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A Disruptive Router Platform for the Internet of Things – TrustNode

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - TrustNode (A Disruptive Router Platform for the Internet of Things – TrustNode)

Reporting period: 2015-02-01 to 2015-07-31

"Business target of InnoRoute is to place a new Router on the market which is otpimized for Internet of Things (IoT).
Goals of the SME-1 Project ""TrustNode"" was threefold:

1. Study market demand, economic viability and competition.
Market Study starts with a trend analysis about routing in general. Since two decades the research community searches for solutions to experiment new routing protocols. The initial router product of InnoRoute, the TrustNode-Research fulfils the role of a hardware platform and supports the favoured OpenFlow protocol. The size of the research market is evaluated from different viewpoints. In addition two further market segments are analysed, small and medium business (SMB) router and industrial router.

2. Define a business plan evaluating our business model against the impact on reachable market.
The Initial Business case for Research Router and two follow-up business cases are compiled, Small and Medium Business (SMB) and Industrial Router. The conservative calculation predicts about 3 million Euros for the next 5 years, while upside potential reaches 80 million Euros. The calculation is done bottom-up starting with existing orders and feedback from potential customers. The conservative version allows the company to become profitable from 2017 onwards.

3. Feasibility Study.
In the technical part of the Feasibility Study possible killing-points are identified and Solutions evaluated. The solutions consider the limited capabilities of a SME. Key issues range from high level concept down to implementation in hardware (FPGA) and software, as well as PCB layout and manufacturing issues.

"1. Market study starts with a trend Analysis about Routing. Needs of the Research community ara analysed: attempts to obtain Research platforms and the new SDN protocol OpenFlow. Size of a market for a routing Research platform from InnoRoute is evaluated between 1000 and 10000 devices. The result is compared with a poll among 15 Research institutes carried out by InnoRoute. The Need for new Routing paradigms and the respective Need for Research platforms is due to new applications in IoT and cloud computing. Main requested Features are low latency for IoT and OpenFlow Support for could computing. Focus of the Research activities leads to future Business Areas for Routers, two of them are investigated in Detail. The first follow-up Business cases small and medium Business router market in Germany is described based on detailed market insight obtained from a Business partner. A second follow-up Business case, router for Industrial applications, is derived from data obtained via the German Industry 4.0 initiative. Result of the investigations are that InnoRoute is well positioned to be successful in These markets.

2. Business case: based on the market studies the possible Business cases for InnoRoute are calculated in two cases. A conservative Version calculates 3 Million Euros over all Business cases in 2016-2020, while the optimistic Scenario predicts a total of 80 Million Euros over all three Business cases. Each case considers Timing, pricing, markeing and sales channel. Further 8 potential Business cases are briefly described. This chapter also contains a self-assessment of InnoRoute capabilities in providing technical Solutions as well as Marketing and sales Support to customers.

3. In the feasibility study technical aspects were considered, possible killing-Points identified and Solutions evaluated. The Solutions considered the capabilities of a SME. Key issue is the Extension of the existing packet processor building block ""FlowEngine"" to a scalable router platform. A suitable architecture was defined and the critical interconnection with the processor Subsystem investigated. Special care was taken to assure extensibility and minimise latency.
The technical trend described in the application is the migration of routing function to the edges of the network. During the execution of SMEINST Phase 1 we saw this trend confirmed. De-centralisation of routing means that new router types will be requested. Today there are home routers or mobile terminals on the one side and big core routers (BRAS, CMTS, PGW etc.) at the other side. In future, routers will be needed in between with scalable throughput, low latency and for the same cost as switches. Routing will be extended into (managed) home networks as the number of devices will grow significantly with the Internet of Things (IoT). This new demand is already experienced by InnoRoute at the research side by interested customers and research project consortia. Main research areas are Wireless Fronthaul, Software Defined Networking (SDN), Industrial Networks and aggregation Nodes for IoT. Other than predicted in the application automotive router business cases cellular modules for cars and fleet vehicles telematics management could not be found up to now.
The Unique Selling Points (USP) of the InnoRoute solution are:
- low latency thanks to the flow-through architecture of the FlowEngine
- user-configurability at hardware and software level
- optimum fit to SDN protocol OpenFlow
- novel routing concept 6Tree.
These USP allow InnoRoute to be at the leading edge of these research areas – in most cases as the only hardware provider. And in parallel this research phase provides an initial business case for InnoRoute, allowing to reach profitability and to build up structures for further growth.
Within a SMEINST Phase 2 project InnoRoute could (a) reach commercial product level and (b) establish the necessary skills and processes for production, marketing and sales. Starting with the Initial business case of research routers profitability could be reached after 2 years, the follow-up Business case SMB Router initiated in the second year and the third business case Industrial Router three years after the start of SMEINST Phase 2 project. Conservative calculated the company will be profitable in the third year, while optimistic scenarios predict up to 80 million Euros for the first 5 years.
Basic architecture of the TrustNode Router