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IoT gateway ref design based on Linux running on NXP's i.MX processor

Date: 24/11/2016
NXP Semiconductors has unveiled a new modular IoT Gateway design reference solutions for large node networks (LNNs) to support wireless communications protocols such as Thread, ZigBee and Wi-Fi. IoT Gateway solutions not only supports different wireless protocols, it also offers design engineers to choose end-to-end wireless communications in LNN configurations with support for cloud such as Amazon Web Services (AWS).

This IoT gateway reference design suggested for applications such as smart city and smart buildings and also smart industrial environments where large mesh networks need to be deployed and commissioned.

Based on open source Linux platform running on NXP's i.MX processors, NXP IoT gateway design can connect to Thread and ZigBee-based protocols end node devices securely with the cloud through Wi-Fi or Ethernet. In case of non-availability of cloud connectivity this IoT gateway features local intelligence capabilities.

"With over 15 years of experience working with demanding wireless industrial as well as automatic meter reading and automatic meter infrastructure large node network applications, we learned that network security, flexibility, interoperability, scaling and robustness are critical to LNN commercial success," says Robert Assimiti, Co-Founder and CTO of Centero. "Consequently, for Centero's emerging innovations using Thread for LNN applications such as lighting, we are basing designs on the NXP Modular IoT Gateway Solution."

To secure IoT devices this IoT gateway enables lot of security features. Some of the security features includes, This Modular IoT Gateway protects the user and system through encrypted wireless communications to prevent unauthorized access, interception, man-in-the-middle and replay attacks. The Thread-based devices can be authenticated to the network through the EC-JPAKE DTLS protocol to prevent passphrases from being leaked or reverse engineered. The AES encryption is used for thread and Zigbee messages for base level security at their respective mesh network layers.

The Modular IoT Gateway also offers the advanced security capabilities of the i.MX application processor, which includes high assurance boot (HAB), secure key storage, secure JTAG, external tamper detection for passive and active events, and internal tamper detection for voltage, glitch and differential power analysis protection. The Encryption software including OpenSSL is accelerated via the Cryptographic Acceleration and Assurance Module (CAAM).

Another interesting feature of this IoT gateway solution is it supports NFC Commissioning for Large Node Networks where thousands of nodes can leverage the built-in secure NFC tap-and-connect feature. By Using the smart phone application, end nodes can be quickly and securely commissioned to the network, even when the device is not connected. The application require such feature include smart buildings and industries, as well as smart cities, oil and gas fields and agriculture.

NXP is offering complete reference design which includes key building blocks, production ready hardware, circuit schematics, bill of materials and documented software for Design engineers to quickly evaluate and develop the products.

"The IoT revolution is driving new requirements for our customers, and pushes the limits of their design teams," said Denis Cabrol, director of global marketing for NXP microcontroller business line. "With NXP's Modular IoT Gateway, its possible to develop secure and connected applications within months, without the need to hire a team of connectivity and security experts."

NXP's Modular IoT Gateway reference design is immediately available along with support of document and quick start materials.