In an IoT system, the provision of services by the cloud will depend on several conditions.
Security is a concern for device-to-cloud data transactions. An IoT device will need to support data encryption to the cloud via TLS or https. The software stack in the IoT device will need to support these security components. In addition, cloud based communication can use more lightweight signaling such as CoAP (RFC-7252) and MQTT. Compared to http, these lightweight signaling standards are desirable since they will provide a reduced overhead for communicating to the cloud and, as the data communicated is reduced, data traffic on the internet will be reduced compared to using http.
In addition, different standards bodies have emerged to support IoT, aiming to develop software stacks that can be used across platforms.
The Thread Group is developing a software stack that focuses on the networks using 802.15.4 wireless mesh networks. A key benefit of the mesh network is that if any device on the network fails, the network can continue to connect and communicate to other devices on the network.
The Allseen Alliance is a nonprofit consortium dedicated to driving widespread adoption of products, systems and services that support the IoT with an open, universal development framework, initially based on the AllJoyn open source project.
Software requirements for IoT
Standards bodies, communications standards, and security requirements all impact the elements that are needed for an IoT software stack contained in an IoT device SoC.
Cloud client software elements such as those supporting Imagination’s FlowCloud device-to-cloud technology, are added to the IoT device software stack. These elements support specific cloud communications requirements as may be required by the cloud service provider.
The figure below is an example of a software stack required to support an IoT device:
As IoT devices become ubiquitous in networked systems, the SoC providers for these systems will differentiate their products based on security, power management, scalable computational performance and compliance to industry driven standards.
Security at the device and cloud level is required for IoT devices, especially those that are handling sensitive data such as medical data and in which the devices are communicating sensitive data to the cloud.