Open To The Alternatives: Bringing Together Full Stack IoT Solutions That Scale, Collaboratively

December 3, 2019

There is no question 2020 will be another banner year for the advancement and adoption of connected systems. Enterprise distributed systems are being adopted with more confidence by the largest manufacturers of smart products and the largest operators of smart factories in the world.

We’re seeing the “multipliers” at ClearBlade every week, as projects that started as “proof of concept” mature into real-time solutions that are changing the way the physical and digital worlds co-exist.

We’ve gone from testbeds to deployments in the rail industry, for example, where the endpoints generating data and being managed number in the hundreds of thousands.

We’ve moved great ideas off the whiteboards and into smart buildings and campuses as large as 3 million square feet.

We’ve grown from connecting a single application in a neighborhood to connecting cities, and from instrumenting a handful of oil and gas assets to entire fleets.

Driving innovation in our company inspires us to ensure everything we build is agnostic from the type of access network to the variety of local and cloud-hosted databases that need to be resilient and connected.

Finally, we’ve seen low latency, automated near real-time systems mature, which is generating unprecedented value for enterprises who can dramatically improve service and availability while reducing costs and risks, including the safety of workers.

Here’s the thing: we cannot create this kind of momentum and value in a vacuum. IIoT solutions require the integration of components – the orchestration of hardware, firmware, software and middleware and more – and the harmonization of comprehensive “stacks” that are solid enough to win the confidence of buyers who are ready to invest. With obvious ROIs, the demand is there – as any experienced manufacturer or service provider. Obvious ROIs and the inevitability of connecting nearly everything in the built world, however, is not enough to make the big things happen we’ve been conceiving over the last decade.

Today, we were very proud to be part of an announcement by AMD, one of the world’s most successful and exciting companies, in business for fifty years, but perpetually adapting itself to serve a changing world.

AMD (NASDAQ: AMD) has been developing an ecosystem around the availability of high-performance “Mini PCs” for industrial, media and enterprise applications, forming a very different kind of tech ecosystem making it possible for OEMs to create their own products, powered by AMD’s Ryzen Embedded V1000 and R1000 processors.

ASRock Industrial, EEPD, OnLogic and Simply NUC are the first OEMs to offer and sell groundbreaking “Mini PC” platforms, open and customizable platforms based on high-performance CPU/GPU processor with expansive peripheral support, in-depth security features and a planned 10-year processor availability.

AMD’s ecosystem also includes software and platform companies that offer open software IoT and Industrial IoT (IIoT) technologies, including AlphaInfo, Beechwoods Software and, of course, ClearBlade.

We’ve been part of many coalitions, industry standards organizations, open-source communities and more, as every successful IoT company generally is. We know that common frameworks, standards, and open-source ecosystems are essential to sustain the growth and success of connected systems.

Mini PCs powered by AMD Ryzen Embedded processors support a growing list of software partners with pre-validated packages based on open-source software, including Radeon Open Compute (ROCm), OpenCL™, and more. The Mini PCs created by the OEMs can run software for machine vision, object detection, edge inference, and analytics from AMD software ecosystem partners.

While ClearBlade doesn’t manufacture silicon, boards,  Mini PCs, sensors, or actuators and other “physical world” components, we are in awe of the engineers who are designing the future of “circuit boards” and honored to provide the software platform that connects the things they power up.

According to AMD’s announcement, “the power of a device comes from its ease of use and scalability, which in turn depends on the ecosystem supporting it. These new Mini PCs, powered by AMD Ryzen Embedded, have access to an existing embedded processor ecosystem that supports open software standards while providing OEMs the capability to create unique, customizable platforms.”

That’s where speed to market gets interesting, as well as “risk management” associated with investing in innovation, and “future-proofing” which will become increasingly essential as those investments grow the hundreds of millions and even billions of dollars.

Compact, rugged, long-life Mini PCs are going to drive a lot more “possible” in 2020 and for years to come.

The AMD Ryzen Embedded processors bring together AMD ‘Zen’ CPU and ‘Vega’ GPU architectures in an integrated SoC solution for high-performance compute to support the modern computing needs of industrial, media, and enterprise applications, for which ClearBlade provides the connectivity platform.

Small really is the new big, as the AMD Ryzen Embedded V1000 and R1000 processors provide “scalable solutions from 6 watts to 54 watts in a pin-compatible package that powers high resolution, 4K multi-display configurability, high-performance 3D graphics all while enabling extended availability that alleviates replacement cycles and minimizes customer costs,” as AMD puts it.

And as we are seeing, small is rapidly becoming big, so scale is more important than ever – not just technical scale, but economic scale, including the avoidance of hidden costs that have plagued enterprises for years with pricing mechanisms, maintenance fees and more that we believe will become a thing of the past, especially as open ecosystems like the one AMD announced this week come online.

Stay small, think big, scale up! 2020 is going to be that kind of year, changing the game for good.

Read more about the AMD open ecosystem, each partner, and ClearBlade’s contributions here.


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