Ethernet is a Local Area Network (LAN) technology that connects network devices (such as computers, printers, etc.) via Ethernet switches and routers. Industrial Ethernet is a further development of Ethernet and is a bit more complicated. This technology applies Ethernet abilities to automation and control systems used in industrial manufacturing. It has recently surpassed traditional Fieldbus architectures
In case you haven’t heard, we are in the midst of a global semiconductor shortage.
The first monolithic integrated circuit (IC) chip was invented sixty-two years ago by Robert Noyle at Fairchild Semiconductor. This small electrical “gadget” has since become a critical component for everything from smartphones and computers to vehicles and appliances.
What Is a Chip?
Techopedia defines a “chip” as follows:
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As city populations increase every year, they get crowded, and resources are stretched to their limits. Today’s cities must evolve to meet the needs of their residents. Here are some interesting statistics:
- In 2020, 56 percent of the global population lived in cities.¹
- In the same year, 83.6 percent of North American countries’ populations lived in cities.¹
- The United Nations predicts that 68 percent of the world’s population will live in urban areas by 2050.²
Cities must deal with the often overwhelming problems of social and economic imbalance among their citizens. One of the most viable ways to increase a city’s effectiveness and efficiency isContinue Reading ...
One of the most common questions regarding Ethernet cabling is: What type of cabling should I choose? There is much confusion on this topic. When choosing the right cabling solution for your particular network infrastructure, you need to know the difference between the different cable categories. The purpose of this article is to help you determine which type of Ethernet cabling suits your needs.
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Power over Ethernet (PoE) delivers both power and data concurrently via twisted pair Ethernet cabling. This technology improves network agility and scalability in efficient and cost-effective ways. There are several types of PoE devices, for example, the PoE switch, PoE splitter, PoE injector, etc. This article focuses on the PoE injector: What is it? What does it work? Are there different types?Continue Reading ...
With the explosion of the IoT and the push toward smart systems, we suddenly have low-speed devices that require very little bandwidth—things like sensors, actuators, and relays, as well as access, occupancy, and lighting applications. As a result, operations technology (OT) professionals cried out for a simpler, low-cost, space-efficient cabling alternative for these low-speed use cases.
In response to this need, the IEEE (in November 2019) approved the 802.3cg single pair Ethernet protocol. This specification lengthens the reach of the Ethernet physical layers at the low end of the bandwidth spectrum. Single pair Ethernet (also called “twisted pair” or SPE) is a cable configuration that:
- Uses one pair of wires
- Channels data at speeds of up to 10Mbps
- Supports up to 52W of power
- Covers distances up to 1,000m
Also, the IEEE 802.3cg standard is compatible with the existing Ethernet standards. It maintains the same packet format, size, temperature, and emission standards. It supports auto-negotiation between endpoints on point-to-point links, and it supports PoE.
IEEE 802.3cg specifications call for two link-layer standards: 10Base-T1S and 10Base-T1L. Both standards support speeds up to 10Mbps over a single twisted pair.
The 10Base-T1S, also called 10SPE (10Mbps Single Pair Ethernet) standard is for networks that do not require high data rates. The “S” stands for short-range.
10Base-T1S employs a multidrop configuration in which each node connects to a single cable, which eliminates the need for a switch and calls for fewer lines. Each cable uses only one pair of wires, instead of the traditional standard of four pairs. This single pair connection can even be installed on a printed circuit board.
The 10Base-T1S protocol specifies the following:
- At least eight nodes must be connected; however, the
The Leading Educational Technology Trends for 2021 and Beyond
The digital revolution has significantly impacted the way we learn. In fact, one of the fastest-growing markets for new technology is education. Grand View Research1 reports that the education market was valued at $76.4 billion in 2019 and will grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 18.1 percent from 2020 to 2027.
Education is embracing the digital revolution in a big way. Today’s learning environments strive to be dynamic and creative. To accomplish this, schools and universities rely heavily on digital infrastructure and tools.
Ed Tech incorporates many of the most popular digital devices available on the IoT. Let us take a look at some of the current trends in education technology.
The traditional teaching model goes like this: the teacher enters the classroom, lectures for about 30 minutes, then the students leave when the bell rings. However, technology has made it possible for teachers and students to stay connected. Devices such as smartphones, laptops, notebooks, and tablets enable teachers and students to interact more often. Pupils can team up, discuss classwork, and solve problems because of this increased connectivity.
Instructors are much more available to answer questions and mentor their pupils. And not only is the class subject taught, but this type of collaborative learning builds the student’s interpersonal skills as well.
More than ever before, education focuses on the welfare and continual improvement of each student’s learning experience. Some of the primary goals in the education sector are to use digital transformation to help accomplish the following:
- Decrease student dropout rate
- Increase student retention
- Improve student performance
- Reach a broader sector of students
Greater Access to STEM
Schools are particularly emphasizing science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) curricula. Digital technologies are increasingly being used to tackle subjects like robotics, coding, and programming.
Because the coronavirus pandemic has closed schools, K-12 remote learning is the norm in many places worldwide. Vendors are providing schools with free or discounted access to remote learning resources.
With the increased use of Ed Tech, cyber-security and digital privacy for students have become of utmost concern, specifically SaaS architecture and engineering and OAuth risks. There is a strong push to improve existing products’ effectiveness and create new ones to help manage student data and protect their privacy.
A new teaching trend is called “flipped learning.” This approach does just as the name suggests by turning traditional teaching methods upside down. In a flipped classroom, pupils use videos and other digital educational technologies at home and then go to their physical classroom to complete their “homework” under a teacher’s supervision.
Augmented reality (AR) is one of the hottest technology trends right now. 5G devices and smartphones are on the way and will bring AR to the classroom. AR enhances learning and even provides a student with the opportunity to create their own content.
There are various AR tools and apps on almost any subject, making the academic content immersive and enjoyable. Educational AR technology aims to promote such 21st-century skills as creativity, problem-solving, critical thinking, analysis, coding, and iterative testing.
Another immersive technology trend for the classroom is virtual reality (VR). Gone are the days of students sitting passively at desks trying to learn. With VR, students can travel and explore the world. And recent improvements to this technology has made it seem less gimmicky.
Terry Heick, founder, and director of Teach Thought states:
“Through the use of digital technology, virtual realities can be designed precisely for human interaction for very specific reasons to create experiences not otherwise possible.”
Artificial Intelligence (AI) has gathered quite a lot of momentum and will continue to do so in the future. In a lead-up to a deep-dive on the AI market in the US Education Sector, Research and Markets states forecast for growth at “47.77% during the period 2018-2022.”
Educators use this technology as virtual mentors and teaching assistants to personalize students’ learning processes and improve grading systems.
Internet users generate about 205 quintillion bytes of data each day.2 Organizations use big data systems to collect, store, and analyze vast amounts of information to gain valuable insights into their operations. Likewise, educators can use this type of data to discover further just how children learn. The big data technology trend in education is being used to create new teaching models, such as digital learning and customized curricula.
Massive Online Open Courses
Because of the increase of mobile computing devices, along with affordable and reliable bandwidth, the e-learning market and particularly massive online open courses (MOOCS) are positioned to become a multi-million dollar market in coming years. The success of MOOCS has been so dramatic that universities are forging tie-ups and partnerships that make their mainstream program available online.
1. Power and Transmit Data Across a Network
Industrial PoE switches provide power for a network and enable network communication through a single ethernet cable. Industrial ethernet switches are an effective way to connect a network in a variety of industrial settings where a reliable and stable connection is crucial. Industrial ethernet switches can be used to power networks of all sizes.
2. Durability and Longevity
Industrial ethernet switches are durable. They can withstand a broader range of extreme temperature variations in comparison to standard commercial ethernet switches. Commercial Ethernet switches typically work best in a temperature-controlled environment without exposure to moisture. Industrial ethernet switches are often able to operate in extreme temperatures from about -40°C to 75°C. These durable switches are designed to withstand the elements and can withstand harsh weather.
3. Noise Reduction
Industrial Ethernet Switches can support twisted wire and fiber optic cables. Twisted wire cabling is the most common type used and is sufficient for distances up to 100m. However, many industrial situations require fiber optic cabling instead. Fiber optic cabling can achieve a longer range of connectivity. High amounts of electrical noise can interfere with reliable network connectivity. Fiber optic cables are particularly beneficial for networks in environments with a great deal of electrical noise.
4. Unmanaged Industrial Ethernet Switch for Simple Networks
Unmanaged industrial switches are a good fit for rudimentary, low-priority networks. AETEK unmanaged industrial ethernet switches can provide connectivity for five to ten ports. Unmanaged Industrial PoE switches are capable of basic packet filtering. Unmanaged switches are also a good choice for connecting several switches. They tend to cost significantly less than managed switches.
5. Managed Industrial Ethernet Switches Provide Advanced Capabilities
Managed Ethernet switches perform all the same functions as non-managed Ethernet switches; in addition to the essential PoE functions, managed ethernet switches provide advanced network management tools. Some of the benefits of a managed industrial PoE switch are:
- Improved traffic filtering
- Network topography and device mapping
- Network management,
Factories worldwide are increasingly shifting to the connectivity of the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) to supervise their manufacturing operations more closely. While this digital transformation brings significant efficiencies, it also brings the potential for security risks. Devices with sophisticated operational abilities are a primary target for bad actors looking to attack the global supply chain.
Many major manufacturing companies have been victims of cyberattacks. Here are a few examples:
- The New York-based manufacturer, OXO International, uncovered a breach that took place between June 2017 and October 2018. The company discovered malicious code on its website designed to steal customer data such as payment card information and addresses.
- Visser Precision, a space and defense manufacturing company, suffered a DoppelPaymer ransomware attack around April 2019. This type of ransomware encrypts and removes data and is believed to have originated in Russia. Research of the episode revealed that sensitive non-disclosure agreements with Tesla, SpaceX, and General Dynamics were stolen and published on hackers’ websites. In addition to the non-disclosure agreements, the hack included a schematic for a missile antenna from Lockheed Martin.
- In 2017, the Renault-Nissan company sustained a WannaCry ransomware cyberattack at four of their European plants and one plant in India. All automotive production was halted in these plants for three days at the cost of $400 million.
According to the IBM report entitled X-Force Threat Intelligence Index 2020 :
“Operational technology (OT) attacks surged 2,000 percent year-over-year. Threat actors continue to shift their sights to attack vectors, including IoT, OT, and connected industrial and medical systems.”1
Further, Sikich’s 2020 Manufacturing and Distribution (M&D) Report published the following statistics:
- Two-thirds of the companies in their study reported the use of connectivity/IoT.
- Thirty-seven percent of the companies took a variety of actions to enhance cybersecurity.
- Forty-five of the companies experienced cyberattacks within the last 12 months.2
Industrial IoT Threats
The IIoT has markedly improved the service delivery and productivity of industrial enterprises. It is also true that anything connected to the internet is susceptible to cyber threats. Some of the most vulnerable operating systems include:
- Industrial control systems (ICS)
- Programmable logic controllers (PLC)
- Supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA)
- Human-machine interfaces (HMI)
Cyberattacks That Focus on IIoT Infrastructure
- Man-in-the-middle: Attackers place themselves into communications between two systems. In an industrial setting, the goal could be to control a smart actuator, knock an industrial robot out of its lane, or change its speed limit, damaging an assembly line and even injuring workers.
- Device hijacking: Simply put, the attacker takes control of a device. For example, a hijacker takes control of a meter and uses it to launch ransomware attacks against an Energy Management System (EMS) or siphon unmetered power lines.
- Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS): This type of attack shuts down a machine or network by inundating it with traffic. DDoS attacks can affect a broad range of IIoT devices, causing severe disruptions to the factory floor.
- Permanent Denial of Service (PDoS): A PDoS attack damages the target device so severely that it needs replacement. An example of this type of malware is BrickerBot—used to exploit hard-coded passwords in IoT devices—which disables vital equipment on a factory floor.
IIoT infrastructure should be simple, workable, and, of course, secure. Security solutions should include the following:
Secure boot is a security mechanism that only uses cryptographic code signing techniques to ensure that a device executes code generated by its original equipment manufacturer (OEM) or another trusted party. This technology subverts attacks by preventing hackers from replacing firmware with malicious instruction sets. It is important to note that not all IIoT chipsets come with secure boot; therefore, it may be necessary to make sure an IIoT device communicates with authorized services.
Mutual authentication, also called two-way authentication, ensures that data originates from a legitimate device. With this process, both the device and service must exchange and verify each other’s identity.
Data that travels between a device and the cloud must be secure. The utilization of encryption ensures that only those with a decryption key can access transmitted data. For example, a smart actuator sending data to the SCADA must be able to prevent eavesdropping.
Security monitoring involves surveilling the general state of an industrial system—particularly endpoint devices and connectivity traffic. Data is collected and then analyzed to expose potential security threats. Should a threat be detected, a wide range of actions are initiated, such as revoking device credentials or quarantining an IoT device. This automatic monitor-analyze-act cycle can happen in real-time or at a later date.
2020 has been quite a year!
The global pandemic has changed every sector of our society, and small businesses have been significantly impacted. Because of the recent approval of COVID-19 vaccines, we can see the light at the end of the tunnel. However, we are not out of the tunnel yet, so 2021 will continue to be a time of transition and evolution. Some things will stay the same. Power over Ethernet (PoE) continues as a technology backbone of IT networks supporting small business priorities and the development of IoT.
In 2021, however, those small businesses that can not participate in digital transformation and the technology involved, will not keep up. According to Businesswire:
The corona pandemic will only accelerate these trends as organizations look to leverage technology to manage through the crises and better position themselves for the eventual recovery. At the core of these developments are what are collectively called 3rd platform technologies, comprising cloud, mobile, social, and Big Data technologies, as well as the Internet of Things (IoT), artificial intelligence (AI), AR/VR, blockchain, 3D printing, robotics, and next-generation security technologies.
The technologies listed in the Businesswire quote above, particularly when combined, are significantly changing how we make our money. In this article, we will take a look at some of these trends.
Forrester predicts that in 2021, companies will step up their digital transformation. Users need all crucial work data available on any device at any time. It is imperative that small businesses continue to adopt collaborative software, customer relationship management (CRM), and other software applications that users expect on their devices.
- Small businesses need to be looking for client-facing technologies