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icom SmartBox

Edge computing with Linux container environment (LXC)

The original function of our routers with icom OS (INSYS Smart Devices) is secure data communication. In addition, all INSYS Smart Devices are technically prepared for edge computing and can assume application-specific tasks like data processing or control.


The customer-specific application programs (device apps) will be installed in standard Linux containers (LXC) for edge computing.


This allows to relocate tasks from a small industrial PC (IPC) or PC-based data logger without additional hardware to the router.


This pays beneficial like e.g.

  • by lower hardware costs
  • a "relaxed" temperature budget
  • lower power consumption
  • saved space.

Typical Applications

  • Collecting and processing (measurement) data (condition monitoring)
  • Sequential controls, from simple applications up to complex, local automation systems
  • Application- or customer-specific configuration interfaces
  • Processing data at the site and in real-time
  • Detecting anomalies immediately
  • Reporting and alarming failures immediately
  • Emulation / conversion of protocols
  • Consolidation of obsolete components
  • Image processing
  • Predictive maintenance (e.g. pattern recognition)


  • Linux container (LXC) are a container visualisation under Linux.
  • Each container in LXC format uses the Linux kernel of the router.
  • Several programs can run simultaneously in a container - like on a PC.
  • Several of these containers can be active at the same time.
  • Each container has an own network interface and behaves like a small PC that is connected to one of the Ethernet ports of the router.
  • Applications of different containers communicate with each other via the network and with the router - and with other networks through the router.
  • The user has unrestricted rights within a container and can add and manage further users as "root".
  • The containers are all running on a hardware shared with the router and share the resources exclusive or as required:

Routers with icom SmartBox cope with edge computing and are highly secure

Standard M2M routers are not suitable for edge computing

Resource allocation    
  System Container
Main memory
256 MB (512 MB
64 MB 192 MB distributed in equal
shares over the containers
Computing power CPU
Cortex A8 (= ARMv7)
50 % prioritised

on demand

File system 3 GB (7 GB*) used together, content separated
Serial devices joint access
Digital IOs joint access via MCIP interface
Network LAN/WAN Up to 5 networks with
own IP address ranges
1 own IP address in a
network of the router

Further sources and links 

Here in the knowledge base



In the routers (Smart Devices)

  • Inline help for details about the router configuration > router web interface title bar > ? Display help texts
  • Online help about technical subjects > router menu > Help > Documentation

Web links

Documents in Github project

SDK - Software Development Kit (318 MB)

Configuration Guide about container installation

*) INSYS icom adds more memory to the product lines MRO and MRX successively. Ask your sales contact about the status of your product in question.

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