IoT Knowledge Center

IOT glossaries

Aravind Selvaragavan / 30 Dec 2018 / IOT Basics

The IoT links objects to the Internet, enabling data and insights never available before. If you are looking to work in IOT industry or make IOT solutions for your organization, there is need to know about some jargon revolving around the IOT ecosystem. Jargons may be terms, communication protocols, standards or any other essential phrases used around IOT people. To work on this vast IOT ecosystem, you need to know what phrases people talk about most here

Here we will quickly go through some of the important technological terms used in Internet of things technology.


4th Generation Long Term Evolution(4G LTE) is high-speed wireless network standard for mobile communications. Connection speeds for mobile devices are at least 100 MB/SECOND and for standing devices speed are at least 1GB/SECOND. With LTE being the type of 4G that delivers the fastest connection for mobile internet experience - upto 10 times faster than 3G. Currently 5G is under deployment in multiple geographical locations and it will be fully deployed around 2020.

Big Data

Big data means huge volume of structured, unstructured and semistructured data which cannot be processed by traditional database systems. Big data is popularly characterized by 3V’s - Volume, Variety, Velocity. Big data can be analyzed for finding patterns and trends. Analysing Big data (i.e Big Data Analytics) provides valuable insights that will be helpful in finding new business opportunities and making better decisions.

BLE(Bluetooth Low Energy)

The latest iteration of Bluetooth communication system - Bluetooth version 4, also called as the Bluetooth Low Energy. BLE is a wireless personal area network with short range and low power consumption that allows power constrained objects to communicate. BLE overcame the past Bluetooth version’s pairing and performance issues and is widely used in IOT devices for the better battery life enhancement.

Cloud Computing

Cloud is a flexible, internet-based computing resource with network of shared remote infrastructure resources or services to store, manage and process the data. Cloud vendors like AWS, Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud provide these computing services for businesses and users on basis of subscription based model to store and analyse the data. Then users can pay only for what the service they are using and can scale up or down the services whenever they want.

Edge Computing

Edge computing pushes the intelligence, processing power and communication capabilities of an appliance or edge gateway directly into devices like Programmable Automation Controllers. Edge computing simplifies the communication chain and so there is less probabilities for potential point of failures. For example : Physical assets like motors and pumps are hardwired with the intelligent PAC to collect, analyze and process data from that physical assets while also running the control system program parallely. PAC use Edge Computing capability to determine what data should be stored locally or sent to cloud for further analysis.

Fog Computing

Fog computing pushes the intelligence to Local Area Network(LAN) end of the chain and then data is processed at the fog node or IoT gateway. Data from control system program is sent to an OPC server or protocol gateway, which converts the data into a protocol that can be easily understood by internet systems such as MQTT or HTTP. Then the converted protocol data is send to the Fog node system or IOT gateway on the LAN, which collects data and performs high level data processing and analysis. This system does filter, analyse and process the data and it may even store data for transmitting to cloud or Wide Area Network(WAN). Fog computing depends on many links in the communication chain to transfer data, so there is a high possibilities for potential points of failure.


6LoWPAN is an acronym of IPv6 over Low power Wireless Personal Area Networks. 6LowPAN header compression mechanism makes it possible to send and receive IPV6 packets via low power radio using the standard IEEE 802.15.4 based networks. 6LoWPAN works only in the 2.4 GHz frequency range with 250 kbps transfer rate. This protocol compresses IPV6 packages for small, low power-devices which enables to communicate within the IOT. 6LoWPAN can communicate with 802.15.4 devices as well as other types of devices on an IP network link like WiFi. 6LoWPAN has a native support for a number of common IP-based protocols that significantly simplify application development as well as integration with backend and internet cloud services. Main use of 6LowPAN protocol is to allow small power constrained IOT devices to access TCP/IP internet directly.


Internet Protocol version 6 (IPv6) is the latest revision of the Internet Protocol (IP), the communications protocol that provides an identification and location system for computers on networks and routes traffic across the Internet. Every device on the Internet must be assigned an IP address in order to communicate with other devices. With the ever-increasing number of new devices being connected to the Internet, the need arose for more addresses than IPv4 is able to accommodate. IPv6 uses a 128-bit address, allowing 2128, or approximately 3.4×1038 addresses, or more than 7.9×1028 times as many as IPv4, which uses 32-bit addresses.


In Internet of Things, Gateway is a physical device or software program that serve as connection point to integrate protocols for networking between sensors, devices, controllers and to the cloud. Gateways can communicate data with sensors/devices over varying protocols and then translate that data into a standard protocol such as MQTT when sending to the cloud. IoT gateways, generally helps to bridge the gap between OT and IT infrastructure. Also, helps to manage data-storage, reduce latency by local-processing on data, pre-processing data before it gets to cloud and facilitate data flow securely between edge devices and the cloud. Gateway further reduces the number of devices/sensors connecting directly to internet by connecting that sensors/devices to gateway. However this makes need for gateway to be more secured to avoid malicious attacks.


Sensor is a type of transducers, a physical device that converts one form of physical phenomenon(non electric input) energy into another form of energy like electrical impulses to make them digitally processable further. A properly implemented sensor, ideally should only be sensitive to characteristics being measured and should not be interfered with what’s being measured nor being influenced by other characteristics. Sensors are implemented in objects or surroundings in which we want to collect and examine data.

Mesh Networks

A type of multi-node wireless communication network topology in which device transmits its own data and also serves as a relay for other nodes by providing most efficient data path through routers. In Mesh Network, network is spread out among dozens of nodes(things) communicate with each other. When more things are connected, the network becomes more stronger. Only one node(thing) called controller, needs to be hardwired to the internet via modem/router. Mesh networks has an ability to self-configure and it can recover from the failed nodes without the need for external maintenance and can handle a longer range of transmission. 


Narrow Band IOT also known as NB-IOT or LTE-M2 is low power wide area network(LPWAN), a radio technology standard developed by 3GPP to enable wide range of new IoT devices and services existing on mobile networks. It is one of the most two common licensed spectrum solutions used. It doesn’t operate in LTE construct, instead it works in below mentioned any of one way.

  • Independently
  • In unused 200-kHz bands that have previously been used for GSM
  • On LTE base stations allocating a resource block to NB-IoT operations or in their guard bands.

NB-IOT can handle small amounts of infrequent, 2-way data. They also consume minimal amounts of power and offer excellent radio coverage. It broadens IoT’s potential uses, making it possible to connect everything from smart meters to motor vehicle tracking.


An open global standard for wireless technology designed to use low-power digital radio signals for personal area networks. This communication standard defines physical and Media Access Control (MAC) layers to handle many devices at low-data rates. ZigBee defines the application and security layer specifications enabling interoperability between products from different manufacturers. Zigbee operates on 868 MHz, 902-928 MHz and 2.4 GHz frequencies. It has low power consumption, a range of about a 100 metres and a bandwidth of 250 kbps. It is used to create networks that require a low data transfer rate, energy efficiency and secure networking. Zigbee supports different network configurations for master to master or master to slave communications. And also, it can be operated in different modes and as a result the battery power is conserved. Zigbee networks are extendable with the use of routers and allow many nodes to interconnect with each other for building a wider area network.

IOT (Internet of Things)

IOT is the concept of internet based communications, allows to bridge the gap of digital and physical world. Physical devices are now enhanced with sensing, computing and communication capabilities. These enhanced devices are communicating with the digital world, producing data and insights that were never before possible. IOT makes network of objects (such as sensors and actuators) that can capture data autonomously and send over the internet for processing to make decisions and to control automatically or manually. IoT has evolved from the convergence of wireless technologies, micro-electromechanical systems (MEMS) and the Internet.

Machine to Machine (M2M)

M2M refers to communication in which machines communicate with other machines or control systems located on same network. M2M typically refers to isolated instances of device-to-device communication while IoT has a broader scope by automating and managing communication between multiple devices. M2M communication style makes use of near-instantaneous data transfer to facilitate higher efficiency and pre-empt problems in machines. This technology that allows for one connected device to communicate and exchange information with another connected device without the assistance of a human.