Wi-Fi EasyMesh is a Standard for WiFi Mesh Networking

WiFi EasyMesh

It’s been possible for add multiple WiFi routers and/or WiFi repeaters in order to provide good coverage in a house / building for years, so this required some manual configuration. So in recent years, companies came up with WiFi mesh networking solutions that do very much the same, but are easier to setup, and – as I understand it – mostly plug-and-play. Some examples are Google WiFi router or eeRo Pro WiFi system,  but apparently so far every company would do their own proprietary WiFi mesh implementation, so you would not be able to mix brands for such features. That’s why the WiFi Alliance worked on, and now announced Wi-Fi EasyMesh, an industry standard  for “simple to use, self-organizing, smart Wi-Fi networks”. Key benefits listed by the organization: Flexible design – Allows for best placement of multiple APs providing extended coverage Easy setup – Delivers automatic device on-boarding and configuration Network intelligence – Self-organizing and self-optimizing network collects information and …

Particle Unveils Three nRF52840 Bluetooth 5 Boards: Argon (WiFi), Boron (LTE), and Xenon, as well as Particle Mesh Technology

In the last year or so, Bluetooth has gotten an upgrade with the release of Bluetooth 5. The new protocol works on several existing platforms, but if you want support for the full set of Bluetooth 5 features such as longer range and higher bandwidth, we’ve seen you need a recent chip such as Nordic Semi nRF52840. However so far, AFAIK you had to buy Nordic Semi own development kit for play with nRF52840, and now Particle has announced not one, but three low cost development boards powered by nRF52840 chip starting at just $9, and supporting their newly announced Particle Mesh technology. So for some reasons, it appears they did not go with Bluetooth Mesh. Particle Xenon – Bluetooth 5 + Mesh Xenon is the cheapest model with the following specifications: SoC – Nordic Semiconductor nRF52840 Arm Cortex-M4F 32-bit processor @ 64MHz with 1MB flash, 256KB RAM Storage –  2MB SPI flash Connectivity (via nRF52840) 802.15.4-2006 up to 250 …

Embedded Linux Conference & IoT Summit 2018 Schedule

The Embedded Linux Conference 2018 and the OpenIoT Summit 2018 will jointly take place next month, on March 12 – 14, 2018 in Portland, Oregon, USA. The former is a “vendor-neutral technical conference for companies and developers using Linux in embedded products”, while the latter is a “technical conference for the developers and architects working on industrial IoT”. The Linux Foundation has already published the schedule, and it’s always useful to learn what will be discussed about even for people who won’t attend. With that in mind, here’s my own virtual schedule with some of the talks I find interesting / relevant to this blog. Monday, March 12 10:50 – 11:40 – Progress in the Embedded GPU Ecosystem by Robert Foss, Collabora Ltd. Ten years ago no one would have expected the embedded GPU ecosystem in Linux to be what it is now. Today, a large number of GPUs have Open Source support and for those that aren’t supported yet, …

U-Blox announces NINA-B3 Bluetooth 5 Wireless MCU Modules

Bluetooth 5 promises to quadrupling the range and double the bandwidth of Bluetooth LE connection. However, we’ve seen not all Bluetooth 5 solutions will provide all features in a comparison between Nordic Semi nRF52840 vs nRF52832 vs nRF52810 Bluetooth 5 ready SoCs, as while all three platforms will handle the higher bandwidth just fine, only the nRF52840 will extend the range up to 4 times. That’s why you want want to make sure you get recent hardware capable of fully handling Bluetooth 5, and U-blox has just announced NINA-B3 Bluetooth 5 module series, based on nRF52840 SoC, that will both provide longer range and higher bandwidth. U-blox NINA-B3 module comes in two family flavors: NINA‑B31, comes pre‑flashed with u‑blox’s Connectivity Software, eliminating the need for embedded programming. Support for AT command set, and u-Blox low energy serial port service NINA‑B30 using nRF52840’s ARM Cortex-M4F as an “Open CPU” that allows for more customization, including support for Bluetooth mesh and Thread, …

STMicro BlueNRG-MESH SDK for Bluetooth Mesh to Include Code for Firmware, Android and iOS Apps

Earlier this summer, the Bluetooth SIG announced Bluetooth Mesh, which supports many-to-many (m:m) device communications for up 32,767 unicast addresses per mesh network (in theory), and is compatible with Bluetooth 4.0 or greater hardware.  Several companies immediately unveiled Bluetooth Mesh SDK at the time including Qualcomm, Nordic Semi, and Silicon Labs. ST Micro has now unveiled their own BlueNRG-MESH SDK which the company claims is “the market’s only three-part SDK that provides two app developer packages for Android and iOS, and the embedded-development software for building smart objects such as light fittings and sensors”. Sadly, details about the SDK are near inexistent now, except – as one would expect – BlueNRG-MESH SDK will work with ST BlueNRG Bluetooth low energy wireless network processor based on an ARM Cortex M0 core, and corresponding development kits. [Update: STSW-BNRG-Mesh page has many more details about the SDK including the architecture diagram below. ] The solution was showcased at Bluetooth Asia in Shenzhen last …

Sonnet is a Rugged Portable Device Creating Mesh Networks for Smartphones

Cellular networks are available in most places, but not always, and you may not have connectivity while climbing mountains or other remote locations, when going abroad, during natural disaster, in very crowded places where network capacity is exceeded, or when your government decides to cut it off for “national stability and harmony”.  Wouldn’t it be great if you were still able to contact with your friend in such cases, and create your own mesh networks expanding over several kilometers? That’s exactly what Sonnet does by connecting to your smartphone over WiFi, and to other Sonnet nodes over ISM frequencies (433, 868 and 925 MHz). Sonnet hardware specifications: Connectivity 802.11 b/g/n WiFi with up to 20 dBm (max varies per country); WPA/WPA2 security Long Range RF Frequencies 915 MHz (North America) 868 MHz (Europe) 433 MHz (Asia Pacific) Distance – 5km typ.; up to 10km Line-of-sight; SMA connector available to extend the range with your own antenna Transmit power – 1W …

Bluetooth Low Energy Now Supports Mesh Networking for the Internet of Things

The Bluetooth Special Interest Group (SIG) has announced support for mesh networking for BLE, which enables many-to-many (m:m) device communications, and is optimized for large scale device networks for building automation, sensor networks, asset tracking solutions, and other IoT solutions where up to thousands of devices need to reliably and securely communicate with one another. The standard actually specifies 32,767 unicast addresses per mesh network, but that number of nodes is not achievable right now. Mesh networking works with Bluetooth Low Energy and is compatible with version 4.0 and higher of the specifications. It requires SDK support for the GAP Broadcaster and Observer roles to both advertise and scan for advertising packets, and the FAQ claims Mesh Networking does not require extra power, and the devices only need to wake up at least once every four days or when they have data to transmit. Mobile apps connecting to mesh networking products will use the Bluetooth mesh proxy protocol implemented on top …