SolidRun “SolidSense N8 IoT Compact” is a Linux Edge gateway based on NXP i.MX 8M Nano Solo processor that offers Gigabit Ethernet, WiFi 5, Bluetooth 5.0, and optional 4G LTE Cat 4 & GPS connectivity, plus Wirepas Massive (previously Wirepas Mesh networking) via a module based on Nordic Semi nRF52832 wireless Cortex-M4 microcontroller.
The gateway comes with 1GB RAM, 8GB storage, offers optional RS485 and CAN interfaces, and targets IoT applications such as smart metering, automation, asset tracking, safety & security, and smart buildings.
SolidSense N8 IoT Compact specifications:
- SoC – NXP i.MX8M Nano single core Arm Cortex A53 @ 1500MHz + Cortex M7 @ 650MHz
- System Memory – 1GB DDR3
- Storage – 8GB eMMC flash, MIcroSD card slot
- Gigabit Ethernet RJ45 port with optional PoE support
- 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac WiFi 5 and Bluetooth 5.0
- Optional 4G LTE Cat 4 (Global) + GPS with fallback to 3G/2G
- Optional BLE 5.0 SDR based on U-blox NINA B1 module with nRF52832 Wirepas compatible WiSoC, if RS485/CAN is not selected
- Optional RS485/CAN external header if Wirepas compatible module not included
- USB – 1x USB 2.0 port
- Debugging – Internal serial console port
- Expansion – Internal expansion header with USB, UART, SPI, I2C
- Misc – Programmable LEDs, Supercap protection, RTC with battery
- Power Supply
- 9V-36V via DC jack
- Optional PoE
- Dimensions – 150 x 85 x 40mm (Plastic enclosure)
- Temperature Range – 0° to 50° C
The company provides Linux support through the Yocto Project or Buildroot, and Debian and OpenWrt images can be provided. You’ll find additional hardware information and more details about software on the developer website. Since the gateway support Wirepas Massive, you may want to check the relevant section of the documentation.
But what is Wirepas Massive exactly? The company (Wirepas) explains in a post entitled “The best IoT network”:
Our software provides wireless connectivity technology for enterprise IoT. Battery-powered and embedded in your devices it enables scalable, reliable, and cost-efficient IoT solutions. Connect billions of devices, as dense as you want. On a standard off-the-shelf 2.4 GHz radio.
Our software has no limits. Every device becomes completely autonomous to create a self-organizing and self-healing network. It can’t fail. You can try doing the same with Zigbee, Thread or Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) Mesh but it just won’t work. No other technology gives you this.
A Wirepas network offers one horizontal connectivity layer for all IoT use cases: collect data from your sensors to an IoT application in the cloud, control remotely located devices, communicate device-to-device in the network with or without cloud and track the location of moving assets. All the networking intelligence is included in the Wirepas software to form a resilient large-scale wireless mesh network.
So basically, it’s a mesh networking solution working on 2.4 GHz radios, and designed for large-scale Enterprise IoT networks of up to up to 4 billion devices in a single network. In practice, the company says customers have installations of over 100,000 devices per network. Smart Cities come to mind as an application.
The Finnish company also claims battery-operated routers can operate for over 5-year lifetime with a 4,000 mAh battery transmitting 1.5 packets per second, which is believable as in a mesh network the gateway may not have that much work to do… The technology used to be called Wirepas Mesh, but I assume the marketing team did not want to be outdone by 5G “Massive IoT”, so it was changed to Wirepas Massive.
At this time only two models are offered for pre-order, one without Wirepas support for $221, and another with Wirepas for $231. Further details about the SolidSense N8 Compact IoT gateway can be found on the SolidRun website.
Jean-Luc started CNX Software in 2010 as a part-time endeavor, before quitting his job as a software engineering manager, and starting to write daily news, and reviews full time later in 2011.