Today, with social media getting out information so quickly, customers need to have their products ready in zero time, and Arrow, as a technology
provider, must be able to support this need. To do that, Arrow is moving toward solution-selling while continuing to support the needs of legacy customers, thereby supporting customers no matter what step they are at with their projects and no matter what the request.
One example is for the IoT gateway market, wherein many customers need fast solutions but the options are endless. The customer needs to adopt a popular solution and change it to fit their end application. Let’s use a success story that we had with a customer that got a very popular community board from Arrow called DragonBoard 410c. The DragonBoard 410c is the first development board based on a Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 series processor. It features advanced processing power, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth connectivity, and GPS, all packed into a board the size of a credit card. Based on the 64-bit–capable Snapdragon 410E processor,
the DragonBoard 410c is designed to support rapid software development, education, and prototyping and is compliant with the 96Boards Consumer Edition specification from www.96boards.org.
After only two months, the customer realizes that they will NOT be able to develop a full IoT gateway-even though he had all of the documentation, software, and firmware—because of his request for time to market, so they have to ask for an industrial version of this board.
Normally, this is not a popular solution because many suppliers are
developing reference boards and development boards only, but Arrow also has ready-to-use industrial boards that are similar. In this case, the DB4 from Geniatech is the industrial version of the DragonBoard 410c that also includes Ethernet, different and more popular power connectors, and other features not included on the community board.
With this board, the customer was able to add only a case and, in two months, release the first working prototype to their end customers.
But the story doesn’t end there. Because of this fast time to market, Arrow was requested to support the same solution but add another Ethernet port for Power over Ethernet (PoE). This needed to also come in a “box/case” form factor but could quickly increase to large quantities.
Typically, when doing business, a distributor will tell the customer that they need to do this by themselves, but as a technology provider, Arrow also has the ability to support this request because it was part of the strategy. So Arrow introduced the customer to a partner, Inforce Computing. This partner already had this exact request from the customer
named Inforce 6320.
The Inforce 6320 enables simple integration of IoE devices and has been specifically designed to provide network solutions with advanced security and cater to use cases that necessitate intense edge computing.
Its feature set includes dual Ethernet connectors that enable PoE with support for PD and PSE configuration compliant to 802.3at, wherein the board gets power from PoE-enabled switches. With the well-proven and powerful 64-bit Snapdragon 410 at its core, the Inforce 6320 platform provides excellent connectivity as an IoT edge gate-way with an option for routing capabilities, and with its guaranteed long-life support, it is an ideal application-ready platform for your networking device!
Inforce 6320 Features:
- Dual Ethernet ports that enable Power over Ethernet supporting 803.at-compliant PD/PSE configuration
- 1080p HDMI out stream with H.264 decode
- Camera support via USB UVC ports
- Excellent connectivity with Wi-Fi/Bluetooth/Gigabit Ethernet
- Official BSP support for Debian Linux and Ubuntu Core OS (Snappy)
- High-quality custom enclosure made of aluminum for excellent emission control and heat dissipation
The customer was very impressed with this solution, tested it in a very short time, and was able to place the order for the large quantities that they requested because the main efforts are now only in software and not in hardware.
Another example was a customer request for an edge-node IoT solution after a seminar on wireless technologies like LoRa, Sigfox, NB-IoT, and SmartMeshIP. For this, we used the ASME Board, or Arrow Smart Everything Board.
The first board was the ASME-FOX. The ASME Fox features the Atmel D21 ultra-low-power microcontroller using the 32-bit Arm Cortex M0+ processor also supported by the Arduino IDE for a fast and easy software development cycle. The ASME Fox provides the following peripherals/modules:
- Crypto Authentication chipset
- Sigfox module
- GPS module with embedded antenna
- Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) interface
The LE51-868 S module is a complete solution from serial interface to RF interface. It has a digital part and an RF part in which the radio link on the Sigfox network is a half-duplex bidirectional link.
The second board was the ASME-LION. The ASME Lion SoM features
the Atmel D21 ultra-low-power microcontroller using the 32-bit Arm Cortex M0 processor that is supported by the Arduino IDE for a fast and
easy software development cycle.
The Lion Board provides the following peripherals/modules:
- Crypto Authentication Chipset
- LoRa module
- GPS module with embedded antenna
- Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) interface
The third board was the ASME-DRAGONFLY. The Dragonfly is ready-to-use IoT hardware that is a part of Arrow’s board family called SmartEverything. It is Arduino-IDE–compatible, which allows fast and
easy software development.
The main highlight of this board is that it is an ideal triple-play gateway solution with its main modules:
- Microchip MCU for Arduino compatibility
- Dusty module from IOTeam, performing SmartMesh IP operations
- A Sigfox module from IOTeam for low-power, long-range wireless communication
- A Wi-Fi module from Microchip
A couple of weeks after the seminar, the customer knew that they wanted and needed to use all of the wireless communication on their product and that it would be very difficult to develop in a short time, mainly because of the complexity of the RF. The customer wanted to know if Arrow had an industrial solution that supports all RF technologies in one rugged product with built-in sensors.
Arrow has a supplier, Vicotee, a leading IoT company delivering smart sensors for scalable IoT solutions to the professional market around the world. Vicotee can be used wherever sensors are needed for monitoring purposes. Whether it is building automation, environmental monitoring, offshore, green energy, smart cities, health care, hospitals, or homes, the Vicotee network solution offers more than 99.99999% network reliability in even the most challenging RF environments – equivalent to cable network reliability! The Vicotee system can easily, effectively, and wirelessly connect entire cities using
inexpensive existing technology-in this case, the AURORA XDLSN3.
This unit consists of one radio mainboard unit with SMARTMESH IP, LoRa, Sigfox, or NB-IoT radio and one sensor board that can easily be configured to use all kind of sensors. This module is meant for rapid development of new functionalities. Both boards have an MCU. This way, we can handle and analyze high-speed data on the module.
The radio module has a temperature and humidity sensor, so it can work as a standalone module. Both the radio mainboard and sensor
board are equipped with one battery each. When the two boards are connected together, the batteries will be connected in parallel (long life). They are connected by open-ended card edge – no soldering.
Arrow was able to support both IoT gateway and IoT edge-node applications with fast time to market after the customers evaluated the technologies and their needs with Arrow development tools/reference designs and moved to production units in a short time.
To find out more, visit Arrow at Arrow.com for the aforementioned boards and solutions.