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EdgeX Foundry based edge software adds AI support

Feb 11, 2021 — by Eric Brown 352 views

IOTech announced v1.8 of its EdgeX Foundry “Hanoi” based “Edge Xpert” edge computing platform that adds OpenVINO support for computer vision and edge AI.

Edinburgh, UK based IOTech has released an AI-focused v1.8 release of its Edge Xpert platform based on the latest Hanoi release of the Linux Foundation’s open source EdgeX Foundry IoT middleware. Edge Xpert is defined as a “value-add and commercial implementation” of EdgeX Foundry.

EdgeX Foundry was announced in 2017 with a goal of developing a standardized, open source interoperability framework for IoT edge computing. Based on technology created by Dell, EdgeX Foundry continues to certify an ecosystem of interoperable, plug-and-play components to create an open source EdgeX edge computing stack. The middleware mediates between multiple sensor network messaging protocols as well as multiple cloud and analytics platforms.



Edge Xpert architecture
(click image to enlarge)

Like EdgeX Foundry, Edge Xpert is billed as a cross-platform, OS/architecture agnostic platform. However, Linux is typically the OS in play here, and the EdgeX Foundry development kits are based on Ubuntu.

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The key new feature in Edge Xpert is the addition of computer vision and edge AI support via an add-on built around Intel’s OpenVINO AI toolkit. The computer vision capability builds on the product’s existing support for IP camera and video device connectivity and the ability to aggregate and fuse data from many industrial protocols and devices.

The AI add-on can help users “easily control camera devices, collect video streams and automatically apply AI and vision inference right at the edge,” says IOTech. Customers can now deploy models that include object detection, classification, and recognition. The add-on service then passes on inferred intelligence from those models to other services for decision-making and control.

In addition to the AI add-on, Edge Xpert v1.8 adds features “that help fast-track the roll out of edge solutions, including advanced tooling and enhancements to the existing array of IOTech’s edge device connectors,” says IOTech. There are also new features enabled in EdgeX Foundry “Hanoi,” such as the ability for device connectors to be distributed on different hosts to other microservices. Hanoi also enables a new data tagging feature for uniquely identifying data sources during northbound (i.e. headed for the cloud) transport of data.

Finally, IOTech has launched an IOTech store where users can purchase software, feature add-ons, and the full Edge Xpert package. IOTech also sells an Edge XRT version of the platform for MCU-based systems and other time-critical and resource-constrained edge nodes.

Based on a “modular and flexible microservices architecture,” the Edge Xpert platform offers features including reference rules engines and analytics packages. Thanks in large part to EdgeX Foundry, Edge Xpert supplies extensive connector support for southbound edge devices and sensors, as well as northbound protocols like MQTT, REST, and Kafka. Tools are also available in the “open SDK” for adding new connectors.

 
Further information

Edge Xpert v1.8 is now available via this IOTech store page which asks for number of nodes and types of nodes, as well as service, support, licensing, and SDK requirements. More information may be found on IOTech’s product page.
 

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