Virtually speaking: Smart architectures for smart home gateways: Page 6 of 8

September 28, 2017 //By Simon Forrest, Director of Segment Marketing, Imagination
Virtually speaking: Smart architectures for smart home gateways
We’re at the dawn of a new technological revolution: an era where billions of hitherto disparate and unrelated devices become connected and able to share information. Of course, we all recognise this as the onset of the “Internet of Things”, which promises to make everyone’s lives simpler and easier.

In our example, we have the core gateway software running securely in its own virtualized environment. Another container is running concurrently, managing a home security system based upon a RTOS. The third container provides a home control service such as smart lighting and heating. Access to the radio resources on the gateway (be this Wi-Fi, ZigBee, Bluetooth, etc.) is multiplexed by the hypervisor. This allows services to use single unified radio frequencies and improves utilization of the existing radio spectrum.

The architecture is flexible and extensible, allowing up to 31 containers to be created or destroyed as services as added or removed. Imagination already has companies building a solution whereby the broadband side of the gateway is maintained separately from the home Wi-Fi and ZigBee networks. This brings an opportunity for firmware updates on either side while the gateway remains operational. New IoT services may be introduced without detriment to existing services already running on the gateway; likewise service updates can be achieved on a per-container basis without necessity to reboot the entire system as a whole, so operators can maintain service continuity during upgrade.

Figure 3: Virtualization offers a flexible and extensible architecture.  Broadband services (in blue) are maintained separately from the home networks and IoT services (in green).

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