Features > IoT
Gateway to the World of IoT

As various IoT (Internet of Things) services are being developed, the interest of Connected Devices, that offer some very interesting services, is growing. Typically, IoT is thought to be implemented in services such as IoT door locks or IoT scales. But one factor that is every bit as important as the objects in IoT services is the IoT Gateway.

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The IoT Gateway is a type of interface that connects devices so that they can collect and transmit data on the Internet.

Since most IoT devices are small and run on low power, they also have limited processing power and memory. However, with the IoT Gateway in place, devices can access the Internet with a minimal amount of interface equipment.

IoT Gateway also analyses the data that each device on the network receives and only transmits meaningful data to reduce the strain on the bandwidth and improve data efficiency.

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Intel IoT Diagram (Source: Intel Homepage)

The IoT Gateway is a valuable element in making up IoT services. As the number of connected devices sharply increases and devices are being combined, the IoT Gateway market is expected to grow rapidly in order to create real IoT services based on the high volume of data collected.

Examples of IoT Gateway Implementation

① Home IoT Gateway 

In Korea, most ISPs provide IoT services such as home automation and security. A gateway is needed in order to remotely control various electronic products within the home.

LG U+ IoT@Home offers IoT Gateway installed products like their stand alone IoT hub for IoT users, their circular IoT hub for Internet users and, of course, their woofer set-top box for IPTV users.

The set-top box is a particularly interesting device with a processor capable of allowing users access via wireless interfaces such as Zigbee and Bluetooth and allows ISPs with TPS service[1] to provide inexpensive IoT service via the IoT Gateway.

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LG U+ Home IoT Service (Source: LG U+ Homepage)

It is important to standardize gateway platforms in order to secure the expansion of new IoT devices and support existing IoT devices while provides various types of gateways. Companies like LG U+ are making efforts to adhere to the standardized platforms such as oneM2M.

② Medical IoT Gateway 

The medical field makes up such a significant part of the IoT market that there are already various venders competing in the medical IoT Gateway market. The IoT Gateway makes it possible to integrate diverse sensor devices that can collect data in real time and improve mobility.

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Freescale Medical IoT Structure (Source: Freescale Homepage)

Freescale is a company that has developed an IoT platform based on low-power wearable technology that sends notifications concerning patient status and information for preventing disease. The gateway collects and analyzes data and transmits data via WAN[2]. The technology also includes remote monitoring and remote database access functions.

IoT Gateway Platforms

The IoT Gateway market is expected to grow at least 20% over the next 5 years to amount to a total of approximately USD 1B by 2021 (ABI Research). Since the IoT Gateway market is directly tied to the IoT market, global firms such as Intel, IBM and Oracle are working to get a foothold on the market.

Intel and McAfee are leading the way by releasing the Quark and Atom SoC based Wind River device platform and the embedded security technology Total Solution respectively.

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Intel IoT Gateway Platform (Source: Intel Homepage)

Intel’s IoT Gateway supports local processing, filtering and processing for data that is to be transmitted, compatibility with existing embedded devices and cloud connectivity. Solutions such as Intel’s Wind River and McAfee Embedded Control that are already verified have a distinct advantage in the market.

A collaboration between Freescale and Oracle has produced OneBox, which combines the rich SoC experience with the power of Java. The OneBox platform offers a simple Java based device development environment that is compatible with IoT devices.

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Freescale+Oracle IoT Gateway Platform (Source: electronicdesign.com Blog)

Standardized messaging protocols such as MQTT[3] and REST[4] as well as standardized interfaces such as Zigbee, Bluetooth and Wi-Fi help improve gateway platform compatibility. But there are concerns that many software stacks[5] will be required in the future as new interfaces and IoT devices emerge.

So, IoT technology development firms have formed a standardization group to improve the interoperability between sensor devices, gateways and cloud solutions and are using this standardization to maintain relevance in the market.

IoT Devices

The IoT Gateway will help each IoT device become smarter and more efficient through the exchange of information through the devices. Many new services will also be available when IoT devices are connect and controlled through the gateway.

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Connecting diverse devices, interfaces and protocols and also providing standardized development platforms present significant obstacles for the IoT Gateway. However, providing an IoT Gateway solution is the key to success in IoT platform technology and in the IoT market.

Written by Minwook Park, LG CNS

[1] Triple Play Service: In telecommunications, triple play service is a marketing term for the provisioning, over a single broadband connection, of: two bandwidth-intensive services, broadband Internet access and television, and the latency-sensitive telephone. [Wikipedia] [back to the article]
[2] WAN (Wide Area Network): A wide area network (WAN) is a telecommunications network or computer network that extends over a large geographical distance. Wide area networks are often established with leased telecommunication circuits. [Wikipedia] [back to the article]
[3] Message Queuing Telemetry Transport: MQTT (formerly MQ Telemetry Transport) is an ISO standard (ISO/IEC PRF 20922) publish-subscribe-based “lightweight” messaging protocol for use on top of the TCP/IP protocol. It is designed for connections with remote locations where a “small code footprint” is required or the network bandwidth is limited. [Wikipedia] [back to the article]
[4] Representational State Transfer: In computing, representational state transfer (REST) is an architectural style consisting of a coordinated set of components, connectors, and data elements within a distributed hypermedia system, where the focus is on component roles and a specific set of interactions between data elements rather than implementation details. Its purpose is to induce performance, scalability, simplicity, modifiability, visibility, portability, and reliability. [Wikipedia] [back to the article]
[4] Software Stack: A software stack is a group of programs that work in tandem to produce a result or achieve a common goal. Software stack also refers to any set of applications that works in a specific and defined order toward a common goal, or any group of utilities or routine applications that work as a set. [Wikipedia] [back to the article]

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