Disruptive technology can approach from an unexpected direction. One candidate that is likely to provide such a disruption in the embedded world comes from a military heritage.
Data Distributiono Service, or DDS, is an open, peer-to-peer messaging protocol that uses a publish-subscribe model for communicating. It is being used to make defence systems more interoperable at the data level, and has been a key part of requirements for the US Department of Defense and the UK's Ministry of Defence.
But one DDS technology supplier, Real Time Innovations (RTI) has taken the technology into the embedded world with a new set of products called RTI Connext. The technology has already been used in some embedded application, most notably with drives manufacturer Schnieder and Siemens Energy, but the move to a more product-based approach will open up the DDS technology to a wider embedded audience.
One of these, Connext Micro, has the potential to make a significant difference to the machine-to-machine (M2M) and smart grid applications. This provides a tight (130Kbyte) messaging kernel that can be used on its own or with a real time operating system to provide scalable, real time links for millions of nodes. It has deterministic memory utilisation with no dynamic allocation after startup to assist wth safety critical applications and runs over UDP/IP for simple networking.
The key advantage is that the same technology can be used across the enterprise, where it is more established, and across the embedded infrastructure. This tackles the two major issues of managing millions of M2M nodes and using the data from them for business analytics in a timely, automated way.
"Our approach to the integration problem is unique," said Dr Stan Schneider, CEO of RTI. "RTI's new technology builds high-performance systems and then easily integrates them together. The base technology delivers the time-critical performance, scalability and 24x7 reliability that operational systems demand. For the first time, we also now have the integration power to merge and create systems of systems. This power allows us to build even larger operational systems and meld those industrial systems with the enterprise IT infrastructure."
As a result RTI is promoting Connext as the first edge-to-enterprise real-time service oriented architecture (SOA) platform for seamless, enterprise-wide integration to improve efficiency, responsiveness and real-time business intelligence (BI).
The messaging software has been used in mission-critical applications in the Aerospace and Defense industries and RTI has over 350,000 licenses and 450 applications deployed, but up until now it has be a technology for more cards rather than M2M and sensor nodes. Now the products are targeted at Industrial Automation, Automotive and Healthcare. It can run as a kernel and also on Linux, Solaris, VxWorks, Integrity and LynxOS and has a C API for programming.
The RTI Connext family of products includes:
- RTI Connext Integrator delivers rapid integration of operational systems with enterprise-wide IT without requiring modification to those systems. Connext Integrator is a service bus, similar to an enterprise service bus (ESB), but designed for the demanding real-time environment. It provides the backbone of a real-time Service Oriented Architecture (SOA).
- RTI Connext Messaging provides a universal messaging infrastructure for ultra high-performance and real-time systems, including machine-to-machine (M2M) and human-machine interface (HMI) applications.
- RTI Connext Micro is a small-footprint messaging solution for resource-constrained devices and high-assurance applications.
- RTI Connext DDS is the leading implementation of the Object Management Group (OMG) Data Distribution Service (DDS) specification, with over 70 percent market share.
This article originally appeared on EE Times Europe.