Building blocks of IoT

 Building blocks of IoT

Five basic building blocks of the IoT system –sensors, processors, gateways, applications, and database.

 1.Sensors & Actuators:

  • The front end of the IoT devices. These are the so-called “Things” of the system.
  • The main purpose is to collect data from its surroundings (sensors) or give out data to its surrounding (actuators).
  •  Uniquely identifiable devices with a unique IP address so that they can be easily identifiable over a large network.
  • Able to collect real-time data. These can either be autonomous in nature or user-controlled.
  • Examples of sensors are gas sensors, water quality sensors, moisture sensors, etc.



  • ·         Both sensors and actuators are transducers, which means they’re responsible for converting signals from one form to another.
  • ·         Actuators are responsible for performing actions.
  •       Sensors and actuators work together to remotely monitor and control physical processes
  •         or systems.
  •         Sensors and actuators are only endpoints that connect physically to the environment, whereas analysis of the information they collect actions in a control layer, is referred to as an IoT gateway.


2. Processors:

  • ·         Processors are the brain of the IoT system.
  • ·         Processors are primarily real-time devices that can be readily manipulated by software.
  • ·         These are also in charge of data security, which includes data encryption and decryption.
  • · the Main function is to process the data captured by the sensors.
  • ·         Extract the valuable data from the huge amount of raw data collected (intelligence to the data).
  • ·         Processors mostly work on a real-time basis and are easily controlled by applications.
  • ·         Also responsible for securing the data – perform encryption and decryption of data.
  • ·         Embedded hardware devices, microcontrollers, etc process the data


Electronic Conversion: 

o    An analog to digital converter (ADC) on a printed circuit board (PCB) translates information from the pressure sensor into a format that can be digitally transmitted.

o    Without diving into the details, in this example the pressure sensor has a signal output of 4 volts which the ADC recognizes as the integer number 40, which corresponds to a value of 40 psi, which is then represented in binary form as 101000 (machine language).


o    The binary value captured from the sensor is encrypted for security reasons (or should be) and is sent from the on-site computer network via the Internet to a remote cloud computing or data center.

o    Data transmission most often takes place at regular time intervals based on the application needs, or sometimes only when there is a significant change in the sensor’s value.


3. Gateways:

·         Gateway is a device that’s used for the basic analysis of data coming from connected sensors.

·         Gateways are responsible for routing the processed data and sending it to proper locations for its (data) proper utilization.

·         Work as decision points, sending certain control commands to actuators which, in turn, perform appropriate actions.

·         Gateway helps in to and from the communication of the data.

·         It provides network connectivity to the data.

·         Network connectivity is essential for any IoT system to communicate.

·         Lan, wan, pan, etc are examples of network gateways.

·         Both microcomputers and microprocessors can be used as gateways for IoT applications.


4. Applications:

·         Applications are essential for proper utilization of all the collected data.

·         These are cloud-based.

·         Responsible for rendering the effective meaning to the data collected. Applications are controlled by users and are a delivery point of particular services.

·         Examples of applications are home automation apps, security systems, industrial control hubs, etc. 


5. Data Storage: 

·         After reaching its final destination, the sensor value is typically stored in a computer database that can easily serve other systems (hence the name “server”).

·         Datastore on the server which may be either local or cloud and both.



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