Year 2017 in Review, Top 10 Posts, and Some Fun Stats

2017 is coming to an end, and as I do every year, I’ll take a look back at the year that was on CNX Software. The pace of development boards launches has not slowed down this year, and we get an even wider range from the low-end with Orange Pi or NanoPi boards, to much more powerful ARM boards, and some new entrants like Libre Computer. The same is true for TV boxes, most of which now support 4K HDR, ranging from ultra cheap models selling for less than $20 to higher end Android TV boxes, while mini PCs were dominated by Intel Apollo Lake models, although some Cherry Trail products were also launched. Processor-wise, Amlogic launched more Amlogic S905X derivatives with S905W/S905D/S905Z, which are popular in the TV box market. Rockchip’s most interesting processor this year was RK3328 quad core Cortex A53 processor designed for 4K HDR Android TV boxes, but also popular with single board computers thanks to …

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LoRaWAN Currently Leads LPWAN IoT Gateway Deployments Says VDC Research

LoRaWAN, Sigfox, Weightless, RPMA, NB-IoT, etc… There are many LPWAN (Low Power Wide Area Networks) solutions, but it’s unclear whether most/all will survive and coexist, or there will eventually be a couple of winners used by everyone. VDC Research is claiming that so far, LoRaWan assumes LPWAN leadership for IoT gateways, explaining that “LoRaWAN (LoRa) has generated considerable traction with new product launches from a number of gateway suppliers through the past 18 months”, but points to mounting competition from 3GPP standards such as NB-IoT and LTE Cat M1. Sadly, the company did not provides number in their public announcement, and those are only available in the paid report. VDC Research still released a public executive brief (free registration required), with some of the highlights including: The global market for IoT gateway hardware is forecasted to grow to more than $2.5B in 2021. While intelligent gateways generated more market revenue than M2M gateways in 2016, they will not comprise the …

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PingPong IoT Development Board Supports Cellular Connectivity, WiFi, Bluetooth, LoRa, Sigfox, and More

Round Solutions, a supplier of products, services and concepts for industrial M2M and IoT markets, has introduced PingPong IoT development board with either Microchip PIC32MZ running an RTOS, or PIC32MZ DA running Linux, and equipped with a Telit modules for either 2G or 3G cellular + GNSS connectivity. The board can also support WiFi, Bluetooth, ISM/RF, NFC/RFID, LoRa, Sigfox, Iridium satellite, and serial interface thanks to a range of expansion boards. PingPong IoT board specifications: MCU / Flash RTOS version – Microchip PIC32MZ 32-bit Microcontroller @ 200 MHz, with 512 KB RAM and 2 MB Flash Memory + 4 MB external memory Linux version – Microchip PIC32MZ DA  (Full specs TBA) Connectivity Cellular connectivity Telit xE910 module with 2G, 3G and/or 4G LTE (coming soon) Data GSM/GPRS – Uplink/Downlink: 9.6 kbps UMTS – Downlink: 384 kbps, Uplink: 384 kbps HSPA+ – Downlink: 42.0 Mbps, Uplink: 5.75 Mbps LTE – Download: 100 Mbps, Uplink: 50 Mbps Frequency Bands (MHz) – 1800, 1900, …

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TECHBASE Moduino X Series Industrial IoT Modules / Endpoints are Based on ESP32 WiSoC

We’ve previously covered TECHBASE ModBerry industrial IoT gateways leveraging Raspberry Pi 3, FriendlyELEC NanoPi M1 Plus, or AAEON’s UP Linux boards. The company has now launched Moduino X series modules powered by Espressif ESP32 WiFi + Bluetooth SoC to be used as end points together with their ModBerry gateways. Two models have been developed so far, namely Moduino X1 and X2, with the following specifications: Wireless Module – ESP32-WROVER with ESP32 dual-core Tensilica LX6 processor @ 240 MHz, 4MB pSRAM (512KB as option), 4MB SPI flash; External Storage – X2 only: micro SD card slot Connectivity 802.11 b/g/n WiFi up to 16 Mbps + Bluetooth 4.2 LE with u.FL antenna connector X2 only: 10/100M Ethernet Options: LoRa (Semtech SX1272); Sigfox (TI CC1125); LTE Cat M1/NB1; Zigbee Serial – 2x RS-232/485 Display – Optional 0.96″ OLED display with 128×64 resolution Expansion I/Os 4x Digital I/O (0 ~ 3V) 2x Analog Input: A2 Only: 2x analog output (optional) A2 only: support for …

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WizziKit is a DASH7, LoRa and Sigfox Wireless Sensor & Actuator Network Kit

Over the last few years, I’ve written several article about LoRaWAN, Cellular IoT, and Sigfox based long range low power IoT solutions. DASH7 is another LPWAN (Low Power Wide Area Network) standard that operates on the same 868 and 915 MHz ISM bands as LoRa and Sigfox, but has much lower power consumption, and the cost of a shorter range up to 500 meters, instead of the 5+km associated with LoRa or SigFox. The DASH7 Alliance Protocol (D7A) is an Open Standard, and if you want more details you can download version 1.1 of the specifications on DASH7 Alliance website. I’m writing about DASH7 today thanks to an article on ST blog about Wizzilab’s Wizzikit, an evaluation kit and framework for DASH7 with a gateway, and several nodes that can also optionally support LoRaWAN and Sigfox protocols. The kit is comprised of the following items: WizziGate GW2120 Ethernet/Wifi/Dash7 gateway – based on GL-iNet AR150 router –  with antenna for the selected band …

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Arduino MKRFOX1200 Board Combines Microchip SAM D21 MCU with Sigfox Module in MKRZero Form Factor

Arduino MKRFOX1200 is the first official Arduino board to feature LPWAN technology thanks to a Microchip ATA8520 Sigfox module combined with a Microchip SAMD21 ARM Cortex M0+ micro-controller, all that in the same form factor as MKRZero or MKR1000 boards. Arduino MKRFOX1200 specifications: MCU – Microchip SAMD21 ARM Cortex-M0+  MCU @ 48 MHz with 256KB flash, 32KB SRAM Connectivity – Microchip AT8520 Sigfox module operating @ 868 MHz with 2dB “GSM” antenna connected to u.FL connector 2x 14-pin headers for I/Os: 8x digital I/O 8x external interrupts (0, 1, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, A1 -or 16-, A2 – or 17) 7x analog inputs (8/10/12-bit ADC) 1x analog out (10-bit DAC) 12x PWM pins ((0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 10, A3 – or 18 -, A4 -or 19) 1x UART, 1x SPI, 1x I2C 3.3V operating voltage DC Current per I/O Pin 7 mA USB – 1x full speed micro USB device and embedded host Misc …

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SigFox Launches Spot’it Low Cost GPS-Free IoT Geolocation Service

Asset tracking was traditionally done using a combination of cellular and GPS technology, and LPWAN standards like LoRa & Sigfox promised to lower the cost of communication and hardware while still relying on GPS technology, but Sigfox has just announced Spot’it geolocation service, which will get rid of GPS all together, and instead use radio signal strength analysis and deep learning techniques in order to provide location information both outdoors and indoors. Key benefits listed by the company include: Lowest-cost IoT location service – Spot’it does not require any additional hardware or software upgrades, and the device does not have to transmit more messages, meaning there is no impact on the solution operating cost for customers. Low energy – Spot’it does not rely on energy intensive GPS technology, nor require additional processing or any more energy than what Sigfox-enabled devices already consume. Enabled through a planetary network – Spot’it is embedded in Sigfox’s global network footprint and represents the first global …

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Bttn is a Sigfox Connected IoT Button Going for $2 a month

The Button Corporation, a company specializing in… buttons as you may have guess, has introduced a new version of their bttn connected button with Sigfox connectivity in the US. It works a little like Amazon Dash, but mostly targets businesses, offers more features, and works anywhere with a Sigfox network. bttn & bttn mini specifications: Button functions – Short press, long press and “not pressed” LED feedback – Green (positive), red (negative) and yellow (wait) Connectivity – Mobile data (2G GPRS), SIGFOX (868 MHz ETSI / 915MHz for US), or Wi-Fi (2.4 GHz 802.11b/g/n) USB – 1x micro USB port for charging Power Supply bttn mini – Rechargeable Li-Po battery bttn – 4 x AA alkaline batteries Dimensions – bttn mini: 69mm Ø x 40 mm; bttn: 100 mm Ø x 73 mm Weight – bttn mini: 90 grams; bttn: 190 grams bttn devices send data to bt.tn cloud server, or for WiFi bttns to a local server, and support …

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