Dev Kit Weekly: Sfera Labs' Iono Pi Max
December 11, 2020
At first glance, the Iono Pi Max just looks like any old industrial controller or PLC. But, if you take a peek under the hood, you’ll discover there’s a whole lot more going on. And what’s “going” under there is a 32-bit ATSAME54 microcontroller with 1 MB memory and 256 KB RAM, a Microchip ATECC608A secure element chip, and a Raspberry Pi.
Yes, that’s right. This industrial controller/server/edge computing platform is driven by the same quad-core Raspberry Pi 3 or 3+ board that’s used to teach STEM students worldwide. So does that mean the kids in your local computer class could easily transition into an industrial control engineering job?
Well…. Sort of. Users can develop on the Iono Pi Max just like any standard Raspberry Pi, as it runs the same open-source, Debian-Linux-based Raspberry Pi OS, supports the same tools, and can be programmed in the same programming model. Anything you can run anything on a Raspberry Pi can run on the Iono Pi Max, from simple shell scripts to Docker containers that house full blown Java servers.
Not only does the extra horsepower of the Raspberry Pi turn this controller into an honest to god edge computing platform, the Iono Pi Max also includes a hardware watchdog circuit that monitors GPIOs; power cycles the Raspberry Pi in the event of faults, failures, or timeouts; and perhaps most interestingly, can control the two SD card slots on the Iono Pi Max.
What this means is that an Iono Pi Max user could go for ultra-reliability and redundancy by backing up the system on a mass storage device housed in the additional slot, and have the watchdog switch the host from one to the other in the event that it is triggered.
Those are just a few of the highlights of the Iono Pi Max, and if you’re interested in finding out more about how you can go from DIY to industrial with a Raspberry Pi-based industrial controller, head on over to Sferalabs.cc/iono-pi-max. Or, if you’re already sold, you can purchase an Iono Pi Max for yourself for anywhere between $744.33 to $821.79 directly from Sfera Labs.
But as always, if you feel lucky, go ahead and fill out the form that’s linked to on the screen and in the description below to enter the raffle to win this specific Iono Pi Max for absolutely free. Like the U.S. Postal Service, we deliver.
Anyway, thanks for watching this week’s Dev Kit Weekly, good luck in the raffle, happy holidays, and we’ll see you next week.