Generic IoT device architecture

Device Hardware

Generic IoT device architecture

In this article, you will learn about the generic Internet of Things device architecture. Certain specific components are necessary to consider a device as a "smart device".

Generic blocks of IoT device

Gray Bubble Cycle Diagram Chart (2).png

It is a bit difficult to generalize and IoT device architecture. However, most smart devices have some common building blocks. The above diagram shows the basic building blocks of an IoT device.

Data Aquisition Module

This module is one of the starting points of any IoT application. Its main purpose is to detect events or changes in its environment and send the information to the data processing module. A simple example is a temperature sensor. The sensor senses the temperature outside and converts it into digital signals. The whole sensor module can be considered as a data acquisition module. This includes the hardware and software for signal processing etc.

Data Processing Module

This module processes the data received from the data acquisition module. It is nothing but the "computing" part of the device. The raw data is processed and can be analyzed locally. Also, if necessary, the data can be stored locally. This module is also responsible for edge computing ( more on this in next posts ).

Communications Module

This is the integral component that makes the "dumb" device "smart. This module is used to send the data from the device to another device, or cloud platform. This may include one or more modes of communication depending on the application. It may also include hardware required for wirelessly sending the data such as Wi-Fi, LoRA, Zigbee, NBIoT, 5G module, etc. In some cases, all the devices in the network will send the data to the gateway and then the gateway sends the data to a cloud platform.


In some cases, the actuator can also be present on the device. For example, as you see in the cover picture of the post, a temperature sensor is sensing the temperature and the device also has a screen ( actuator ) which is displaying the read temperature. But, as mentioned at the beginning of the post, the above 3 modules are common for almost all IoT devices.

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