The evolution of embedded systems and sensor networks have open the door to the “internet of Things” (IoT) paradigm where a large number of devices of diverse functionality are able to interchange information in real time with great autonomy. The combination of this information with its analysis and exploitation can create novel solutions that were not possible with the traditional centralized systems, both in human environment (Human IoT – presence, monitorization, health, etc.) or in industrial environment (Industrial IoT – process control, quality analysis, failure analysis, etc.). The adaptation to this paradigm impose an important challenge to the underlying technologies because the IoT nodes frequently operate under resources limitation conditions: battery supply (low power), high node count (low cost), poor or intermittent connectivity (robustness), etc. and the great quantity of generated information needs to be processed. For this reason, a number of specific solutions for the IoT have arisen from areas like the embedded systems, SoC (System on Chip), communication networks and software applications.
The scientific community has identified the time synchronization and the boot loading systems as valuable resources for the IoT that need specific solutions to be adapted to the paradigm. Regarding time synchronization, the traditional solutions developed for wired networks are not appropriate for the IoT and the current specific proposals are mainly focused on low precision human-based application more than the high precision solutions required by industrial applications.
With respect to the boot loading systems, the elements that form wireless sensor networks that build the IoT are typically very simple and compact systems that require very optimized yet flexible boot loading solutions: easy code (firmware) updates, software independence, low resources and low cost.
This research team work actively and have made importnat contributions in both areas, from the general point of view of the embedded systems and SoC, having acquired a significant specialization in providing optimized, flexible and high precision solutions in both areas, through the careful implementation in hardware of specific critical functionality.
The main objective of this project is to make significative advances in the above mentioned technologies so that they can be integrated in the pool of IoT solutions, considering the specific needs of the paradigm. To reach this objective it will be necessary to develop fundamental knowledge in synchronization methods and protocols, file systems for embedded systems and boot loading systems, but this project also proposes the design of IP modules that can be used to build specific synchronization and boot loading applications at different levels: hardware, microcontroller and operating system. A set of benchmark systems is proposed to carry out the validation of the expected contributions.