Siemens, Microsoft Offer a Better Unified Digital Twin

Siemens and Microsoft, along with the W3C Consortium, have announced their commitment to converge the Digital Twin Definition Language (DTDL). Specifically, with the Thing Description standard from international standards organization, W3C. 

By unifying both languages, customers can expect consistent modeling experiences, mitigating fragmentation in an evolving IoT landscape.

Typically, customers deploy a mix of vendors in their infrastructure, leading to lock-in and high integration efforts. Thus, this convergence will allow for simpler system integration and interoperability.

Standardizing Digital Twin languages is crucial for interoperability

Crucial Role

Digital twins are virtual replicas of physical objects, processes, or systems that mirror their real-world counterparts in a digital environment. Moreover, digital twins enable organizations to monitor, predict, and improve the performance of their assets. Hence, enhancing efficiency and reducing costs.

Therefore, standardizing Digital Twin languages is crucial for interoperability. At the same time, this ensures seamless communication and integration between different digital twin systems and platforms.

Siemens is already facilitating the emerging W3C Thing Description standard for future products in building management, power distribution, and smart grids. Thus, extending this interoperability strategy to Microsoft Azure will bring about substantial benefits to customers.

“We see the convergence of two very similar Digital Twin languages like the DTDL and the W3C Thing Description as an essential move. (This) will enable customers to describe the physical world in a way that is agnostic to specific IoT platforms,” said Thomas Kiessling, Chief Technology Officer at Siemens Smart Infrastructure. Furthermore, Kiessling said, “This strategic alliance underscores our commitment to fostering collaboration and embracing openness.”

Natural Next Step

Microsoft’s Digital Twin Definition Language enables modeling of the physical world with Azure services. Meanwhile, the W3C Thing Description standard provides an interoperable representation of device interfaces and their incorporation of standard industry ontologies. Thus, both languages have revealed many conceptual similarities during the initial stages of convergence.

“Ever since we invented the Digital Twin Definition Language and open-sourced its specification and reference implementations, we planned to standardize it through a consortium like the W3C. Therefore, merging DTDL with W3C Thing Description, in close partnership with Siemens, is the natural next step in our journey to democratize digital twins in the industry,” said Erich Barnstedt, Chief Architect Standards, Consortia and Industrial IoT, Azure Edge and Platform team, Microsoft Corporation.

-16 April 2024-