WAVIoT LPWAN Technology Powers Low Cost Smart Water and Electricity Meters

With the rise of IoT and M2M applications, more and more Low Power Wide Area Network (LPWAN) standards have been launched or being worked on, such as Sigfox, LoRa, 802.11ah “Hallow”, Weightless, etc… with all promising long range, low power consumption, and support for a high number of nodes. WAVIoT, a US startup founded in 2011, has decided to create its own solution called WAVIoT Nb-Fi (Narrowband Fidelity) that works in ISM bands, offers up to 50km line-of-sight range, supports up to 2 million nodes by gateway, lasts over 20 years on a small battery, and with WAVIoT said to cost as low as $2 per node. The technology is already available in smart electricity and water meters, and modules as shown in the picture below. Here are some of WAVIoT Nb-Fi technical specifications: DBPSK on physical layer of signal transmission; End-nodes transmit radio signal in 10-500 kHz bandwidth Minimum […]

Wi-Fi HaLow is the Consumer Name for 802.11ah Low Power Long Range WiFi

For some reasons, people who decide to name things like to give one name for technical people, and another for consumers. A few years ago, I went to buy a 1080p TV, but at first the seller was confused when I asked, and then I talked about resolution, and when he asked “Full HD” or “HD Ready”? It was my turn to me confused. There are several other example such as Bluetooth Low Energy for geeks may be Bluetooth Smart for consumers, and now the Wi-Fi alliance has just announced that IoT devices and gateway featuring the latest 802.11ah standard will be designed as Wi-Fi HaLow devices. They have not come up with a Wi-Fi Halow logo yet… Nevertheless, apart from the name, nothing appears to have changed. HaLow/802.11ah is still the same Wi-FI standard operating at 900MHz targeting IoT applications with low power, long range (up to 1km), and […]

TI SimpleLink CC1310 Wireless MCU Promises 20 Km Range, 20-Year Battery Life on a Coin Cell

Some LPWAN standards such as SigFox, LoRa, or nWave allows for transmission of data at low bitrate over several kilometers, and I’ve very recently featured Microchip’s LoRa modules and motes in this blog. So when Texas Instruments sent their December 2015 newsletter entitled Wireless MCU spans 20 km on a coin cell, I decided to have a look, and the company’s CC1310 wireless Cortex-M3+M0 MCU based on a proprietary sub GHz technology also claims to last 20-year on a coin cell for applications such as grid communication infrastructure and heat and water meters. SimpleLink CC1310 key features: Microcontroller – ARM Cortex-M3 @ up to 48 MHz with up to 128KB programmable flash, 8KB DRAM for cache/general purpose, 20KB Ultralow Leakage SRAM Sensor Controller – Ultralow power and autonomous; 16-Bit Architecture; 2KB of Ultralow Leakage SRAM for code and data RF core Cortex M0 core with 4KB RAM, and ROM Data […]

Microchip Introduces $11 RN2483 & RN2903 LoRa Modules and $70 LoRa Evaluation Kits for IoT & M2M Applications

LoRa is one of those long range low power WAN standards used for the machine to machine (M2M) and Internet of things (IoT) applications. I already featured a Semtech Lora module here with a line-of-sight range of up to 20 to 30km, and the company has just partnered with STMicro to deploy LoRa solutions, but today, I’m going to have a look at Microchip Lora modules and development kits that I discovered in the company’s Micro Solutions Nov/Dec 2015 publication. The company has launched two modules for the European and North American markets with respectively RN2483 LoRa 433/868 MHz R&TTE Directive Assessed Radio Modem and RN2903 915 MHz North American modem. Apart from the different frequencies, both modules have similar features: On-board LoRaWAN Class A protocol stack Tx/Rx Power RN2483 – 40 mA (14dBm, 868MHz) Tx, and 14.2 mA Rx @ 3.6V RN2903 – 124 mA Tx max, and 13.5 mA […]

Altair FourGee LTE Chipsets Promise 10 Years of Connectivity with AA Batteries for IoT Applications

Connectivity achieved with GSM,. 3G or LTE (4G) cellular networks is great for long distances, but usually costs and power consumption are too high for IoT or M2M communications, which explains why there are competing long range low power WAN standards such as Sigfox, LoRA or Weightless. Altair Semiconductor introduced two new LTE SoCs, namely FourGee-1150/6410 and FourGee-1160/6410 a few months ago, supporting respectively LTE Cat-0 and Cat-1 connectivity, and promising up to 10 years of battery life on AA batteries for smart meters, wearables, security alarms, city lightings, etc… Altair FourGee-1150 and FourGee-1160 key features and specifications: Processor – Multiple MIPS M5150 “Warrior” MCU cores LTE Connectivity FourGee-1150 LTE Release 12 Category-0 (1Mbps / 1Mbps), software upgradeable for supporting Release 13 features Integrated VoLTE/IMS/OTA-DM functionality FourGee-1160 LTE Release 11 Category-1 (10Mbps / 5Mbps), software upgradeable for supporting Releases 12 and 13 features Integrated VoLTE/IMS/OTA-DM with HD voice functionality Software […]

Comparison Table of Low Power WAN Standards for Industrial Applications

WiFi, Bluetooth and Zigbee are commonly found in consumer devices part of the “IoT ecosystem”, but the range, cost, power consumption, and/or scalability of these wireless standards are not suitable. For example, agricultural and forestry applications normally require long distance, and smart parking or city lighting may requires scalability to a great number of nodes, so alternatives are needed. EDN wrote a thorough article comparing 10 alternative wireless standards: Weightless-W, Weightless-N, Weightless-P, SigFox, LoRaWAN, LTE-Cat M, IEEE P802.11ah, Dash7, Ingenu RPMA, and nWave. The table includes the frequency band, channel width, range, transmit power, packet size (minimal or maximal), downlink and uplink data rates, maximum number of connected devices, topology, roaming capability, and status. If you had to implement something today, four to five solutions are “in deployment”: SigFox, Ingenu RPMA, nWave, LoRa, and possibly Dash7, while the other are only starting to get deployed, or will be finalized in […]