Analysis

Yokogawa invests in fog computing start-up

29th July 2016
Mick Elliott

Yokogawa Electric has made a strategic investment in FogHorn Systems, a Silicon Valley start-up that is a leading developer of fog computing technology. Yokogawa aims to foster development of fog computing technology through its investment in this company and expand the range of solutions that it provides.

Due to the continued growth of cloud computing services and the huge number of devices that have access to cloud resources, there is a growing concern over issues such as network congestion and data processing delays. Fog computing* is gaining traction as a technology solution to this problem.

FogHorn Systems, has attracted the interest of various companies that are promoting IoT. Led by March Capital and GE Ventures, the company has succeeded in raising $12m in funding from multiple investors, including Yokogawa, Robert Bosch Venture Capital GmbH, and Darling Ventures. There is also a group of investors who invested in the company prior to this round of fundraising. Yokogawa’s stake in the company is worth $900,000.

Yokogawa offers a wide range of control solutions that help its customers improve the safety and efficiency of their operations and make the most effective use of their assets. These solutions include field instruments, control systems, manufacturing execution systems (MES), and management information systems.

Industrial IoT (IIoT) technology is making rapid inroads in the control field, and it is expected that fog computing’s enablement of real-time and distributed processing in edge computing applications will significantly accelerate its adoption.

Tsuyoshi Abe, Yokogawa vice president and head of the company’s Marketing Headquarters, said of this investment: “Highly reliable and stable communications are an essential requirement in manufacturing and many other fields. Fog computing is a breakthrough that helps to enhance the use of cloud resources. It is also expected to provide Yokogawa many more opportunities to utilize IIoT in its control business. In line with our corporate brand slogan of ‘Co-innovating tomorrow,’ Yokogawa will use FogHorn’s technology to develop new solutions and create new value in collaboration with its customers and partners.”

* Fog computing:

An architectural concept for the realisation of edge intelligence and the suppression of communications with the cloud by establishing a ‘fog’ distributed computing layer between the cloud and devices in the field. Fog computing eliminates communications delays and fluctuations by locating the processing of certain data near the field devices that generate the data and sending only essential information to the cloud. As such, there are high expectations that this technology will lead to a number of new IoT applications.

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