Analog and mixed-signal semiconductors vendor Semtech Corp. announced Wednesday embedded and automation products and solutions provider Advantech has chosen to use Semtech LoRa technology to enable long-range RF connectivity with the new standardized M2.COM sensor platform.
The M2.COM platform is a module that combines wireless technology, a microcontroller unit (MCU) and networking capability with a standardized interface for sensors. Integrated LoRa technology will allow for longer range, lower power communication and connectivity into the low power, wide area networks (LPWANs) being deployed by telecom companies and other network service providers internationally.
Advantech, ARM, Bosch Sensortec and Sensirion, among others, launched M2.COM earlier this year to create an open and standardized sensor platform to simplify and accelerate Internet of Things (IoT) sensor applications for makers and sensor manufacturers.
Target applications for M2.COM include outdoor wireless sensors, wireless measuring instruments such as CO2 meters and PH meters, agriculture moisture sensors, sensing/tracking devices for supply chain/logistics, and wireless controllers that allow remote management for things such as street lighting, traffic signals and waste management.
LoRaWAN is intended for wireless battery operated Things in regional, national or global network. LoRaWAN target key requirements of internet of things such as secure bi-directional communication, mobility and localization services. This standard will provide seamless interoperability among smart Things without the need of complex local installations and gives back the freedom to the user, developer, businesses enabling the roll out of Internet of Things.
LoRaWAN network architecture is typically laid out in a star-of-stars topology in which gateways is a transparent bridge relaying messages between end-devices and a central network server in the backend. Gateways are connected to the network server via standard IP connections while end-devices use single-hop wireless communication to one or many gateways.
All end-point communication is generally bi-directional, but also supports operation such as multicast enabling software upgrade over the air or other mass distribution messages to reduce the on air communication time.
Communication between end-devices and gateways is spread out on different frequency channels and data rates. The selection of the data rate is a trade-off between communication range and message duration. Due to the spread spectrum technology, communications with different data rates do not interfere with each other and create a set of “virtual” channels increasing the capacity of the gateway. LoRaWAN data rates range from 0.3 kbps to 50 kbps.
To maximize both battery life of the end-devices and overall network capacity, the LoRaWAN network server is managing the data rate and RF output for each end-device individually by means of an adaptive data rate (ADR) scheme.
“In order to help our customers bring their IoT solutions to market faster, it is important for us to provide a standardized module interface with the flexibility to support a wide range of options for long range wireless connectivity,” said Miller Chang, VP of Advantech Embedded Computing Group. “Semtech LoRa wireless RF technology is an ideal solution for customers that are looking to develop IoT applications that require a reliable long range wireless connection that uses very low power. It is also a great complement to the other wireless connectivity options available for our M2.COM platform.”
“We are pleased that Advantech has chosen to include our LoRa wireless RF technology as one of the key ingredients in its M2.COM open platform,” said Marc Pegulu, Vice President and General Manager of Semtech’s Wireless and Sensing Product Group. “By combining wireless connectivity, MCU, and network connectivity into one standardized and integrated module platform, M2.COM will give developers the ability to create, test and bring their IoT applications to market much faster than a non-integrated approach.”