thingSoC Hardware Architecture
- Q: What is thingSoC hardware?
thingSoC is an open source standard that defines a vendor independent socket system for the creation of new Internet Things; it addresses many of the limitations of current product offerings and standards, by adding capabilities such as automatic device discovery, device configuration, monitoring, instrumentation, and testing.
thingSoC works with many existing standards and Integrated Development Environments (IDEs), such as Arduino, rfDuino, Raspberry Pi, Beaglebone, X-Bee, and others; but adds features and capabilites that make building new IoT devices much easier.
The thingSoC virtual platform definition supports a number of different System-on-Chip platforms and peripherals, such as cell modems, packet radios, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and more.
- Q: What is unique about thingSoC hardware?
- thingSoC includes several capabilities that the other small form factors do not support :
- Production Ready, embeddable hardware platforms that are easy to use
- Standardized auto-discovery firmware system that identifies what boards are installed
- "RF Zones" specification for supporting on-board antenna and RF interfaces
- Built in support for battery, solar, and very low power applications
- High Speed Interface support, including SuperSpeed USB 3.0, PCI-E, and 10/100 Ethernet
- Standardized Mounting System, designed for high vibration platforms (robots, ebikes, drones)
- Standardized testing, instrumentation, monitoring, and data recording interfaces
- Interchangeable platform for break-out-boards, sensors, radios, and other devices
- Q: What interface standard does thingSoC support?
- thingSoC sockets support both the basic low speed interface standards like I2C, SPI, and UART,
but also supports higher speed interfaces like USB 2.0/3.0, 10/100/1000, and PCI-E for higher performance IoT devices.
The following diagram shows the basic interfaces by group, and color-coded :
- Q: What does a thingSoC BASE device interface look like to a Host Computer, like a PC or Mac?
- thingSoC Compliant BASE devices implement both a USB-to-UART Host Bridge as well as a USB-to-I2C Host Bridge.
This is important because it allows the Integrated Development Enviroment (IDE) running on the Host computer to read the thingSoC Firmware Meta Data Store (TFDMS) as well as the Target processor. For example, this would allow the software IDE to automatically determine the type of Target processor board installed, and be able to configure it automatically.