Monday, March 23, 2015

NIST Report Warns IoT Could be Stalled by Timing Systems

TerraSwarm Director Edward Lee was co-author on the recently-released white paper by National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) warning that the Internet of Things (IoT) could be stalled by our lack of effective methods to marry computers and networks with timing systems.

According to NIST Tech Beat article “Lack of EffectiveTiming Signals Could Hamper ‘Internet of Things’ Development”, authors of the white paper are concerned with the way most modern data systems are designed to process and exchange data with one another and what that could mean for a world of discrete processors and mechanical devices linked by an information network.  Many of the new applications proposed, such as driverless cars and smart grids, will depend on precision timing in computers and networks, yet modern computer programs only have probabilities on execution times, rather than the strong certainties necessary for safety-critical systems.

The report reviews the state of the art in several areas central to the use of timing signals and recommends crosscutting research to improve current technology, including clock design, the use of timing in networking systems, hardware and software architecture, and application design.

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