Edge Computing, Time-Sensitive Networks and IIoT Interoperability from IIC Partnerships
Shawn Wasserman posted on October 26, 2017 |
The Industrial Internet Consortium (IIC) has been a busy bee these past few weeks announcing liaisons and partnerships galore.

All of these team-ups aim to push forward the interoperability of the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) with a focus on edge computing, time-sensitive networks (TSNs) and the expansion of the IIoT.

The first team-up is with EdgeX Foundry. This partnership aims to make use of EdgeX’s open-source project building and interoperability framework for IoT edge computing and ecosystems.

“EdgeX Foundry’s primary goal is to simplify and accelerate the IIoT by delivering a unified edge computing platform supported by an ecosystem of solutions providers,” said Philip DesAutels, senior director of IoT for The Linux Foundation. “Formalizing this liaison relationship with the IIC is fundamental to unlocking business value at scale. Together, we will provide better best practices that will drive the unification of the IIoT.”

But the IIC didn’t stop here. Days later, it announced another liaison with the Industrial Internet Brazilian Association (ABII), who has helped to advance the IIoT in Brazil. If it has helped to boom the IIoT in Brazil, then it can surely help promote the technology in other regions of the world.

“We are thrilled with the liaison with IIC as it connects the Brazilian ecosystem to the rest of the world,” said José Rizzo, president of ABII. “Reciprocally, it will also provide access to the Brazilian market for IIC members and other institutions that have liaisons with the IIC.”

Last but not least, IIC then announced it has teamed up with the Avnu Alliance. Avnu, a consortium in its own right, aims to create an interoperable ecosystem of low-latency, time-synchronized IoT devices using an open standard. 

A ubiquitous TSN standard for all IIoT products would certainly be a tempting alternative to manufacturing SCADA systems. Naturally many members of IIC are itching to test out this standard on their designs.

“Avnu’s participation in the IIC TSN testbed [gives members] an opportunity to try their equipment and software on the testbed infrastructure,” said Gary Stuebing, IIC liaison to Avnu. “This provides the participants with the ability to discover what’s working and what is not and provide feedback that helps speed market adoption. The lessons learned in our TSN testbed fuel the ability of both of our organizations. TSN could open up critical control applications such as robot control, drive control and vision systems.” 

So, what should we expect from these team-ups? Well they have promised to:

  • Share best practices
  • Collaborate on standardization
  • Expand test beds and experimental projects
  • Improve interoperability between architectures and elements
  • Host joint seminars

In other words, expect some big news from IIC in the near future that will focus on TSN, edge computing and IIoT interoperability standards that will help bring some organization and consolidation to the industry.

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