An Internet of Things (IoT) environment represents one of the most distributed computing endeavors any IT organization is likely to undertake. Intel wants to make sure, to every extent possible, that every system in the distributed IoT environment is running an Intel processor.
At the IoT Solutions World Congress conference today, Intel unveiled the Intel Atom processor E3900 series, which employs 14-nanometer silicon to push processing horsepower all the way out to the very edge of distributed IoT environments.
Ken Caviasca, vice president of the Intel IoT Group and general manager of platform engineering, says the goal for the Intel Atom processors E3900 series, designed to be deployed either in a sensor or right next to one, is to provide a common processing framework from the edge to the cloud. Often referred to as fog computing, the Intel Atom processors E3900 series includes a graphics engine to help drive local processing of analytics applications as close as possible to the original source of the IoT data.
Obviously, Intel has a lot of competitors when it comes to the IoT. In addition to Intel’s offering, many organizations are employing everything from ARM processors to customizable field programmable gate arrays (FPGAs). But Caviasca says Intel processors make it easier to converge operational technology (OT) systems with backend information technology (IT) systems that are usually already based on Intel processors.
“Any processor can be used to connect to the Internet,” says Caviasca. “But that’s not the same thing as enabling convergence.”
Of course, the biggest IoT challenge most organizations might face has less to do with technology than people and processes. The individuals responsible for OT systems don’t often see the world the same way traditional IT people do.
It’s clear IoT is the next big technology frontier. Now, it’s not so much a question of if an organization is going to leverage IoT, but rather to what degree.