Google trends graph shows a rapid increase in the search for Long Range Wide Area Network (LoRaWAN) since April 2015. “Initial challenges have been in making the common person understand the use cases. Post that, public response has been overwhelming,” said Rishabh Chauhan, global community manager, The Things Network, in an earlier interaction with EFY. It seems to have turned into a global phenomenon ranging over some very interesting applications.
We were able to find one use case in the Indian subcontinent as well. Using LoRaWAN, engineers solved the problem of indication for chlorine gas leakage in power plants. Chauhan says, “A lot of people are using the technology and trying to evaluate which use case works for them, and eventually adopting the network.” Turns out, it makes a lot of sense to implement LoRA in real-life problems.
However, Krupa Shukla, CEO, Yups Tech solutions, highlights some issues, “LoRA is becoming popular because of its low cost and low power consumption, but its communication architecture is still at an evolving stage.”
Developments in LoRaWAN
Using frequencies lower than 2.4GHz or 5.8GHz enables much better coverage, especially when the nodes are inside buildings. Sub-1GHz frequencies are normally used; however, the technology is frequency agnostic.
LoRa wireless system makes use of unlicensed frequencies available worldwide. Commonly-used bands include 868MHz for Europe, 915MHz for North America and 433MHz band for the Asian subcontinent. However, another classification could be spread spectrum versus narrow-band system.
Spread spectrum through the years
The secrets of spread spectrum were not unknown to the US military. Since spread spectrum is below noise level, it is neither decipherable nor it can be jammed, intentionally or unintentionally. Even though the jamming noise can be introduced, lack of a key-set does not allow it to spread and mix with the original signal, thereby jamming it without any effect. It is immune to major atmospheric conditions as well.
Since World War II the US military have been deploying spread spectrum for their torpedoes and missiles to hide them from deciphering, only at great cost. The cost has reduced significantly and, in the recent years, companies have released hardware compatible with spread spectrum signals at a very low cost.
What spread spectrum lacks. In comparison, Narrowband IoT (NB-IoT) has advantages of an already mature ecosystem for mobile networks with support from telecom equipment vendors. “Long Term Evolution also has an advantage here, as no time and cost has to be invested in the infrastructure, comparatively,” adds Shukla.
NB-IoT technology standardised by 3GPP standards body is a narrow-band radio technology specially designed for the IoT. With capabilities like indoor coverage, low cost, long battery life and support for a large number of devices, this technology can be deployed in Global System for Mobile communication and Long Term Evolution spectrum. It uses licensed spectrum to provide secure and stable services.
LoRaWAN has the advantage of being an open platform to facilitate various enterprises entering the IoT application market. “Earlier we had Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and such systems, but we could not connect everything non-computer to the system. Here, we have a very simple sensor that can be attached and then we can connect the hardware to the system,” added Chauhan. “Once you get through the initial phase of deployment, it gets easier to work with the system.”
Some sensors, some connectivity and with proper embedded development skills, you could have your own IoT system. Applications include interfaces, connected cars, entertainment, residences and smarthomes, wearable technology, quantified self, connected health and smartretail. As for LoRaWAN, areas of implementation focus on connectivity. IBM long-range signalling and control, or implementation by Tata Communications are just the tip of the iceberg. With proper implementation, the possibilities are endless.
With increased usage, availability of software is no more a concern. Software available on the Internet makes life easy in handling LoRa radios. Using HOPE LoRa transceivers connected on serial peripheral interface bus, Somnath Bera, additional general manager, NTPC Ltd, solves a problem of indication in chemical plants. Command files in the software, for example, make working very easy on LoRaWAN. Bera says, “In less than ten lines one can make these radios up and running using available headers.”
He explains the problem, “The status of chlorination plant chlorine leakage along with chlorine cylinder temperature was not available at the control room of the new chemical plant, which is situated 3.5km away from the chlorination plant.” Since the control room of the new chemical plant is situated at some distance, reaching there would take some time. Using Wi-Fi at this range becomes meaningless. Requirement of bi-directional transfer of data between the control system and the chlorination plant lead to the involvement of LoRaWAN.
Nationwide LoRa networks
Earlier this year, Netherlands became the first country to implement LoRaWAN, with the project taking about eight months. “Last year we identified an increasing demand for low-power network technology for IoT applications. We are responding to this by choosing LoRa, so millions of devices can be connected to the Internet in a cost-effective manner,” said Joost Farwerck, chief operations officer and member of the board of management, KPN, in a press release.
SK Telecom has also announced the availability of a nation-wide LoRa network in South Korea this year. The firm offers 100MB of data per month for US$ 1.75.
Another South Korean fixed-line telecom firm, KT, has plans to invest in NB-IoT network and offer free of charge 100,000 modules to developers. Might just be for the first year, it can certainly drive adoption.
There are also proof-of-concept projects underway, which could implement LoRaWAN in the future. Baggage handling, facility services and systems to monitor rail switches are some real-life examples.
Security is just one issue
Ryan D’Costa, business development manager, inventrom, says, “You do not want your data to fall into the wrong hands.” Shukla says, “Since it is an open network, data security is a big question.”
Shukla adds, “It might look lucrative with respect to cost and power, but industries cannot take the risk of data hacks, so currently they use LTE based gateways and industrial-IoT (IIoT) solutions.”
Reports have highlighted some of the challenges and issues associated with LoRaWAN implementation in a white paper published recently. Areas demanding special attention in IoT solutions are security, interoperability and manageability of the solution. With such an open network, security becomes a relevant factor.
A report from HP brings to light the state of current systems. It reads, systems at present allow passwords as simple as 123456. With upgraded security in the area, we can possibly look to a future with open networks becoming the primary medium of communication. The paper also reveals dependence on out-of-the-box solutions. Twenty nine per cent of companies look to IoT Cloud platforms to lead their development projects.
“It is important to follow good practices like using secure Internet protocols like transport layer security, sanitising your inputs, ensuring the firmware is updated to the latest version and so on,” says D’Costa. Present LoRa systems use two static keys that are stored in the device and in the gateway. It could be easy to duplicate the key with a device that is not under surveillance. Also, storing keys on a device in a secure manner is quite complicated. Using a secure element hardware security module looks to be an interesting solution, with an increase in complication and expense. Advanced encryption standard-cipher based message authentication code, or AES-CMAC protocol, which includes encryption and integrity, is used for communication between the device and the gateway.
Where LoRaWAN is headed
Major IoT applications require only transmitting tiny bits of data to monitor remote devices. Mobile systems are not geared for battery efficiency or moving little bits of data inexpensively. So a low power wide area network is required for such applications.
According to Digitimes research, “LoRA Alliance in June 2015 released LoRaWAN 1.0 in competition with NB-IoT. As of end of March 2016, LoRaWAN had been commercially deployed in 13 countries and trialled in more than 60 other countries.”
In a more regional update, “Shortly, we are going to deploy LoRa for some more areas in remote telemetry, though heavily interfering atmosphere is a challenge, like bringing remote cooling tower or individual cell temperature data to the control room, remote ash slurry line temperatures, etc,” says Bera. He continues, “We will place the receiver at the height of the boiler, where it will be in line-of-sight for all respective senders.”
Saurabh Durgapal is working as technology journalist at EFY
My last article ‘Remote Sensing Thermometer’ published in June 2013 issue gave the constructional details of a project for sensing and measuring temperature of a body from a remote place. The circuit described there works absolutely fine, but it suffers from a major drawback; it cannot measure more than one temperature at a time. To overcome this problem, a different technique is adopted here, which allows you to sense eight (at the most) transducers at a time.
Block diagram of the wireless addressable digital thermometer is shown in Fig. 1. At the transmitting end, an 8-bit analogue-to-digital converter (ADC) continuously scans and converts signals from eight different temperature sensors. The sensors are selected sequentially by a 3-bit binary addressing system. At any moment, output of the ADC is an 8-bit binary number representing the analogue signal developed at the output of a particular temperature sensor, being addressed at that moment.
By using special parallel-to-serial encoders, this 8-bit data, along with the binary address of the sensor, is sent serially to the remote receiving end. Communication between the two ends are met with the help of a pair of 433MHz UHF transmitter and receiver modules operating in ASK/OOK mode.
At the receiving end, the transmitted signal is received by a 433MHz ASK/OOK RF receiver module. The received 8-bit serial signal is then converted back to its original parallel form, by using special data decoders as explained later. An equivalent analogue signal is then developed from this data by an 8-bit digital-to-analogue converter (DAC). A digital multimeter connected at the output of the DAC is used to show the temperature on mV scale.
Scanning of sensors is governed by a 3-bit binary counter, which places, in a cyclic fashion, sequentially-changing binary numbers from 000 to 111 on the three designated scanning input lines, A, B and C, of the ADC. Each number bears the binary address of a particular sensor, and whenever addressed, the sensor sends data to the ADC for conversion to its digital equivalent.
Here comes a problem. Due to continuous scanning of sensors by the ADC, received data may come from any one of the possible eight sensors. Hence, for proper identification of a source sensor, specific 8-bit binary number (address) is tagged with the 8-bit signal output of each sensor, prior to transmission. Special data encoders are used for this purpose.
The encoder used in this system can send only four bits of the 8-bit sensed data at a time. Hence, the sensed 8-bit signal from the ADC is first broken into two nibbles of four bits each. The nibbles are then sent, one after the other, repeatedly to the receiving end, after attaching the said 8-bit address to each of these by the said encoders.
Among the total eight bits of the address word, three are scanning bits, as explained above, and fixed for a particular sensor. The remaining five bits are manipulated to designate two different addresses to two different data nibbles. These five bits, once set, must remain set forever. So, during scanning of sensors, although the logic levels of A-B-C scanning input lines of the ADC go on changing sequentially from 000 to 111 in cyclic order, the said five other bits of the address word remain fixed to their preset value. As a result, different sensor output is allotted with different 8-bit addresses to both nibbles. This is true for all eight sensors.
At the receiving end, after detection, sequentially-received two pulse trains for two nibbles are fed to two special decoders. Like encoders, decoders, too, have pre-settable eight address lines. If at any time, the preset address of a decoder matches with the instantaneous address of an encoder, the decoder decodes the received signal and extracts the 4-bit data sent for it, and consequently places the same on its four output lines.
The 8-bit output data (4-bit plus 4-bit) from the two decoders are fed to an 8-bit DAC. The DAC in return generates an equivalent analogue current. This current, when allowed to flow through a resistor, developes an analogue voltage (negative with respect to ground) across it. This analogue output of the DAC is measured with the help of a digital multimeter.
Circuit and working
Circuit of the wireless addressable digital thermometer is divided into three parts: transmitter, receiver and power supplies.
Transmitter. Fig. 2 shows the circuit diagram of the transmitter unit for the wireless addressable digital thermometer. Eight LM35 IC temperature sensors (IC9-IC16) are connected to IN0-IN7 inputs (pins 26 to 28 and 5 to 1) of ADC 0808 (IC3). Although the ADC is capable of accepting a total number of eight sensors through its eight input lines, less number of sensors could be used as well as, whenever desired. IC 7404 (IC1) configured as a CMOS oscillator with the help of resistors R1 and R2, and capacitor C1 feeds the ADC with necessary clock pulses required for conversion processes.
Output voltage of LM35 series IC temperature sensors follows linearly (@10mV/°C) the centigrade temperature of its surroundings, taking 0mV at 0°C temperature. The ADC continuously scans its eight input lines. The scanning process is governed by a 3-bit binary up counter built around CD4029 (IC6).
The counter places a continuously-changing 3-bit binary number on A-B-C input lines of the ADC (pins 25, 24 and 23). Scanning rate is dependent upon the clock constructed around timer NE555 (IC2), and is 8Hz, approximately. Hence, each of the eight sensors is allowed to send data to the ADC for approximately one-eighth of a second, irrespective of whether all sensors are connected or not.
Here, IC3 is configured in continuous operational mode. So, whenever a particular sensor is addressed, output lines of the ADC reflect the present analogue output status of the sensor. Output of the ADC goes to data input lines of special encoders HT12E (IC4 and IC5); higher nibble to IC4 and lower nibble to IC5, respectively.
As TE input (pin 14) of encoders is permanently grounded (logic 0), the encoders are configured to produce encoded data continuously. Data is available at pin 17 of IC4 and IC5. These two encoded digital outputs are alternately steered to TX1 (TX-433MHz), a UHF RF transmitter module, to modulate UHF carrier wave generated by the module. Selection of encoder output is done in the following manner:
Whenever IC2 output pulse goes high, pin 10 of AND gate N3 of IC7 (a quad 2-input TTL AND gate) also goes high, allowing output of IC5 to be steered to TX1 through diode D4. At the same time, due to the presence of transistor inverter T1, pin 13 of gate N4 of IC7 goes low, inhibiting output of IC4 to reach TX1 through gate N4. As soon as the clock pulse returns to logic 0, output of IC4 gets its passage to TX1 through gate N4 of IC7.
So, in essence, analogue data of a sensor is converted and the resultant 8-bit digital data is sent to the remote end using ASK/OOK modulation, in a complete clock cycle of IC2.
Modulated signal is radiated into space through a wire (approximately 35cm long), acting as an antenna, connected at the antenna point of the module.
Receiver. Fig. 3 shows the receiving unit of the wireless addressable digital thermometer. RX1, a 433MHz RF receiver module, is used to receive and demodulate ASK-modulated RF signal transmitted by TX1 of the transmitter unit. Demodulated output is a train of rectangular pulses comprising a 4-bit data nibble and destined for a particular decoder as explained earlier.
Transistor BC547 (T2) is used as a pulse amplifier to amplify the signal output from RX1 and, hence, raises the pulse height to CMOS compatible logic -1 (>3.5V at 5V). This compatible output is then fed to CMOS NAND gate 4011 (IC19). NAND gate N1 helps to get pulses of perfect rectangular-wave shape. Output of gate N1 of IC19 is fed to decoders HT12D (IC20 and IC21). Address lines of the decoders are preset to receive data from encoders IC4 and IC5, respectively.
LEDs (LED5 and LED6) connected at their VT outputs (pin 17) flicker to indicate reception of valid data. Decoding speed (as measured at pin 15) is 200kHz (approximately). Decoded data is then fed to IC22, a DAC (0808). Analogue current output of the DAC (pin 4) is loaded with resistor R26. Voltage developed across it is fed to a digital multimeter, which shows the temperature on mV scale.
A thumbwheel switch (TWS1) is used to change the preset address of the decoders (IC20 and IC21). The switch changes the last three LSB of the address. For example, to get data from the sensor (IC13) connected at IN4 input of the ADC, the number to be set on TWS1 is 4.
Power supplies.The thermometer needs power supplies both for its transmitter and receiver units. Whereas the transmitter unit needs only a +5V regulated power supply built around X1, D1, D2 and IC8 (Fig. 2), the receiver unit needs a dual +5V and -5V supplies built around X2, BR1, IC17 and IC18 (Fig. 3). Both circuits work from 230V AC, 50Hz connected to the primaries of transformers X1 and X2, respectively.
Power supply circuits are self-explanatory. Three-terminal positive voltage regulator IC 7805 is used both in the transmitter and the receiver units to get regulated +5V supplies. On the other hand, a three-terminal negative-voltage regulator IC 7905 is used to get -5V supply required for DAC0808 of the receiver unit.
Construction and testing
An actual-size, single-side PCB pattern for the transmitter unit of the wireless addressable digital thermometer is shown in Fig. 4 and its component layout in Fig. 5. Similarly, an actual-size, single-side PCB pattern for the receiver unit is shown in Fig. 6 and its component layout in Fig. 7.
Download PCB and component layout PDFs: click here
For connection of TWS1, use a four-wire cable to connect it to the PCB. Fix TWS1 on the front panel of the receiver unit.
Mounting of the sensor IC requires some special attention. If temperature of a solid surface is to be monitored, the sensor may be fixed to the surface by using metal clamps, or glued directly to the surface with high-temperature epoxy adhesive.
For liquid temperature measurement, the sensor cannot be immersed directly in the liquid, as the liquid may be a conductive type, and in that case, the sensor’s leads would be electrically shorted. To solve this problem, the sensor may be mounted inside a sealed-end metal/glass tube. Connecting wires must go to the leads through high-temperature insulating sleeving. The tube may then be dipped into the liquid, or screwed through some threaded hole in the container of the liquid. Although steel gives very high ruggedness to construction, in general, a glass tube would be an ideal choice when temperature of a chemically reactive bath is to be measured.
During construction, special care must be given regarding the choice of some resistors and capacitors. Resistors R1, R2, R24, 25 and 26 must be of highly-stable and low-temperature co-efficient type, to make the units stable against time and ambient temperature variations. Metal-film type may be used for this purpose. VR1 is a 10-kilo-ohm, 40-turn trim potmeter. This should be of highly stable type.
Ground return leads of the sensors must be grounded close to ADC ground lead, otherwise erroneous results may be observed.
Calibration and adjustment
For proper operation of this wireless thermometer, reference current (to pin 4 of DAC0808 – IC22) of the receiver unit should be pre-adjusted. To do this, follow the steps below:
Connect a known voltage source (not exceeding +5V) to any input of the ADC, say, at IN6 (pin 4) of the ADC. Switch on the transmitter unit. Connect a DMM across R26 of the receiver unit. Set the range switch to DC 200mV range, positive lead to ground and negative lead to top of R26. Switch on the receiver unit. LEDs at decoder outputs should start glowing to indicate the received voltage data. If source voltage is 1.5V, status of LEDs should be as listed in Table I.
So, received voltage = (D× 5)/256 = (76×5)/256 = 1.50
where D is the weight of the binary numbers represented by LED7 through LED14.
Now, adjust trim potmeter VR1 to get 150.00mV on the dial of the multimeter. Connect another voltage source at the input and see that the multimeter shows it correctly. If required, re-adjust the trim potmeter. After proper calibration, enclose the circuit in two separate boxes with suitable connections of input and LED indicators.
How to use
1. Attach LM35 sensors (IC9 through IC16) of the transmitter unit to different subjects of interest, noting inputs (IN0-IN7) of the ADC to which these are connected individually.
2. Attach a digital multimeter to the output of the receiver unit with positive lead to ground and negative lead to R26. Set the multimeter’s dial to 200mV range.
3. Switch on both transmitter and receiver units.
4. Rotate the rotary thumbwheel switch to get the temperature of a particular subject. For example, if you like to get temperature of the subject attached to the sensor connected to IN6 input of the ADC, the thumbwheel switch ought to be rotated to position 6.
5. A temperature of 27.5°C would be displayed as 27.5mV (when value of R26 is around 500-ohm). If R26 is 5k, displayed value would be 0.275V when DMM range switch is set to 2V.
Although the system can be used best to measure temperatures in hazardous or inaccessible areas (like a radioactive zone), the same can also be used by a hospital doctor to monitor, from a fixed location, the body temperatures of multiple patients lying in different rooms without visiting each patient in person.
A hotel control room can monitor temperatures of all the rooms at the same time by using multiple units. The unit can also be used (with certain modifications) as a wireless digital voltmeter.
Arup Kumar Sen is a retired technical officer – II, S.A.I.F., Bose Institute, Kolkata
High-performance computing is not only about running advanced applications but it is leading to transformations in the way world works. Michael Keegan International Business Leader, Chairman and Board Member, Andy Stevenson Head of Middle East, Turkey, and India, Managing Director for India and Ravi Krishnamoorthi Sr. Vice President & Head of Business Consulting Fujitsu reveal the transformational roadmap with the help of HPC that even governs functioning of all entities in a connected world works while talking to Shanosh Kumar From EFY group
Q. How does High performance computing address classic problems of automation?
A. When we look at most technologically advanced nations, HPC is used to bring in private sector research to deliver solutions. Let us take an example of a seaport in Singapore. HPC’s there helps to optimise the flow of cargo in and out of the ports while interacting directly with ships and guiding them. They also make sure that the inflow and outflow of cargo is taken care of by analysing traffic patterns near the port. We can see a real cross over of research over the impact.
Q. What are the infrastructural demands required to support smart environments?
A. Intelligent analysis of existing data that exists in form of structured and unstructured data can now be sourced from multiple devices and mediums. This can help the analytics engines to make knowledgeable decision for us. Now that is intelligent analytics over big data.
Q. Can HPC address India specific problems?
A.Michael: This is a big growth area in India, considering the fact that there is more data out there and the requirements to gather intelligent information and insightfulness backed by data is driving an increase in high performance super compute capabilities. This becomes the fundamental engine that underpins the digital transformation.
There are some problems that are present with India perspective. Last mile connectivity, front end security, presence of unstructured data than structured data and legacy systems in operation are some of them. If India needs to realise its smart city initiatives and become digital India; infrastructure connectivity, infrastructural demand needs to be sorted, says Ravi.
Q. What factors are pushing corporations to link up every process to cloud platforms and HPC?
A.Andy: Timing is everything. The big macroeconomic factors with respect to HPC are that the price of computing is coming down while the ability to process structured and unstructured data becomes cheaper. The connectivity and bandwidths are improving all the time. Also we have a population that is more and more impatient for information to make more intelligent decision based on data and not on belief.
Ravi:To add on to it, consumer’s mind-set revolves around mobility, access and dependence of technology drives the whole data spectrum. This is making whole lot of processes automated. Interoperability will happen.
Q. What is your take on interoperability?
A.Andy: Open standards make more room for interoperability. There used to be very few true open standards. Software innovations and number of people including those who run big business now are looking for open standard software as a key asset. The age of proprietary software is going away. Transformation will take place when a farmer or if somebody uses this information through a smart phone line device with compute power help somewhere.
Q. How accurate are HPC systems post their operational deployment?
A.Andy: Looking across the spectrum, HPC has some problem domains that do not yield themselves to end point devices. For example, if we are trying to measure the impact of weather for one kilometre the algorithms and models today can gauge up to a kilometre. Meteorological department of India is trying to take the next generation of algorithm models down to less than 100 meters grid on a global scale. Hence we can imagine the amount of insight generated as the analytics engine takes in to account ocean currents, temperature, convection currents and all sorts of different parameters.
Q. Would future of compute power lie in a distributed environment of in the palm of our hands with respect to shrinking size?
A.Michael:With respect to HPC, the platform has been part of various deployments across the world. Meteorological department, tsunami alert systems are all using this platform to run simulations and predict. Going forward Spark HPC platform will collaborate with ARM based technology and we will be looking to provide the successive roadmaps, particularly in the mobile space and this collaboration would be the future direction.
Q. What is your take on security on HPC?
A.Michael:Approach to security depends on what the business or the consumer services are made available. We have learned a lot from the banking industry, like using internet security protocols for safe payments.
We also see a rise in cybercrimes. The first is the insider threat like fraud by people who have privileged access to be able to cause loss of money or data together. We can protect those using process by controlling the access and assessing risk. These are major threats considering customer stand point. Today we can limit access etc. to certain people by just giving them a wearable.
India, February 23rd, 2017, Siemon, a leading global network infrastructure specialist, today announced the release of a new Zone Cabling and Coverage Area Planning Guide: 60W PoE Lighting Applications to provide guidance to infrastructure designers on the selection, design, and deployment of a structured cabling system optimized to support a wide range of Power over Ethernet (PoE) lighting applications.
PoE lighting systems are becoming increasingly popular due to the ease and benefits of using Ethernet communication for control and balanced twisted pair cabling to deliver reliable and cost-effective dc power. PoE lighting solutions already illuminate over one billion square feet of commercial space globally. It is also estimated that the number of smart lighting deployments that were 46 million units in 2015 will grow to 2.54 billion in 2020.
PoE lighting luminaires typically use light emitting diode (LED) technology. LED technology offers the benefits of lower power consumption and less heat generation than other luminaire design alternatives. It not only lowers capital investment but also improves safety & comfort and integrating with building automation systems.
Upon introducing PoE Lighting Applications, Mr. Prem Rodrigues, Director for Middle East, India & SAARC Region, Siemon (Please confirm designation) said, “There are a large number of variables that must be considered prior to identifying the lighting solution that is best suited for a particular building environment. It is also crucial for infrastructure designers to have a complete understanding of these considerations before endeavouring to design and install the low voltage cabling system for PoE lighting deployments. It is for this reason that Siemon recommends using a qualified Digital Lighting Partner (DLP) for low voltage lighting installations.”
Siemon’s new Zone Cabling and Coverage Area Planning Guide: 60W PoE Lighting Applications is a valuable tool for designers and architects to utilize when planning PoE lighting systems. PoE lighting systems rely on a well-designed infrastructure of high performance balanced twisted-pair cabling, network electronics, and software connecting and communicating with Internet Protocol (IP) addressable luminaires, dimmers, sensors, and controllers to deliver maximum performance, comfort, and energy savings benefits.
The guide highlights installation recommendations, integration with IoT applications, zone cabling for PoE lighting including coverage areas and location of zone enclosures, and more. This Zone cabling is a standards-based design approach that is highly suited to support arrangements of these PoE lighting devices logically distributed throughout a ceiling space. With the increasing popularity of PoE lighting and IoT-enabled systems, the landscape of structured cabling design is rapidly advancing.
New Delhi, February 23, 2017- Telit, (AIM: TCM) a global enabler of the Internet of Things (IoT), announced today that its deviceWISE Asset Gateway Software has been validated on Cisco’s IOx-enabled edge computing gateways, namely, Cisco® ISR809/829 Industrial Integrated Services Routers and Cisco IE4000 Industrial Ethernet Switches and the software is now available as an integrated Cloud-ready industrial IoT solution. These highly-secure and ruggedized Industry 4.0 appliances provide edge intelligence for industrial asset management, condition-based monitoring, predictive maintenance and other mission-critical IoT applications across industrial markets around the world. Telit and Cisco have partnered in a multi-faceted go-to-market collaboration that expands their market reach and readiness for their respective products and services. The deviceWISE Asset Gateway software is a smart agent with an extensive industrial protocol library based on decades of development and experience in the industrial automation space.
“Telit edge software on Cisco IoT Gateways enables customers and partners to access machine data with a broad range connectors for manufacturing and industrial deployments. Cisco has a rich portfolio of industry specific IoT gateways with security, scale, compliance, that offer 4G LTE, Ethernet and Wi-Fi connectivity options and management to enable customer success for operational deployments. Now, customers have the flexibility to choose the most optimal IoT gateways, with Telit edge software, management and SI partners to deploy Connected Machine use-cases with confidence,” said Vikas Butaney, General Manager, Cisco IoT Connectivity.
Cisco IoT Gateways with deviceWISE give enterprises highly flexible and scalable deployment options. Companies can opt to install the Cisco hardware with deviceWISE as a secure and rugged industrial automation solution within the four walls of a factory. In addition, deviceWISE gateways can seamlessly connect to the Telit IoT Portal, an enterprise-grade Cloud service (powered by the deviceWISE IoT Platform) for Industry 4.0 applications, such as real-time remote monitoring and control and predictive maintenance. This Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) features a low cost pay-as-you-go service plan and lets you get started without any upfront investment, which lowers barrier to entry for complex solutions. deviceWISE eliminates any custom development with intuitive click-to-configure tools that significantly reduce deployment time, risk, cost and complexity for companies large and small. The Cisco/Telit combined offering also seamlessly integrates with deviceWISE-powered IoT services from leading Mobile Network Operators (MNOs), as well as our on-premise installations offered by SAP to large enterprise customers.
“We are very pleased to collaborate with Cisco on their Internet of Things initiatives and to work together on expanding the market reach for both companies in the high-growth industrial IoT market,” said Charlie McNiff, VP deviceWISE Business Development, Telit IoT Platforms. “Adding Cisco to our expanding ecosystem of Telit IoT partners is an advantage for the industry and our common customers.”
This article discusses the criteria for selecting the right microcontroller (MCU) for different embedded applications. It also discusses the design challenges and system limitations of MCUs in embedded applications.
Application in home appliance industry
The home appliance industry uses 8/16/32-bit MCU based circuitry for motor control and TRIAC/LED/LCD drive applications. The MCU controls and manages all functions and features of the home appliances. When you press Start button, inputs go to the MCU from the front-panel keyboard and the MCU starts the three-phase brushless DC (BLDC) motor or the permanent magnet synchronous (PMSM) motor. Motor speed is varied and controlled as per your input from the front-panel keypad.
The MCU uses either internal or external serial EEPROM (I2C/SPI based) to store old data. It uses a real-time clock for displaying accurate time. Temperature measurement is done using an onboard resistance temperature detector, thermistor or thermocouple based temperature-sensing device.
The MCU uses an external analogue-to-digital converter (ADC) and amplifiers for different analogue inputs from sensors, temperature sensors and battery. It uses external signal conditioning, comparators and gate-driver circuitry for driving and controlling the three-phase BLDC/PMSM motor. The MCU receives remote control inputs through an infrared receiver (at 38kHz input).
The MCU uses external buffer-driver circuitry to drive 7-segment LED/LCD/graphical display. Typically, a 7-segment LED/LCD/graphical display with backlight is used for showing the temperature, battery voltage, speed and error/warning messages. The MCU also interfaces with onboard peripherals like I2C/SPI and external peripherals like UART/USB for communication.
Application in automotive industry
The current automotive industry uses 16- to 32-bit MCU based circuitry for e-bikes. The circuitry controls and manages all functions and features of the automobiles. Once you use the ignition key to start the automobile, inputs go to the MCU. This starts the three-phase brushless automotive motor. The MCU receives vehicle input signal and the vehicle starts moving. The MCU uses driver circuitry to drive the three-phase brushless automotive motor as per speed required by the user. Speed of the motor varies and is controlled as per acceleration brake sensor input from the user.
The MCU uses either internal or external serial EEPROM (I2C/SPI based) for storing data like distance readings. It uses RTC for displaying accurate time on the display. Temperature measurement is done by using an onboard RTD or thermistor based temperature-sensing device.
The e-bike solution in the automotive industry uses an obstacle sensor to get information about nearby vehicles while parking, a fuel sensor to get information regarding the amount of fuel in the tank, while an MCU monitors battery voltage and shows it on the LCD display. The MCU uses relay-driver circuitry for switching brakelight/headlight on or off and for blinking directional lights.
The power supply section uses rechargeable lead-acid/lithium battery as the power source. It also has provision for a battery charger. Battery input is down-converted to DC voltage to power the MCU and other circuitry. Ignition key of the e-bike enables and disables onboard regulators.
The power supply section incorporates protection features for battery, over-current, over-heating and start-up fail, which are controlled by the MCU. It also enables charging of external devices like mobile phones.
Application in mobile phones and tablets
Current mobile phone and tablet designs use 8/16/32-bit MCUs as a co-processor for different functions. The MCU receives signals from analogue sensors (temperature sensors like thermistors, resistance temperature detectors and humidity sensors that receive analogue inputs and provide digital voltage, which is applied to the MCU), 2/3-axis accelerometers (that measure 2/3-axis movements and convert it to digital voltage, which is applied to the MCU) and ambient light sensors (ALSes) interface.
Ambient light sensor enables automatic control of display backlight brightness over a wide range of illumination conditions, from a dark environment to direct sunlight. With ALS input, an MCU or baseband processor increases or decreases display brightness, depending on the environment. The MCU also receives magnetic sensor inputs through external ADCs and buffer circuitry. Besides, it uses the accelerometer and mechanical joystick for running gaming applications.
Introducing the latest additions to the most complete and scalable line of software defined radio (SDR) solutions available for aerospace, defense and wireless prototyping applications
Bangalore, India – Feb. 23, 2017 – NI (Nasdaq: NATI), the provider of platform-based systems that enable engineers and scientists to solve the world’s greatest engineering challenges, today announced the availability of the USRP-2945 quad receiver SDR device and the USRP-2944 high-performance 2×2 multiple input, multiple output (MIMO) SDR device. Both models deliver a new level of performance and capability to the USRP (Universal Software Radio Peripheral) family. These devices feature the widest frequency ranges, highest bandwidth and best RF performance in the USRP family.
The USRP-2945 and USRP-2944 join the NI SDR portfolio of products, which scale from small deployable radios to 128-antenna massive MIMO systems. Engineers can use the extensive NI SDR product family to efficiently transition from design to prototyping and deployment across a wide range of wireless applications through a unified design flow. They can combine NI SDRs with LabVIEW software to rapidly develop real-time communication and wireless receiver systems, and prototype new algorithms with real-world signals through the onboard FPGA and FPGA programming tools. Additionally, engineers can efficiently incorporate NI SDR products with other NI hardware to design solutions that address the most demanding applications, benefitting from hardware flexibility combined with a unified software toolchain.
Specifically designed for over-the-air signal acquisition and analysis, the USRP-2945 features a two-stage superheterodyne architecture to achieve the superior selectivity and sensitivity required for applications such as spectrum analysis and monitoring, and signals intelligence. With four receiver channels, and the capability to share local oscillators, this device also sets new industry price/performance benchmarks for direction finding applications.
For wideband wireless research, the USRP-2944 is a 2×2 MIMO-capable SDR that features 160 MHz of bandwidth per channel. With a frequency range from 10 MHz to 6 GHz, this SDR works in frequencies of interest for LTE and WiFi research and exploration, covering potential new spectrum deployments.
“With the future of spectrum usage and management tied to spectrum sharing, it is imperative to have cost-effective tools to enable researchers, regulators and corporations to more effectively scan, capture and analyze the spectrum to create spectrum situational awareness and respond accordingly,” said Manuel Uhm, director of marketing for Ettus Research, a National Instruments company, and chair of the board of directors for the Wireless Innovation Forum. “NI offers the broadest portfolio of SDRs and has now added a multichannel wideband transceiver and superheterodyne receiver that deliver the superior RF performance required for high-performance spectrum research.”
New Delhi, February 20, 2017 – Taking context sensing in Internet-of-Things (IoT) and wearable devices to the next level, STMicroelectronics’ LIS2DW12 3-axis accelerometer delivers superior accuracy, flexibility, and energy savings by supporting multiple low-power and low-noise settings in a 2mm x 2mm x 0.7mm package.
A new member of ST’s low-power, high-performance MEMS product family (alongside devices like LSM6DSM, LSM6DSL, and LSM303AH), the LIS2DW12 has 16-bit output and can be set to prioritize low power consumption or low-noise performance, with five settings in either mode. A specific feature coupled with four settings in each mode save waking the system to check for data, and allow efficient single-byte transfers thereby further minimizing system power consumption and helping extend battery life. Noise density down to 90µg/√Hz is at least 25% lower than similar devices in the marketplace, which improves the measurement accuracy in next-gen applications from healthcare, fitness, and gaming to industrial sensing and environmental monitoring.
Drawing as little as 50nA in standby, or 380nA in low-power mode at 1.6Hz Output Data Rate, the LIS2DW12 adds negligible load on the battery. The supply-voltage range of 1.62-3.6V allows extended operation from small coin or button cells. Features that support system-level power savings include a 32-level FIFO, a built-in temperature sensor, and a programmable interrupt for freefall, wake up, activity/inactivity, 6D/4D orientation detection, and tap/double-tap detection.
The LIS2DW12 offers high resolution and flexibility to optimize noise performance and power consumption in a small 2mm x 2mm x 0.7mm package.
Engineering samples of the LIS2DW12 are available now, and volume production will begin in Q1 2017. Budgetary pricing is from $0.75 for orders of 1000 pieces.
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