Embedded Intelligence Proliferates (sidebar)

July 1, 2004
Connecting Machine Controls Over the Internet

Embedded intelligence from QNX Software Systems—in both the control devices and the control network—has helped Tridium Inc. build its industrial automation system, Niagara. The embedded software provides open standards to integrate data from disparate devices, and it also allows Niagara to be accessed from the Web. “We use QNX’s product in Niagara to build automation. It allows us to connect heterogeneous data,” explains Dan Goris, embedded software manager at Tridium, based in Richmond, Va.

The embedded QNX software is based on open standards, which allows the Niagara platform to take signals from a variety of controls and sensors, each with its own format, and bring them together on a manageable platform. In addition to providing connectivity from the device to the control system, QNX embedded technology allows Tridium to send the control information over the Internet. “The remote monitoring can be used for either view or control,” explains Goris.

According to QNX, the embedded intelligence connects in real time. “It’s a real-time operating system that integrates small controlling devices to big machines,” explains Malte Mundt, field application engineer at QNX, in Ottawa, Ont., Canada. He notes that the embedded intelligence that ties the devices together is based on open standards. “Customers are now looking for open standards in industrial automation,” says Mundt. “The open standards mean that you can have something around for ten years and software developers can still work on it.”

See the story that goes with this sidebar: Embedded Intelligence Proliferates