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Thanks everyone!  Have a good weekend..

Mike

 

Blogger

@Rick, yes the wireless sensor networks stuff.  This is where the Zigbee IP folks among other hope to cash in.

Blogger

well everyone, it has been fun

remember that we'll be doing another week in review next week, same time!

Blogger

@rich, good idea. Though again, it is the integration(miniaturization?) of the sensor that needs work. 

Blogger

Great chat. Lots of things to consider regarding the IPv6 switchover especially.

CEO

Sensor in the wash...  Sounds like a new version of electronic-safe Tide is in the works...  Thanks for the chat folks.

Blogger

@caleb, there are comms links that use the body as the conductor for near field RF. Maybe you dont need  thread

CEO

@Taichi: Are you familiar with the OpenWSN work?

Author

But the problem is, I'll have this freaking sensor to deal with. it'll be cumbersome. Anyway, I've gone waaay off topic AND our time is up!

 

Blogger

@rick, meant the call for sensor experts, not the micron call.

CEO

I have a tiny heart rate sensor and some conductive thread. I'm trying to think of a fun way to spice up my daily jog.

Blogger

@Rich, so far the v6 stacks are still in their infancy.  They'll get smaller as soon as we figure out the bare minimum for comms and offload most of the bookkeeping to a gateway.  That's what 6LoWPAN does.

Blogger

@rick - CC me on that call. I'm going to need sensor bloggers

CEO

the sensors are the hard part. Ultimately they need to be non detectable. You need to have shirts in your wardrobe that feel normal but can measure your heart rate, hormones, blood sugar level etc. 

Blogger

@Caleb: That's what I am saying. Conductive yarns have been in dev for a decade+ But where's the result?

Author

I gotta get on a call with Micron's prez. See ya!

Author

there's conductive thread on my workbench right now rick! it isn't new. 

Blogger

I am looking for some good sensor experts to get a 30,000 foot lay of the land. If anyone knows anyone, send them my way

Author

64M? Wow, I had no idea it was that large. Could the system have the gateway be the memory hog and use IPv4 or something else modest for the final link to the endpoint, so the endpoint can be small?

CEO

@Rick, I agree.  The term Embedded has lost it's meaning and charm.  E.g., it's not the Embedded System Conference any longer is it?  So, the Universities have got to feel that there is a reason to teach small RAM footprint development again.  If we call it industrial internet, maybe they'll respond.

Blogger

@Caleb: Ten+ years ago DARPA and some Europeans were separately working on conductive yarns.  But these folks have gone quiet. Clothes = the new mobile platform?

Author

@rick, in the short term, absolutely. 

Blogger

@Caleb: I think the winner will have watches and shoes and glasses and etc that do cool things together...and link to your phone ands tablet of course.

Author

straying from the topic completely, I think the next big thing will be tiny sensors in our clothes to monitor our body. 

Blogger

I'm sorry chaps and chappesses ... I have a visitor who has just come into my office ... Mike, I will leave you in Caleb's cabable hands -- Max

@caleb, true that connectivity will become commonplace, but the IoT helps separate the things that are human controlled from those that are gathering and sending data autonomously. They're different software architectures, or should be.

CEO

@Rich, the numbers I've heard so far are that you can't even consider v6 in less than 64MBs of RAM.  On the SoCs with M3/M4 they're coming with 256M.  So, it's not much of an issue as long as the application is frugal.

Blogger

Information "at a glance" is big right now. Watches play into that very well. Especially considering you can add Biofeedback

 

Blogger

@Taichi: For sure IoT and IoE are marketing terms. As is to some extent Industrial Internet. ARM CTO said this week that its just a sexy term for embedded so someone will get excited and write about embedded again.

Author

So what about the reports of the Samsung Galaxy Gear watch and Apple iWatch TK this fall. Are we on the cusp of useful wearables or another round of bell bottom pants?

Author

Yes, there are several projects underway for the "Industrial Internet" where v6 and small footprint devices intersect.  The Term "IoT" is a marketing thing.  In fact, Cisco now calls it the "Internet of everything".  So, as M2M applications become more prevalent, the erm will be replaced by something else.

Blogger

@max I disagree with that too. We create "memes" every day and they go away all the time. Especially in tech. every new feature gets its spotlight for a little bit, but I think in the near future we just won't even bother with IoT. Everything will just have communication. 

Blogger

Tai, sounds like IPv6 is going to impose a minimum set of requirments on the endpoint's resources, then, a larger set than those working with IPv4 realize. How much bigger will the memory need to be?

CEO

@Taichi: You know Berkeley's Kris Pister and David Culler have been big IPv6 champions and Cisco bought Culler's startup

Author

@Caleb: I kind of think the term IoT will just go away.

I wish ... but I disagree ... once a "meme" has taken hold and started breeding ... it's %^&^ difficult to stop

@Max, the issue of IPv6 address size is actually not one to be glossed over lightly.  The definition of DNS getHostInfo calls return IPv6 *before* IPv4 addresses accroding to the RFC.  These addresses are dynamically allocated in the spec.  If I simply send a few thousand DNS responses to the device following a request, I can exhause device memory (DoS attack).  Then the user is "supposed" to remember to free the allocated memory using another call.  One missed deallocation and you've got a substantial memory leak.

 

Blogger

that's like saying my nexus tablet is the latest in this "web enabled" electronics craze

 

Blogger

I suspect other established indiustrial companies such as Honneywell, Johnson Controls etc have works in progress

Author

Of course, the really interesting think about Kickstarter is that all they have to do is provide the platform ... and take a cut of the funds that are raised ... basically Kickstarter is a "license to print money" by th efolks who own th eKikstarter website (I wish I'd thought of it :-)

I kind of think the term IoT will just go away. Everything will have connectivity. We can stop thinking about that part of it. 

Blogger

Chiming in late...FYI GE has a big IoT program under the name Industrial Internet whose folks I hope ti interview soon

Author

@Mike: ...the kickstarters of the world is where you'll see big IoT adoption first...

Interesting...

I guess the Kickstarter types are playing chicken, then, in the old chicken-and-egg game. Hopefully the IoT egg will be golden, not rotten

CEO

@Rich, true.  IMHO, the kickstarters of the world is where you'll see big IoT adoption first.  Once it's proven, the established companies will have to adopt or get passed by.

Blogger

In the old days, we could see a 4K IPv4 stack.  But, v6 has pushed to simplify the router code by pushing protocol code into the endpoint.  Router discovery, neighbor discovery, multicast (v6 doesn't do broadcast)  have all been pushed to the end device.  This takes a lot of RAM.  So, we'll have to go to larger processors to make it function.

As for the Hackenstein period, it will likely start to taper off as legacy units get replaced due to attrition.  The silicon manufacturers can't make much money on 8051s, they're driving the customers up the processor scale so the silicon folks can turn a profit.

Blogger

@caleb, I would think that the big wave of IoT would first come from small startups, which are the greater risk-takers. Big companies will follow with polished versions, perhaps, but mostly derivatives.

CEO

I don't think it will ever end, but once it proves itself enough times you'll see whole swarms of devices that are designed to the purpose released by big companies

Blogger

Tai:  How long do you think that Frankenstein era will last?  Or does it ever really end?

Blogger

I'm just looking forward to my appliances getting DDOS'd

 

Blogger

@Mike: surely the issue of IPv6 (16-bytes) vs. IPv4 (4-bytes) is a non-issue in terms of memory size -- even in a memory constrained system.

My understanding is that a bunch pof end devices will trpically communicate with each other using a 6LoWPAN (passing data packets that are only 127 bytes in size) -- the trick comes when the 6LoWPAN interfaces with the Gateway, which connects to the Internet ... now we have to take big Internet packets and split them up into lots of smaller 6LoWPAN packets, or take lots of small 6LoWPAN packets and bundle them up into a big Internet packet ... but all of thsi is done in the Gateway .. so no memory footprint impact on the end devices...

@Caleb:  Yes, there will likely be a transition period with all sorts and manner of frankenstein hacks of network interfaces duct taped to existing systems.

Blogger

It will be nice to be able to address all the Galaxies in the universe with v6.  That way the United Federation of Planets can send SPAM emails... :-)

Blogger

In fact, the US is dead last in IPv6 adoption.  That's because we owned the majority of the address space.  But, IANA ran out of V4 addresses in 2011.  New users get v6.  China currently has 7 major backbones that are v6 only.  Even the 2008 Olympics was broadcast with v6.  Netflix, Google, Amazon and Akamai now all support v6.

 

Blogger

People are going to strap IoT pieces to existing stuff for quite some time just to establish that there is a use for it. 

Blogger

@tai, it is this adaption that concerns me. It sounds like that is where these memory leaks are going to be the bigger problem, not in new IoT device designs.

CEO

it will happen though. At least in the beginning. 

Blogger

Tai, do you think folks will try to take legacy systems and bolt on a network connection to make them into IoT devices? I sure hope not. That could be a nightmare. like the title says,

CEO

As to IPv4 vs IPv6, even the Zigbee folks are bowing to the inevitable.  Zigbee IP uses 6LoWPAN which is a compressed IPv6 address space.  The issue is not that IPv4 will go away any time soon, the issue is that v6 will happen regardless of our ability to ignore it.  We surpassed 4 Billion devices on the Internet in 2009.  There are expected to be 15 billion on the Internet by 2015 and 50 billion by 2020.  NAT and CIDR only go so far.  Eventually, we'll all have to adapt.

Blogger

@rich: that's what they thought about IPv4..

LOL ... but you are right

@ max, that's what they thought about IPv4..

CEO

@Mike: The Synapse Wireless SNAP OS (their version of a Stack) consumes only ~40KB (including a Python Virtual Machine) while still implemnenting a full 802.15.4-based wireless mesh network

Useless but interesting facts #2
 
According to calculations and estimations performed by the folks at the University of Hawaii (who obviously have far too much time on their hands), if we account for all of the beaches around the world, together they contain around 7.5 x 10^18 grains of sand. Thus, the addressing space of IPv6 is sufficient to give each grain of sand its own unique IP address – and to do this for approximately 5 x 10^19 Earthlike worlds – so I don't think we're going to run out of IPv6 addresses in the foreseeable future.

@Max, Sorry, you are correct, I was looking at their gateway.  My mistake. 

Blogger

Useless but interesting facts #1

Pv4 uses 32-bit (four-byte) addresses, which limits the address space to 2^32 = 4,294,967,296 possibly unique addresses.

IPv6 uses 128-bit (16-byte) addresses, so the new address space supports 2^128 (approximately 340 undecillion or 3.4 x 10^38) addresses.

@Duane: Yes, there will be places where cost sensitivies are such that languages like Java, Python, Lua, etc. will be fine.  I'm more concerned for the billions of devices that will not have that luxury.  Look at the cost differnetial between an ARM Cortex A8 and a Cortex M0.  The M0 is less than a nickle and the A8 is several dollars.  Multiply that by 40,000 sensor points and you've got a sizable chunk of change.

Blogger

@Mike: Their wireless module is 2-3 orders of magnitude more expensive and can support the RAM and MMU needed for full Linux.

What? I'm talking about a $20 module that's got 128KB of flash and a small amout of RAM ... I think you must be looking at their Gateway device or something

Tai, but are people using Java and the like in the endpoints? Most developers I talk to for that end prefer C.

CEO

The ARM processors are bringing enough power to the embedded world that Python and possibly a few other high-level languages are viable in embedded.

Blogger

@Max: The folks at Synapse Wireless (www.synapse-wireless.com) use Python in their wireless modules -- my understanding is tha tit's very memory efficient because of the use of byte code.  True, for what it is, Python is very efficient.  However, look at the cost of their module compared to the cost of a SCADA sensor.  Their wireless module is 2-3 orders of magnitude more expensive and can support the RAM and MMU needed for full Linux.

Blogger

Ah, yes. Cost cutting. In the mid-80s I had to design the control system of a surgical laser around the 6502 because an Apple II+ was the only thing available to use as a development tool - no budget for new tools. Yes, I see your point

CEO

@Max, Yes, the endpoints are where the code its the metal.  That's the problem, not the gateways.

Blogger

@Max.  Well, they should write new code.  But, management is always looking to cut costs.  If I'm upgrading the critical infrastructure in a power plant because my Windows 95 box (no kidding they actually use these) can run any longer, then management wants to port the legacy code because it's "proven".  Of course porting to a new environment will introduce new bugs.  But, that's not taken into acount in the calculus.

Blogger

@mike: The embedded code in the enpoint.  The gateways can typically run Linux/Android or even WinDoze.

But isn't it the endpoint devices we're the most concerned about when it comes to small memory footprints?

@mike: This requires a significantly different development skill set than can be found in Java EE and Python Apps.

The folks at Synapse Wireless (www.synapse-wireless.com) use Python in their wireless modules -- my understanding is tha tit's very memory efficient because of the use of byte code.

The approach taken by Android for VMs is significantly different than that found in the typical J2EE app on the desktop/server.  In the Dalvik case, each app gets it's own VM.  This differs from J2EE where one VM runs everything.

 

Blogger

So you see the gateways as the point where memory constraints and leaks will be the big issue?

CEO

@Mike: Small memory footprints will be the lion's share of devices (sensors) placed on the IoT. 

I agree -- and my contention is that folks will be writing new code for these -- not using legacy code

The embedded code in the enpoint.  The gateways can typically run Linux/Android or even WinDoze.

Blogger

Tai, but the IoT device developers are usually coming from the embedded world and not using Java but C, arent they?

CEO

Mike: if VMs encourage the dynamic creation and deletion of objects that ultimately leads to excessive memory use and potential errors, will that problem be compounded as we add more and more VMs to the network? In other words, would an error in one VM tend to compound an error in another, perhaps leading to a third?  Or do all VMs function independently in that respect?  (In which case, I suppose we could still see a collective weakness if several generated errors at the same time.)

Blogger

If the obtaining of an IPV6 address involves a procedure call -- why not just get someone to create an open source procedure that handles the memory allocation and deallocatoion and that everyone can look at and say "this is good" and then everyone can subsequently use in their applications...

Which code are we talking about here? There is the embedded code in the endpoint device, the code running gateways and servers, the apps on the mobile devices (where needed) and the code on the data crunchers handling all the M2M data being streamed to them.

CEO

Small memory footprints will be the lion's share of devices (sensors) placed on the IoT.  This requires a significantly different development skill set than can be found in Java EE and Python Apps.  For example, a typical SCADA implementation may have 40,000 sensor points.  Sheer costs will preclude the use of devices capable of running a full O/S like Linux or Android.  The proliferation of ARM Cortex M0/3/4 devices as replacements for 8051/Z80/68HC11 also have limited memory foot prints with no MMU for protection.  Anyone remember pointers?

Blogger

Max, Mike - I would think that a substantial potion of code has to be re-written for the purposes of security. Applications going from big external systems to embedded will also need pretty substantial re-writes to accomodate the embedded architectures.

Blogger

Well, the memory skills issue is certainly a debateable subject.  The issue is that the universities are not generating folks with skills like memory conservation.  The use of VMs encourages the dynamic creation and deletion of objects that ultimately leads to excessive memory use and potential errors.  The dependency on the garbage collection cycle is also fraught with peril for safety-critical applications.

 

Blogger

Drat. My Outlook alarm clock is on the fritz. Pardon my tardiness. I already see Max has made statements on the challenges of managing memory as the IoT matures.  Brilliant!

Blogger

@Mike (Taichichuan): It seems to me that the things that are memory constrained are going to be the new things that we add to the IoT, so we will be writing new code for them anyway, won;t we?

Does anything of significance exclusively use IPv6 today?

Blogger

@Caleb: I linked it in my comment also, but for some reason the link doesn't show -- $%^^% computers -- probably a memory leak somewhere

I thenk the term "semantic web" has also been coined to address the IoT.  Essentially, devices being able to derive information based on what they find lying around in search engines and your browser cookies...

 

Blogger

Not sure I agree that memory constraint skills are lost, but the change from IPv4 to IPv6 looks fraught with peril

CEO

hrm. you can't tell what is linked and what isn't! Here's the article

http://www.eetimes.com/author.asp?section_id=93&doc_id=1319174

Blogger

The way I think of the IoT is that we have the Internet as we know and love it -- and then we have a bunch of "things" plugged into it ... and a lot of these "things" are going to be really small and memory-constrained and bandwidth-constrained ...

Hmm... Good question.  Ostensibly, the IoT is the collection of devices that are on the Internet.  These may or may not have humans associated with them.  Hence the IoT has a lot of Machine-to-machine characteristics that make it unlike the Web 2.0 world we've been living in up to this point.

Blogger

@Caleb: ...anyone care to establish what exactly the Internet of THings is realistically?

What it is now, or what it will be?

It's very broad. I bet you could name any device and someone could come up with a reason to connect it to the Internet.

Blogger

So, anyone care to establish what exactly the Internet of THings is realistically?

Blogger

Never a shortage of things to do here either :-)

Blogger

@Rich: Max, feels weird without a blog requirement looming before me.

I have a mountain backlog on APP if you are looking for something to do :-)

Max, feels weird without a blog requirement looming before me. But it gives me time to be here, which is of great interest to me.

CEO

latecomers!!! (not late comments :-)

I guess we'll wait a few minutes fo rthe late comments to roll in and take their seats

Hi Rich -- how goes things?

Hi Mike -- thanks for signing in early

or you're late. hi max

 

CEO

Good Grief -- you're early

cool.  Karen didn't give me many details...  So, I'm in your capable hands.

 

Blogger

Indeed! Max and I are always around to make sure things go well

 

Blogger

So, is magnificent Max going to be the moderator?

 

Blogger

Beautiful day here in DC.  Especially for August.  Temp in the high 70s and sunshine for a change.

 

Blogger

Hi Gang,  Mike Anderson here...

 

Blogger

Looks like you got here REEEEEAAAAALY early

Blogger

Looking forward to this chat.  I decided to drop by early to get a good seat!

Blogger

The "EE Times Week In Review" is a live online chat about what's been happening in electronics and engineering and what you thought about it all, from hard news to the weird and wonderful.

This week's chat will take place on Friday, August 16, 2013, commencing at 10:00 a.m. Pacific Time / 1:00 p.m. Eastern Time.

This week, we host special guest Michael Anderson, CTO and Chief Scientist for The PTR Group and an expert on embedded systems and embedded Linux and Android on a number of CPU architectures.

Anderson's blog Over the Internet of Things Hovers the Specter of Legacy Code stirred up a hornet's nest with our readers this week with his take on a potential nightmare looming for engineers and programmers.

This chat is your chance to join the debate!



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