Common Types of I/O Found Onboard Embedded Systems for Industry 4.0

6 June, 2023 Technology

Common Types of I/O Found Onboard Embedded Systems for Industry 4.0


Industry 4.0 is the latest and greatest stage of the industrial revolution. It is characterized by its integration of the most advanced technologies, including AI, big data, and IoT (Internet of Things). One example of Industry 4.0 in action is a smart home system communicating directly with the home user. Another is AI-powered cameras producing real-time data for a quick response rate.


Naturally, many industries use Industry 4.0 applications to stay as efficient and competitive as possible. However, that doesn't mean every device, system, and component will get upgraded to industry 4.0 standards immediately; industries often use a mixture of new tech combined with legacy/old technologies. Some of that older tech includes I/O on embedded systems.


What is I/O?

I/O stands for input and output. It refers to the communication between a computing system and the outside world. The input stage receives data, whereas the output stage produces information based on that inputted data. In turn, it helps organizations make sensible decisions.


Any industry with embedded systems needs to understand the different types of I/O. That's because many industrial settings use old and new hardware, some of which will go back years, with others recently upgraded. By understanding the most common types of I/O ports and then creating compatible systems, organizations don't have to start from scratch. Instead, they can benefit from seamless, integrated embedded PC systems.


Common Types of I/O Found Onboard Embedded Systems

Below, you can find the most popular types of I/O in industrial embedded systems. The chances are you already use a handful of them!



HMDI - standing for High Definition Multimedia Interface - is used to transmit audio and video via an HDMI cable that gets slotted into a physical port. Many of the later versions of HDMI allow for the transmission of very high-res videos.



A USB (Universal Serial Bus) is an I/O port that quickly connects computers with other devices, such as printers, mice, and hard drives. It is a widely used form of I/O, with many computing systems having a USB port installed.


. PoE

Power over Ethernet is the transmission of electrical power via Ethernet cables, which transmit data and power to devices. These cables are far less bulky than power cables and make for a simple installation.


. Digital I/O

Digital I/O - as the name suggests - sends and receives digital signals to computers. It can be handy in many situations, such as controlling external devices or receiving input from sensors.



LAN (Local Area Network Port) is one of the most popular I/O ports and can be found on many devices. It's also known as an Ethernet port and connects to a local area network, which then allows the device to seamlessly communicate with other network-connected devices that are on the same network. For example, with a LAN port, a computer can connect to a printer.


All of these are the most common types of I/O ports on embedded systems. If you use embedded systems for manufacturing, it's important to understand these different types of I/O to accommodate both old and new tech.


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