The nano EDGE ENGINE is a software engine, which is based on a few innovative concepts:
- clear and logical structure (all elements grouped in four containers: Applications, Networks, Services, and System);
- Data Points with automatic BACnet and Modbus exposition (universal components representing values in applications);
- Reference linking method (dedicated for linking Data Points with network points, transferring value along with component's status);
- favorable licensing system (Analog and Binary Data Points are the only licensed elements).
Containers and Their Functionalities
The structure tree of the nano EDGE ENGINE is based on four containers. Containers are components, which have no slots, and are designed to group other components within:
The first container is the Applications–a functional center of the device. Here are located Application components, which are designed to build user applications by adding components and linking them into a logical and mathematical sequences. Applications built with the nano EDGE ENGINE are cycle-driven, meaning the included components are executed in repeated periods of time lasting as long as a cycle time is set by the user—thanks to the efficiency of the nano EDGE ENGINE, the cycle may be as short as 15 ms (depending on the complexity of application), allowing effectively real-time calculations. The nano EDGE ENGINE allows constructing numerous independent, cycle-driven user applications that may work simultaneously. With the nano EDGE ENGINE the user may freely add as many Application components to the Applications container as needed. The only considerations here are the number of available licensed Data Points, available memory, or cycle time. Data Points are main application components, representing values in applications and allowing to connect services from the Networks container with the application—while connecting components from the Applications and Networks containers, it is recommended to use the Reference linking method. Data Points may be exposed to external networks, which means that external exposition of data from the Applications container or any other space may be carried out only via the Data Point.
Remember - Licensing Based on Data Points
The Applications container includes the only elements subject to license in the nano EDGE ENGINE devices.
The license for the new generation of iSMA CONTROLLI controllers driven by the nano EDGE ENGINE is constructed against the number of Data Points: each device based on the nano EDGE ENGINE is granted a specified number of license points (Data Points in this case), which can be used within applications. Therefore, the licensing system is only of quantitative, not functional, character–only the real number of Data Points in applications is taken into account, regardless of how many communication protocols are used to expose them, or how many network points are controlled. With the nano EDGE ENGINE-generation devices it is possible to create as big an application (or applications) as the number of licensed Data Points. No elements in the Networks, Services, or System containers are subject to license limitations, other than Data Points in the Applications container.
Note: In order to check the number of license points, please refer to the License in the device.
The second container is the Networks—a peripheral communication center of the device. This container includes components that manage external communications of the device, for example, the LocalIO, which manages physical inputs and outputs of the device, the BACnet or Modbus, which manage the exchange of data with the BACnet or Modbus network. The Networks container includes components that allow the device to transfer the HVAC automation data needed for the device to communicate externally. These components cover the fundamental layer of HVAC data transmission and are crucial for the device to be able to properly exchange information. The network point class components are located in the Networks container; both data transmission from the network points and controlling them in the application is achieved by the Reference linking, which is a linking method recommended over linking input and output slots directly, as the standard linking method misses the advantage of transferring the status info.
The third container is the Services—a utility center of the device. This container incorporates all services that enhance the basic functionality of the device. As the crude automation data transmission in the nano EDGE ENGINE is covered by services in the Networks container, the Services container provides the value added: these services cover an exchange of information with systems or devices superior to the building automation level. They may feed the algorithms with data that are normally unavailable in the building automation system, for example, a Weather service, which delivers information (precipitation, humidity, cloudiness, etc.) to the algorithm in the application managing garden watering, or an Alarm service, which sends out alarm messages to external recipients, provided certain limit values are exceeded. These services provide the additional logical layer to algorithms working within applications. They introduce external factors to user applications, enhancing their functionalities outside the core building automation. They may also introduce limit values to evoke certain actions in applications.
The fourth container is the System–a configuration center of the device. The System container includes components that provide hardware characteristics of the device and allow to configure its settings. It is an area where the user may find information about the device model, version of the operating system, free memory, etc. Most importantly though, it is where the user may set a unique IP address for the device to enable connecting it to the network. The System container is also a place to refer to for troubleshooting; it includes the Logs, which records an adjustable register of events in the device. If needed, it may be shared with the Technical Support team for further diagnostics.
These are the basic four pillars that encompass the central functionalities of the devices driven by the nano EDGE ENGINE—the space for application building, the space for enabling external communications of the device, the space for adding various services to the applications, and the space for device configuration. The nano EDGE ENGINE is a universal software engine, which provides a set of components and libraries destined for building automation sector (i.e., network points and Data Points, Math components, Logic components, Process components, etc.).