IoT Dictionary

This glossary includes key terms of the IoT (Internet of Things) & M2M (machine-to-machine) communications industry, including wireless and cellular technologies spanning many different markets. It is updated to present current terminology and usage. Your participation and feedback are most welcome—to submit comments, new entries, or suggestions, contact us today.

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There are 31 names in this directory beginning with the letter C.
CAN
Controller Area Network.
CAN Bus
A message-based, multi-master serial protocol for transmitting and receiving vehicle data within a Controller Area Network (CAN). Sometimes written as “CANbus,” the CAN Bus connects multiple Electronic Control Units (ECUs) also known as nodes. Designed initially for automotive applications in 1983, the CAN Bus can be adapted to aerospace, commercial vehicles, industrial automation, and medical equipment.
Card Not Present (CNP)
The type of credit transaction where the merchant never sees the actual card. CNP has the obvious potential for fraud but is vital for newer services such as contactless mobile payments.
CDMA
Code Division Multiple Access. Digital cellular phone service method that separates multiple transmissions over a finite frequency allocation using Spread Spectrum techniques (concept invented and patented by Hedy Lamar).
Cellular Modem
Allows a device to receive Internet access over the cellular mobile networks. Devices can also be configured to remotely connect to a server or device to enable off site access and data collection.
Cellular Router
Allows connected devices to access servers and devices by making an IP connection through the cellular mobile network. Routers allow for multiple devices to be connected and controlled, while built in Open VPN, IPSEC, PPTP, and L2TP, and offer extra device and data transfer security to keep your information safe.
Chief IoT Officer (CIoT)
One of the CxO class of corporate officers, the CIoT coordinates the integration of IoT into the enterprise. Successful CIoTs will break down silos between disciplines such as big data, data analytics, security, communications protocols, etc.
CIoT
Chief IoT Officer.
Class 1 Bluetooth
Offers a greater wireless data transfer distance (over 100m, up to 1km) through using greater power consumption (100mW).
Class 2 Bluetooth
Short-range wireless data transmission (10-20m) which has low power consumption of around 2.5mW.
Cloud
Or the Cloud, meaning cloud computing. The name “cloud” comes from the fluffy cloud typically used in Visio-style network diagrams to represent a connection to the Internet.
Cloud Communications
Communication services being provided by third parties that can be accessed and used through the Internet. The program Skype is one well-known cloud communications application.
Cloud Computing
An approach where information technology capacities (such as storage or applications) are separated from the individual computer and are supplied through the Internet (or an Intranet-based service) at the user’s demand. The “as-a-Service” moniker is sometimes used for cloud computing services, such as Software-as-a-Service, Platform-as-a-Service, and Infrastructure-as-a-Service. The backend for many IoT devices may be delivered via the cloud.
Cloud Orchestration
The automated management of a cloud. This includes all services and systems that are part of the cloud as well as the flow of information.
CNP
Card Not Present.
CoAP
Constrained Application Protocol. This software protocol is used in small electronics devices and serves as the interactive communication between those devices.
COBie
Construction Operations Building Information Exchange.
Cognitive Vehicles
A term coined by IBM to describe vehicles that will learn from the behaviors of drivers, occupants, and vehicles around them, plus be aware of the vehicle’s own condition and the state of the surrounding environment. A cognitive vehicle will thus be capable of configuring itself to a specific driver, other occupants, and various conditions.
Communication Model
Communication models try to capture, explain, simplify, and then model communication. One of the oldest and most famous models, the Shannon and Weaver Model, was created in 1949.
Companion Device
In wearables, a companion device requires a parent device, such as a smartphone, to fully operate. The opposite would be a standalone device that can do everything on its own. A companion wearable will typically use Bluetooth to communicate with the parent.
Connected Home
If the devices in a house work interactively and information relevant to residents is accessed via high-speed broadband, it could be called a connected home. This may mean that the refrigerator reports the almost empty milk or that the TV reminds you of your doctor’s appointment because it automatically gets this information from the doctor’s computer. Related to Smart Home.
Construction Operations Building Information Exchange (COBie)
The COBie approach simplifies the capture and recording of building project handover data, basically by entering things like serial numbers as the project progresses. COBie breaks down the design into Facility, Floor, Space and Zone elements. COBie can be displayed in several interoperable formats.
Controller Area Network (CAN)
In automobiles, a CAN connects Electronic Control Units (ECUs) using a multi-master serial bus (the CAN bus) to control actuators or receive feedback from sensors. ECUs can be subsystems such as airbags, transmission, antilock brakes, or most importantly, engine control. The standard consists of ISO 11898-1 and ISO 11898-2.
COPE
Corporate-Owned, Personally Enabled.
Corporate Owned, Personally Enabled (COPE)
A compromise around pure BYOD, COPE devices allow the user to control much of the data on the device, but the enterprise controls the security model.
Cortex-A
Cortex-A refers to a series of processors from ARM that are equipped with ARMv7 and ARMv8 command sets. They are used for applications that require a lot of processing power, mainly in the areas of mobile handset (smartphones), computing, digital home, automotive, enterprise, and wireless infrastructure.
Cortex-M
Cortex-M is a family of microprocessors developed by ARM which is mainly used in microcontrollers. They range from the cheapest M0 processor up to the Cortex-M4, which is used for effective digital signal control. Applications are found in automotive, gaming, and intelligent consumer products.
CPS
Cyber-Physical Systems.
CR2032
A battery rated at 3.0 volts commonly used in watches, wireless doorbells, and other small devices. Sometimes referred to as a “button cell” or “lithium coin,” the battery is shaped like a coin with dimensions of 20mm diameter x 3.2mm height (from which the “2032” is derived). The CR2032 is twice as thick as the CR2016.
Crowdfunding
A novel system for inventors and entrepreneurs to bypass traditional funding methods such as venture capital by raising small amounts from a large group of individual backers. Made popular by sites such as Kickstarter, crowdfunding can act as a pre-ordering system, allowing the project’s creator to reduce risk by gaging consumer popularity before production even begins.
Cyber-Physical Systems (CPS)
Systems that combine computer-related and mechanical aspects. A smartphone, for example, combines software, hardware, etc., with a physical device. In general, many mobile or embedded technologies or devices can be called Cyber-Physical Systems, thus applications are manifold. The systems often include some form of sensor which can transfer attributes from the real world to the digital sphere.