The Internet Of The Future (Part 2)

11/30/2012 9:10:04 AM

Websites conduct themselves like software - something comparable to apps. Thus, the execution of web codes must the accelerated

HTML and JavaScript are primarily used to present static websites - a couple of formula fields and that's it. Meanwhile, both languages are used for programming, for things like Angry Birds to smartphone apps. Many functions are written in JavaScript. However, that raises a performance problem. You see, JavaScript runs only in one thread for every open website, so the browser cannot execute several scripts at the same time. Every interaction by the user, such as a click of the mouse, all potentially causes delay. There are approaches to resolve these bottlenecking. The HTML5 standard introduces the so called Web Worker. It is an interface in the browser which allows long Java Scripts to be executed in its own thread. The programmer of the website must only ensure that the worker scripts can run independent of user interaction. The result calculated by the Web Worker is then transmitted by it to the browser, which then incorporates itself into the presentation of the website.

Description: HTML and JavaScript are primarily used to present static websites - a couple of formula fields and that's it.

HTML and JavaScript are primarily used to present static websites - a couple of formula fields and that's it.

Web code is optimised for the Hardware

Web Workers are a huge step towards optimising the scripting language for multi-core CPUs. However, Internet Explorer will only introduce them with Version 10, and Android support is still absent in mobile devices (refer right). Furthermore, Web Worker does not offer unlimited multithreading. That can be carried only with a deeper intervention as in the open source project Fabric Engine. That also makes it possible to write a web code which is executed as fast as, say, C++. The trick lies in introducing an additional engine with its own compiler in the browser, and this engine is to be responsible only for the performance parts. This is written in its own language, Fabric KL, as an extension of JavaScript. Intel is following a similar method with its River-Trail project. But unlike web workers, both these methods are not part of the web standard.

The GPU acceleration sometimes achieves even more than the multi-core support because graphic cores in mobile devices compute animation faster than CPUs which gives a whole new look to the website (see right). WebGL delivers complex graphical operations to the graphic chip and accelerates interactive 3D computations. The ActionScript code in Adobe Flash was the first choice up to now for this task; however, its performance and security leaves a lot to be desired. That's why, as open standards, WebGL and HTML5 are likely to replace the proprietary Flash in the long term. With the CreateJS projection, even Adobe offers a way out of Flash to HTML5-Export. Unfortunately, WebGL is just at the starting line where mobile devices are concerned. Only Sony has made a WebGL enhancement available for its Xperia phones running Android 4.0. For Apple's devices with iOS 5, at least a hack is available.

Hardware support in browser

Three procedures efficiently process JavaScript in multicore CPUs: Web Worker, Fabric Engine and River Trail. WebGL computers animation on the graphic chip. Not every browser can manage that.


Web Worker

Fabric Engine

River Trail



From Version 4



Fully from Version on 18


From Version 3.5

From Version 12 via Plug-in

From Version 9 via Plug-in

Partially from Version 4

Internet Explorer

From Version 10

From Version 4 via Plug-in




From Version 4



Partially from Version 5.1


From Version 10.6



Partially from Version 12

Safari Mobile

From iOS 5



Partially from iOS 5 (via Hack)

Android Browser




Android 4 (for Sony Xperia)

Opera Mobile

From Version 11



Partially from Version 12


Fabric Engine accelerates WebCode

Using multithreading, Fabric engine processes Javascripts as fast as normal software written in C++. The benchmark shows the measurements of a "Monte Carlo" simulation.

·         JavaSkript: 1,434.5 seconds

·         SingleThread C++: 413 seconds

·         JavaScript WithMIT Fabric Engine: 55.5 seconds

·         MultiThread C++: 53.4 seconds

Interactive 3D Internet thanks to WebGL

Extensive 3D landscapes, as can be found on the website, run smoothly only on the graphic chip. WebGL serves as an interface between GPU and browser thereby.

Description: Interactive 3D Internet thanks to WebGL

Interactive 3D Internet thanks to WebGL

A Personal Web for billions of devices

In a couple of years there will be more machines than people on the web. Their data traffic functions under other rules

As a user, one has a relatively simple model of the World Wide Web: PCs, notebooks and smartphones connect to a server, and in front of each of these devices sits a person who views websites or chats with his or her friends. But meanwhile, an increasing number of machines are also exchanging notes with each other on the web. According to an E-plus study, 2.3 million SIM cards were distributed in 2010 in Germany alone for communication between machines. The figure will have reached five million by next year. Here, sending an SMS is the simplest method of machine-to-machine (M2M) communication. There are projects underway in the industrial and even in governmental institutions like the ETSI (European Telecommunication Standard institute) which define new protocols that are optimised to the 'Machine Internet'. This is necessary to avoid men and machine from getting in each other's ways in the future.

According to Mike Muller, Chief Technology Officer of chip developer ARM, approximately 100 billion devices will be online by 2020, while analysts from Gartner peg the figure at 60 billion. This is fired by the notion that every car, bike and domestic device will be equipped with web access facilities. Right now, there are already cities whose lighting is controlled over the Internet (refer right). At the centre of M2M devices sits a microcontroller which is responsible for control and communication. That includes even bulbs with IPv6 address or pacemakers. Presently, it will also be possible to control machines with ever smaller chips. ARM recently unveiled the blueprint of the Cortex-MO+: the size of this smallest 32 bit CPU is only one millimeter.

Communication Channels reserved for Machines

The hardware in the Machine Network has lesser computing power these days. The built-in microcontroller still employs 8 or 16 bit commands, not done anymore by PC programs from Windows 95 onwards. For this purpose, they only need limited communication protocols which meet their requirements (refer right). A light sensor integrated in a network of street lights must simply only send measurement data twice a day for a short time. With the MQTT (Message Queuing Telemetry Transport), IBM has released its own messaging protocol for machines. It practically is a counterpart of HTTP, only with a smaller header; thus designed for lower overhead to transmit data from RFID chips, for instance. The industry is still arguing over which frequency band the wireless should take place. At the moment, it is rather a question of whether the M2M communication ought to be opened at all for 3G network (UMTS). In the long run, 3G and 4G (LTE) could remain reserved for humans as the majority of machines only communicate via the 2G network (GSM).

Network-Integrated city lighting

Philips' CityTouch enables complete control of the lighting of a city via web interface as it networks all lamps with each other. This system is already employed in London and Prague.

Description: Network-Integrated city lighting

Network-Integrated city lighting

Miniature Devices with Web Connection

The Internet is omnipresent: the bulb with a web address is con­trolled by a microcontroller JN5148-001 1. The LifeTouch sen­sor HRV011 2 measures the heart activity and reports it to the hospital.

Description: Miniature Devices with Web Connection

Miniature Devices with Web Connection

Communication Protocols for sensors

Networked devices communicate with their own protocols which are adapted to their needs and their weak computing power. These are the four most important:

·         ROLL: The Routing Protocol for Low power and Lossy Networks is a streamlined protocol with which light sensors link themselves to a network to convey status messages.

·         6LOWPAN: Devices receive their unique IP address by IPv6 over Low power Wireless Personal Area Network based on IPv6 standard to enable them to be integrated in the existing network with little expense.

·         COAP: The Constrained A plication Protocol enables a streamlined data transmission between 8 bit microcontrollers with less computing power (100 kilobyte ROM and 10 kilobyte RAM) - such as in thermal sensors in containers.

·         MQTT: The Message Queuing Telemetry Transport developed by IBM is a streamlined communication protocol - suitable also for messages by RFID chips.

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