Navigating the Future of Smart Cities with the Nitrogen93 SMARC

Smart cities optimize daily life through connected IoT devices, but reliable connectivity, data security, and interoperability pose a challenge to create a smooth, interconnected network.

Published on June 5, 2024

Navigating the Future of Smart Cities with the Nitrogen93 SMARC

Smart cities represent the peak of integrating technology into the urban lifestyle, optimizing daily life through smart devices. Connected IoT (Internet of Things) devices are key to this transformation as they aim to enhance the efficiency of services, reduce costs and resource consumption, and improve the quality of life for residents. These devices gather and analyze data in real-time, from traffic flow sensors and smart lighting to waste management systems and air quality monitors. This interconnected network transforms urban cities into dynamic ecosystems that can respond rapidly to the changing needs and behaviors of its people, paving a way for more sustainable, livable cities. 

However, the widespread adoption of IoT in these cities is not without its challenges:

  1. Connectivity across hundreds of devices within a smart city’s ecosystem is a considerable hurdle. These cities dense infrastructure can create complex connectivity issues such as interference or canyon effect (disrupting GPS and Wi-Fi from building obstruction) that disrupt the consistent collection and transmission of data. 
  2. Integrating numerous IoT technologies, each with its own protocols and standards, creates a significant challenge for interoperability, making it difficult to create a cohesive, city-wide IoT ecosystem that can efficiently manage and utilize the vast amounts of data generated. 
  3. Data security and privacy are another critical challenge as these devices are carrying sensitive personal information such as location and travel data which can reveal patterns and routines that are considered private. 

Within these challenges, several trends are emerging to guide the future of IoT in smart cities. The adoption of edge computing is gaining momentum, allowing data processing to occur closer to the source and significantly reducing latency and bandwidth demand on central systems. This trend, along with the advancements of AI and machine learning, enable smarter, more autonomous systems capable of predictive analytics to identify traffic congestion points, public safety responses, or energy efficiency methods that can make these cities more responsive and sustainable for their residents.

Tailoring Surveillance with Smart Cameras

Navigating these challenges and capitalizing on these emerging trends is difficult, as there are many products within this ecosystem with a wide array of specifications and requirements. Utilizing a flexible, smart embedded system that is highly featured and configurable for specific device needs is ideal. Ezurio’s Nitrogen93 SMARC System-on-Module (SOM) is powered by NXP’s next-generation i.MX 93 processor. This secure, smart, and standardized SOM can be a platform for a variety of devices in a smart city’s ecosystem. In smart camera security systems, the Nitrogen93 enables surveillance cameras to not only capture high-definition video, but also to analyze footage in real-time through edge computing. Its high-performance dual-core Cortex-A55 microprocessor and 250MGz Cortex-M33 microcontroller provides the perfect platform for these cameras. The Nitrogen93 SMARC further improves smart cameras by its integrated Arm Ethos™-U65 microNPU, delivering up to 0.7 TOPS for dedicated machine learning processing. This processing power allows cameras to utilize AI algorithms for facial recognition, crowd monitoring, and unusual activity detection, providing immediate data that can preemptively address safety concerns. 

The necessity for smart surveillance systems to remain adaptable and up to date in a fast-evolving technological landscape is critical. The Nitrogen93 SMARC utilizes the SMARC 2.1.1 standard, offering a blueprint for modularity and interoperability across devices. This allows smart cameras to easily incorporate the latest advancements in AI, machine learning, and processing power with straightforward upgrades and expansions. Therefore, cities can maintain cutting-edge devices without the need for complete device overhauls. But when these cameras need to be redesigned, Ezurio can accelerate your path to production and reduce time-to-market with our custom SOM and SBC solutions. We help you choose the right processor, memory, and I/O options to perfectly align the performance and functionality needed for your IoT project. Let us help you guarantee that your device remains robust, responsive, and resilient.

Future-Proofing Emergency Response

When it comes to scenarios where every second can mean the difference between safety and catastrophe, emergency response systems need to be reliably connected at every possible moment. For example, an IoT-enabled emergency dispatch system receives data from various sources (e.g., traffic cameras, weather reports, social media) in real-time to predict and respond to emergencies more efficiently. The Nitrogen93 SMARC utilizes a Sona IF573 Wi-Fi 6E / Bluetooth 5.4 radio based on Infineon’s CYW55573 to ensure uninterrupted communication across devices in smart cities. Especially in emergency situations, higher data rates, improved performance in congested areas, and increased capacity is vital so information can be transmitted swiftly and reliably without delay. For example, the system could dynamically reroute ambulances to avoid traffic jams or predict areas at higher risk of incidents to minimize disasters as efficiently as possible. 

 Alongside the many benefits of wireless communication for smart cities, security concerns are present, especially in applications critical to public safety. The integration of IoT devices requires robust support for data privacy and security to protect against potential breaches. Built with a secure boot process and encrypted storage, the Nitrogen93 SMARC not only addresses security threats, but also ensures only trusted software boots on your device. Additionally, the implementation to store and use secure keys, certs, and credentials in an isolated environment for sensitive operations keeps sensitive data even if the broader system is compromised.

Accelerate Your Path to Smart Devices

Ezurio leads the charge in delivering innovative solutions tailored to the ever-changing demands of smart cities and devices. As a reliable partner in embedded IoT, our Nitrogen93 SMARC plays a pivotal role in advancing next-generation devices by addressing key challenges and leveraging emerging trends. Partnering with Ezurio means accessing more than just a supplier; it means joining forces with a dedicated collaborator poised to accelerate your success in implementing efficient and secure smart IoT ecosystems. 

 Learn more at:

Smart City using SOMs v2.png