Product of the Week: SECO’s Clea Edge AI Suite
May 18, 2021
Edge AI is more complex even than it sounds. Enabling technologies involved in a comprehensive edge AI deployment include:
- AI algorithm training and optimization
- An efficient applications processor or microcontroller capable of executing said algorithms
- Connectivity to pass data and outcomes from the edge to the cloud and algorithm optimizations back to the edge
- Data orchestration and management functionality to tie it all together
That’s a lot of precursor capability.
Fortunately, SECO has packaged it all into its Clea platform, a suite of solutions “that integrates Artificial Intelligence, Internet of Things, Cloud Computing and Big Data Analysis with customer service.” Developed by SECO Mind, a division of the company that aggregates and optimizes technologies from different groups into market-ready solutions, Clea consists of all the components necessary to get an edge AI deployment off the ground, such as:
- The SECO Easy Edge Microcontroller – A dual-core Xtensa LX6-based processor with embedded Wi-Fi and Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) connectivity, and optional support for an LTE CAT-M or GNSS modem and onboard SMA connectors. Delivered in a 110 mm x 91 mm x31 mm, DIN rail-mountable enclosure that’s ready to deploy out-of-the-box, it supports 16 MB of SPI flash and 8 MB of PSRAM that join 520 KB of internal SRAM on the MCU and an additional 16 KB SRAM on the RTC. I/O and interfaces abound.
- The AI Suite – A subscription-based service that provides IoT data orchestration, management, and analytics capabilities, the latter of which is used to develop AI algorithms and data visualization applications tailored to use cases such as fleet management, smart vending, and healthcare.
The SECO Clea Edge AI Platform in Action
The Clea platform begins at the edge or client side with the Easy Edge microcontroller solution, which can act as an endpoint itself or a data concentrator for nearby edge nodes. The former is possible thanks to the abundant onboard I/O mentioned previously, allowing Easy Edge to connect to a range of devices and peripherals over:
- RS-232 or serial UART (jumper-selectable)
- An 8-pin connector that manages 2x I2Cs, additional two-wire UART, digital GPIOs, 2x analog inputs, 2x PWMs, and other expansion
Data captured or ingested by this system is then transported to Clea’s AI Suite services, which provide capabilities such as:
- Wireless connectivity management
- Data flow management
- Log reading
- Telemetry data visualization
- Device status
Findings from these services, including custom AI algorithms developed from analytics performed by the platform, can then be remotely transmitted in the form of new images via secure firmware over-the-air updates (FOTA) back to the Easy Edge system. To fulfill its part in the chain of security, Easy Edge can also be equipped with a trusted secure element that houses cryptographic keys and offloads encryption/decryption workloads from the host LX6 MCU.
Of course, if users prefer different client hardware, SECO offers a variety of off-the-shelf and custom solutions for different use cases.
This is similar to the Clea implementation adopted by one industrial machinery OEM who wanted to reduce warranty costs and increase spare parts sales for tis line of CNC machines. SECO connected smart sensors and gateways outfitted with the Clea Device Manager (formerly EDGEHOG), Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, a global SIM card, and geolocalization services to capture and transmit data that was developed into a predictive maintenance algorithm.
The SECO client was able to offer this predictive maintenance solution as a subscription service to their own customers, which not only reduced production downtime but also provided better supply chain insights into the manufacturing and distribution of spare parts. This resulted in further cost and time synergies.
Getting Started with the SECO Clea IoT Platform
As demonstrated in the above example, Clea can be integrated with existing solutions stacks quickly and seamlessly. SECO handles system integration and implementation of the final solution, which, according to the company, can have AI products launched in a matter of weeks.
After engaging SECO and having the various Clea components installed, any of the services mentioned previously can be licensed, activated, and begin generating AI-powered insights for a range of use cases. To begin, contact SECO or check out the resources below.
- SECO Clea Product Page: www.seco.com/en/services/Clea_IoT_Platform_AI_Inside
- SECO Clea Product Brochure: www.seco.com/servizi/iot/CLEA/BROCHURE%20Clea.pdf
- SECO Easy Edge Microcontroller Product Page: https://products.seco.com/en/easy-edge.html
- SECO Easy Edge Microcontroller Datasheet: www.seco.com/Datasheet/Smart%20Edge%20Computing/Easy%20Edge_datasheet.pdf
- SECO Clea CNC Case Study: www.seco.com/en/case-studies/industrial-iot/smart-connected-cnc-machine
- SECO Clea Oil & Gas Pipeline Case Study: www.seco.com/en/case-studies/utilities/reinventing-the-gas-pipeline-with-edge-computing