Here's what your hardware needs for the AWS Greengrass IoT service

Amazon's Greengrass offline IoT service will work on Qualcomm's Snapdragon 410c board and should work with Raspberry Pi 3

Amazon is bringing a bit of its AWS magic to devices and board computers with its Greengrass IoT service, which will help boost offline data collection and analysis.

The goal of Greengrass, an AWS software tool, is to make IoT devices and maker boards smarter. Even underpowered devices collecting data won't be "dumb" anymore, Amazon says.

Amazon has kept in mind that smart devices can't always be connected to the cloud for data analysis, and Greengrass brings some AWS software tools to devices to aid in better collection and analysis of data.

Developer boards are strongly tied to cloud services, which add more functionality to smart devices. Data collected from sensors are typically dispatched and collected in the cloud, where it can be analyzed and can define the next steps.

Smarter sorting of data on IoT devices could speed up the analysis, and ensure the right data is sent to the cloud. Sending loads of useless IoT data to cloud services can eat up bandwidth and cost money.

For example, data from sensors in industrial equipment can be analyzed to improve manufacturing or cut down on injuries. In the petroleum industry, sensors can be used to collect data that could effectively nail down the geographic location of oil reserves.

A robot or drone operator could offload basic training models to the devices to help in movement and navigation without being connected to the cloud.

"Code running in the field can collect, filter, and aggregate freshly collected data and then push it up to the cloud for long-term storage and further aggregation," Amazon said in a blog post. "Further, code running in the field can also take action very quickly, even in cases where connectivity to the cloud is temporarily unavailable."

Many developer boards are being used for IoT. Raspberry Pi started off as a hobbyist board but is now tied to cloud services like Microsoft's Azure and IBM's Bluemix. Greengrass will work with a large number of developer boards.

Greengrass has some hardware requirements. It requires minimum memory of 128MB of memory and a 1GHz ARM or x86 CPU. A user needs to run the Amazon Linux or the Ubuntu OS. Qualcomm has said Greengrass will work on its Snapdragon 410c chip, and the offline IoT service likely work on Raspberry Pi, which meets the minimum requirements.

Other major developer boards like Orange Pi and Pine64 also meet the minimum requirements. Samsung's Artik developer board is tied tightly to Artik Cloud but is not friendly to other cloud services.

Amazon said Greengrass will work on Intel hardware. However, the company could not immediately say if Intel developer boards like Joule would work with Greengrass.

Qualcomm said it believes Greengrass will be used by large-scale manufacturers making devices that rely on AWS cloud.

AWS cloud services are wildly popular, and with Greengrass, more IoT devices could rely on the company's cloud.

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Agam Shah

IDG News Service
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