McObject CEO Steve Graves recently noted that there is little industry discussion about data management on so-called edge nodes comprising the Internet of Things (IoT).
“A vast number of edge devices will need to store, retrieve and analyze some data right where they sit, before shipping anything ‘upstream’ to gateway or server-based data aggregation points that we usually think of in connection with Big Data,” Graves explained in a blog post published in Embedded Design.
“These data-crunching edge devices are more interesting ‘things’ that, in and of themselves, provide value to their users. These things ingest and produce a respectable amount of data that must be managed on the device, before it ever becomes part of Big Data (Cloud-based or otherwise).”
Paul Karazuba, a Director of Product Marketing at Rambus, concurred with Graves’ assessment.
“Just because we are approaching the age of the IoT and ‘always-on’ connectivity doesn’t mean that there won’t occasionally be connectivity outages. Even downtime of 30 seconds can cause severe issues in many applications,” said Karazuba. “When we are talking about a smart homes and smart buildings, it is clear that lights need to go on even when the Internet is down. Therefore, edge nodes such as sensors must have minimal processing and analytical capabilities at the local level.”
According to Karazuba, this is precisely why Rambus lensless smart sensor (LSS) technology offers a new approach to optical sensing – delivering on package, power and price by replacing traditional lenses with tiny diffractive optics.
“LSS enables the next-generation of low-power sensing through capturing information-rich data using a low-cost phase grating coupled with standard image sensors and sophisticated computational algorithms,” he continued. “More specifically, the spiral grating of LSS diffractive optics (hardware), coupled with sophisticated computational algorithms (software), reduce computation time while facilitating application-specific design flexibility. This allows computation to be performed on the LSS sensors themselves.”
As thin as 1 millimeter thick for a grating and a sensor, LSS technology is small enough to integrate directly into existing devices and applications to enable accurate sensing capabilities that are virtually invisible to the end user.
“Applications such as digital eyewear and smart home sensing can greatly benefit from its tiny size, by embedding LSS into the frames of digital eyewear for eye tracking or a smart LED light bulb for motion detection and occupancy sensing,” Karazuba added. “Rambus LSS technology offers the potential to positively disrupt the future of smart buildings, consumer devices, automobiles, and other connected applications.”