers with similar skill
sets allowed manufacturers to scale their efforts while maintaining cost and
time to market goals. However, what OEMs need today is a set of highly
integrated, scalable technologies that support synergistic IoT product and
system development without requiring their engineering team to do extensive
upfront, base level capability development and integration.
Embracing the Power of the Edge
IoT deployment is actually a collection of many complex systems integrated
together to work in a coherent manner. The vast majority of these
systems operate largely at the network edge.
Technology suppliers are taking note. At
is showcasing an Edge Compute Experience that includes seven linked kiosks in
IoT Edge Corridor, highlighting application areas such as machine vision, machine learning,
smart retail, digital signage and the smart home. The kiosks are powered by a
scalable suite of intelligent semiconductor solutions ranging from ultra low-power
Kinetis microcontrollers (MCUs)
i.MX 8 applications processors
Layerscape edge compute and communications processors. But the real achievement is that these
substations are all connected to form a real-time local edge computing network
that can function independently of the cloud.
Figure 1: NXP Edge Compute Experience Technical Overview
Upon entering, attendees will be greeted by a machine-learning-based facial
recognition platform powered by Layerscape processors that correlates
biometric identity with an NFC-enabled name badge. Similar systems are
positioned throughout the IoT Edge Corridor that allow the network to track
booth activities at various levels of granularity, such as what kiosks certain
individuals frequent, feedback provided by visitors, which kiosks are the most
popular, and the total number of booth guests.
Bright minds. Bright futures. NXP team members create breakthrough technologies that advance our world.
The future starts here.
Guests will encounter several other powerful examples of IoT edge compute.
Among these is the embedded Amazon Alexa capability at each
kiosk that processes voice commands locally on an
i.MX 6 processor
and/or on the cloud, while another station demonstrates the
computer vision neural network running on i.MX 8 to identify types of food
stored in appliances. Capabilities such as intelligent sensor data
interpretation, remote device management and secure device provisioning are a
All of these elements are connected using
QorIQ Layerscape communications processors
that incorporate high-speed packet processing accelerators alongside multiple
Arm® Cortex-A72 cores. This versatility allows Layerscape devices to
function as IoT edge gateways that reduce latencies and privacy issues
associated with cloud connectivity by locally running the advanced facial
recognition training algorithms that are typically run in the cloud. At the
end of the IoT Edge Corridor, these capabilities are exhibited on a dashboard
that displays the booth data, as well as personalized attendee information.
Go from Prototype to Product at CES 2018
Layerscape-based gateways also facilitate cloud communications, as
demonstrated in the IoT Edge Corridor through attendees’ ability to
send a picture of their choice to the Google Cloud platform and process it
with DeepArt.io AI algorithms, it is then returned to the edge to be selected
and printed off as a souvenir piece of art.
Examples of customized artwork
The emergence of viable, self-contained IoT edge networks reinforces the need
for product OEMs to focus on their core competencies. Getting to market
quickly and economically is critical, however the ability to iterate on top of
those platforms later is the key to success.
This approach requires a foundation of highly integrated processing and
communications platforms that abstract the rigorous engineering of
connectivity, security, machine learning and other disciplines that most
product OEMs don’t have time to It also demands robust,
commercial-grade software support that accelerates product development
These elements are present across NXP’s portfolio of intelligent edge
compute solutions, and enhanced through application-specific development kits
that allow OEMs to realize their own opportunities at the IoT edge today.
Don’t believe it? I challenge you to visit NXP’s IoT Edge
Corridor at CES 2018 booth CP 25 and experience the edge for yourself.