The Industrial Internet Consortium (IIC), a global, member-driven organization that promotes the accelerated growth of the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), published Tuesday the Industrial Internet Connectivity Framework (IICF), a reference architecture for IIoT system and solution architects to evaluate connectivity technologies as they design IIoT solutions.
The IICF maps the rich landscape of IIoT connectivity and provides a comprehensive treatment of connectivity as a means of building interoperable IIoT systems. It clarifies the layers of the IIoT connectivity stack and defines the minimum expectations of an IIoT connectivity framework as being able to achieve syntactic interoperability between IIoT components and subsystems, like the components and subsystems must be able to unambiguously exchange structured data between participants.
The IIC developed the IICF to help unlock data in isolated systems, enabling interoperability between previously closed components and subsystems and to accelerate the development of new applications within and across industries.
“Seeking to unlock the full potential of the global IIoT marketplace, the IICF offers a framework to help simplify the complexity of proprietary technologies and standards which businesses face,” said John Tuccillo, Senior Vice President of Global Industry and Government Affairs, Schneider Electric and IIC Steering Committee Chair. “The IICF will help accelerate the creation of new value streams with its broad applicability across multiple industries, IIoT systems and applications.”
The IICF provides an assessment template as a practical tool for evaluating any connectivity technology and placing it correctly on the IIoT connectivity stack. It defines a connectivity reference architecture to enable horizontal interoperability and establishes the criteria for core connectivity standards.
The IICF offers a catalog of connectivity standards and identifies potential core connectivity standards to accelerate IIoT initiatives. The IICF paves the way for a marketplace of connectivity gateways and core gateways that will create more choices and readily available solutions for IIoT system developers.
“As the Industrial Internet of Things continues to evolve, a common connectivity architecture is critical in enabling the seamless data sharing required to unlock the potential of the IIoT,” said Dr. Rajive Joshi, principal solution architect at RTI and co-chair of the IIC Connectivity Task Group. “The IICF provides this common architecture, clarifying the connectivity stack and defining criteria for core connectivity standards. The framework provides the roadmap IoT practitioners and system architects need to navigate the complex IIoT connectivity landscape.”