Gateway provides bridge between different communication technologies which means we can say that a Gateway acts as a medium to open up connection between cloud and controller(sensors / devices) in Internet of Things (IoT). By the help of gateways it is possible to establish device to device or device to cloud communication. A gateway can be a typical hardware device or software program.
It enables a connection between sensor network and Internet along with enabling IoT communication, it also performs many other tasks such as this IoT gateway performs protocol translation, aggregating all data, local processing and filtering of data before sending it to cloud, locally storing data and autonomously controlling devices based on some inputted data, providing additional device security.
The below figure shows how IoT Gateways establish communication between sensors and cloud (Data System) :
As IoT devices work with low power consumption(Battery power) in other words they are energy constrained so if they will directly communicate to cloud/internet it won’t be effective in terms of power. So they communicate with Gateway first using short range wireless transmission modes/network like ZigBee, Bluetooth, etc as they consume less power or they can also be connected using long range like Cellular and WiFi etc.
Then Gateway links them to Internet/ cloud by converting data into a standard protocol like MQTT. using ethernet, WiFi/cellular or satellite connection. And in mostly Gateway is Mains powered unlike sensor nodes which are battery powered. In practice there are multiple Gateway devices.
Let’s think about a simple IoT gateway, then our smartphone comes into picture as it can also work as a basic IoT gateway when we use multiple radio technologies like WiFi, Bluetooth, Cellular network of smart phone to work on any IoT project in sending and receiving data at that time this also acts as a basic IoT Gateway.
Key functionalities of IoT Gateway :
- Establishing communication bridge
- Provides additional security.
- Performs data aggregation.
- Pre processing and filtering of data.
- Provides local storage as a cache/ buffer.
- Data computing at edge level.
- Ability to manage entire device.
- Device diagnostics.
- Adding more functional capability.
- Verifying protocols.
Working of IoT Gateway :
- Receives data from sensor network.
- Performs Pre processing, filtering and cleaning on unfiltered data.
- Transports into standard protocols for communication.
- Sends data to cloud.
IoT Gateways are key element of IoT infrastructure as Gateways establish connection for communication and also performs other task as described above. So IoT Gateway is one of most essential thing when we start think about an IoT ecosystem.
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