Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT)

The Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) is the name used to describe a segment of the broader IoT market.  IIoT includes all networked devices that are deployed in Industrial or non-consumer applications.  There is a lot of discussion about the benefits of IoT.  In the case of IIoT, there are clearly defined economic benefits that can be substantial when the vision is fulfilled.

 

In the broadest definition, IIoT includes both Industrial Ethernet and Automotive Ethernet amongst many other markets with the ultimate goal of having all devices, even the smallest and least complex devices, attached to the network.

 

IIoT includes both wireless and wired connections.  Wired connections are always Ethernet based for Internet compatibility.  So how can we connect every device, even the simplest and least complex device, to the network?  In the case of wired connections, that means we would need an Ethernet connection that is physically small enough and priced low enough that it makes sense to use for the simplest of devices.

 

Think of a simple proximity sensor that detects when a component moves in front of it.  Or a simple toggle switch used by an operator.  Does it make sense for that sensor or that switch to be directly attached to an Ethernet network?  With the vision of IIoT it can make sense.  By networking all such devices we can virtualize the functionality of the entire system and provide the analytics needed for the improved efficiency and resulting economic benefits.

 

Many attempts have been made toward providing low cost Ethernet connectivity and a lot of R&D investment continues to be made.  Ultimately it seems likely that such an interface will become available in the near future.

 

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