The wM-Bus or Wireless Meter Bus is a European standard (EN 13757-4) that defines communication between usability meters and data loggers, hubs or intelligent meter gates. Based on the M-Bus wireless bus, a new advanced measurement infrastructure (AMI) was developed to meet the needs of media meters across Europe. Several years have passed since M-Bus and sub-GHz wireless connections were introduced, but they are still evolving in response to changing environments and taking advantage of technological advances, including the emergence of the Internet of Things.

2.4 GHz band vs unlicensed bands

Wireless communication over long distances is a requirement for intelligent network devices. These frequencies are unlicensed and provide better radio wave propagation than 2.4 GHz. In Europe, the most common frequencies are 868 MHz, 434 MHz and 169 MHz. These unlicensed bands can be used to reach difficult areas, such as underground meters or the location of buildings with many walls and obstructions. In addition, utilities have lower solution costs when operating in the unlicensed band.

COVID-19 and wireless technologies

The use of wireless technologies during COVID-19 pandemic hazards is often a necessity, to prevent the virus from spreading. One of obvious choices for Internet of Things and home monitoring is Wireless M-Bus implementation.MODUINO series expansion options now include TECHBASE’s high-performance Wireless M-Bus module.

For low power applications using either the specifically allocated 169 MHz metering band or the 868 MHz ISM band, the module can be configured as an embedded micro system or simple data modem. For Industrial IoT applications, the device can be configured for interoperability in a WMBus network.

In terms of covered area and power consumption, the RF implementation ensures best-in-class performance. On the 169 MHz band, the output power can be increased up to +30 dBm (+27 dBm on the optimized version for maximum power efficiency) and up to +15 dBm on the 868 MHz band. The extremely reduced power consumption gives access to long lasting battery life requirements (up to 2 μA in sleep mode for wireless M-Bus modules with an RTC clock running).

It is possible to make Moduino devices equipped with a WMBus stack that Embit developed specifically for the ESP32 platform, allowing them to be integrated in any desired system, without effort, and simplifying interactions in WMBus networks.

NXP Semiconductors recently announced the launch of a comprehensive Wi-Fi 6 (802.11ax) product portfolio, which greatly expands the market range of products that can adopt the latest Wi-Fi standard. NXP ’s expanded Wi-Fi 6 product portfolio demonstrates NXP ’s vision and differentiated technology approach for new end-to-end solutions designed to help the automotive, access, mobile, industrial, and Internet of Things markets embrace the era of connected innovation.

Rafael Sotomayor, senior vice president of NXP Semiconductors ’Security and Connectivity Division, said that in order to provide Wi-Fi 6 to a wider market, OEMs need Wi-Fi 6 options that can meet their needs. They need product series that can meet the performance and cost needs of different market segments. With NXP ’s latest connectivity solutions, we help customers to more easily invest in our Wi-Fi 6 platform, and then use Wi-Fi 6 for smart homes, connected cars and industrial machinery. We are very pleased to see these markets gain the advantages of Wi-Fi 6 networking.

New Wi-Fi 6 addition to NPX’s portfolio

Wi-Fi 6 adds many improvements to the connection, including symmetric multi-gigabit (multi-gigabit) upload and download, significantly reducing latency, increasing capacity, and improving power efficiency across applications. As of now, these technological advancements have been limited to high-end products. Through NXP ’s extensive product portfolio, these advantages can now be applied to large-scale deployments in multiple markets, giving products the most advanced Wi-Fi capabilities, including up to four times the performance improvement, wider coverage, extended battery life, Connection reliability is higher.

In addition, the focus of NXP ’s Wi-Fi 6 product portfolio includes its leading 4 × 4 and 8 × 8 streaming solutions integrated with Bluetooth 5 (Bluetooth 5), suitable for home and enterprise access solutions (88W9064, 88W9068), AEC-Q100-compliant dual-frequency parallel (Concurrent Dual) Wi-Fi 2 × 2 + 2 × 2 + Bluetooth 5 solution, designed for the highest performance infotainment and remote information processing automotive applications (88Q9098) , Dual-band parallel Wi-Fi 2 × 2 + 2 × 2 + Bluetooth 5 solution, providing top-level products (88W9098) for multimedia streaming and consumer access applications, 2 × 2 WiFi 6 + Bluetooth 5 focusing on the Internet of Things, Reduce costs and improve power, and NXP ’s Silicon Germanium (SiGe) -based RF front-end solution portfolio can extend Wi-Fi 6 functionality from low-end to high-end applications, including 1 × 1, 2 × 2, 4 × 4 and 8 × 8 MIMO (Multiple Input Multiple Output) solutions. The product portfolio is packaged in ultra-compact 3 mm x 4 mm modules optimized for mobile solutions.

Source: https://media.nxp.com/news-releases/news-release-details/nxps-new-wi-fi-6-portfolio-accelerates-its-large-scale-adoption/

What is Wi-Fi 6?

The Wi-Fi 6 standard enables enterprises and service providers to support new and emerging applications within the same wireless LAN (WLAN) infrastructure while ensuring higher standards of support for older applications. This scenario prepares the ground for new business models and increased use of Wi-Fi.

Upcoming Wi-Fi 6 and Wi-Fi 7 forecast for industrial IoT
Source: TP-Link

This is exactly the same standard as 802.11ax. The Wi-Fi Alliance has launched a campaign to give the IEEE 802.11ax standard the name „Wi-Fi 6”. This name suggests that this standard is a 6th generation Wi-Fi network. The justification for this idea was to simplify the marketing message of the 802.11ax standard in order to gain an image advantage over the standards of the Third Generation Partnership Project (3GPP) used in cellular network technology (e.g. 5G).

Expectations about Wi-Fi 7 standard

During a speech during the August Wi-Fi Qualcomm Day and subsequent interviews, V.K. Jones, vice president of technology, shared details about the operation of Wi-Fi 7. He expects a three-step improvement over today’s Wi-Fi 6, called 802.11ax in the world of technology.

The first improvement expected will increase Wi-Fi 6 bandwidth and use new radio waves that will allow the governments of the United States and Europe to start wireless transmission soon next year. Secondly, the Wi-Fi 6 update in 2022 should improve speed, especially for those who transfer data such as videos from phones and computers. The third, and perhaps the most interesting, is the Wi-Fi update collection expected in 2024, known only under the technical name 802.11be.

ZigBee Mesh used in end-point IoT devices

ZigBee mesh‚s usefulness for IoT is partly due to the fact that it is an open standard. The same products can be used all over the world, which gives customers a large selection of available option. The high competition between products and producers means that the created solutions are innovative, characterized by high quality and give customers a considerable choice. Many suppliers of cooperating elements of this ecosystem mean that they are not limited to any specific brands or specific semiconductor manufacturers.

ZigBee Mesh. Source: ZigBee Alliance
ZigBee Mesh. Source: ZigBee Alliance

Compatibility is also promoted, as ZigBee Mesh 3.0 brings all the various ZigBee environments to a single, unified standard. Over the years, ZigBee has covered applications ranging from industrial to business to home, which has led to the development of separate service standards. ZigBee 3.0 collects all these various applications under one umbrella. This eliminates the need for mediation bridges between different sets of ZigBee supporting devices. All of them will be able to communicate directly, regardless of type.

Competitiveness of ZigBee based solutions

With a maximum data bandwidth of 250 kbps at 2.4 GHz, ZigBee is slower than other popular wireless standards such as Wi-Fi or Bluetooth, but it doesn’t matter in typical sensor applications. ZigBee Mesh is designed to send small data packets at relatively long intervals, which is usually sufficient to collect data from temperature sensors, safety sensors, air quality monitoring systems and similar subsystems. In the meantime, the low bandwidth affects the low power needed for the system to work, so that ZigBee nodes can usually work for many years on a single AAA battery.

ZigBee Power Consumption. Source: ZigBee Alliance
ZigBee Power Consumption. Source: ZigBee Alliance

With low power consumption, ZigBee supporting products typically have a short transmission range – typically from 10 to 15 meters, and the signal they emit is easily disturbed by obstacles on the route, or changes in the environment. However, the beauty of ZigBee devices lies in their work as part of a lattice topology network, where each of them transmits signals between themselves over a total of longer distances. The grid topology also means that damage to a single device will not stop the entire network, as communication can simply be redirected.

Data security via ZigBee wireless technology

ZigBee 3.0 has introduced an advanced set of tools that allows designers to introduce reliable networks with a balanced security policy and ease of installation. Available features will be constantly updated to respond to emerging threats. The security solution used is based on the ZigBee PRO grating protocol, which was originally created for the ZigBee Smart Energy profile. It is currently used by hundreds of millions of media consumption meters around the world, without detecting any security holes.

New features include device-unique authentication, when connecting to the mesh network, updating of keys used during work, secure software update via wireless network and data encryption at the logical layer of the link.

Industrial use of ZigBee Mesh

One of industrial IoT devices, supporting ZigBee Mesh technology is eModGATE from TECHBASE. Economical, ESP32-based solution can serve as an end-point in any installation or works well as a gateway, gathering data from scattered sensor mesh across the installation. For more information check Industrial IoT Shop with all the configuration options for eModGATE, including ZigBee modem.

The RAK2287 is a mini-PCIe LPWAN hub module based on the Semtech SX1302 that can be easily integrated with existing routers and other networking equipment with LPWAN gateway capabilities. It can be used on embedded platforms that offer a free mini PCIe slot with SPI connector. In addition to LPWAN functionality, the module is equipped with a ZOE-M8Q GPS chip that provides GNSS functionality.

This module is an exceptional, complete, and cost-efficient gateway solution offering up to 10 programmable parallel demodulation paths, an 8 x 8 channel LoRa® packet detector, 8 x SF5-SF12 LoRa® demodulators and 8 x SF5-SF10 LoRa® demodulators. It is capable of detecting an uninterrupted combination of packets at 8 different spreading factors and 10 channels with continuous demodulation of up to 16 packets. The module is well suited for Internet-of-Things (IoT) applications, that require node density of up to 500 nodes per km² in an environment with moderate interference.

Source: https://www.semtech.com/company/press/semtech-releases-a-new-portfolio-of-solutions-lora-edge-to-simplify-and-accelerate-iot-applications
LoRaWAN RAK2287 concentrator module

LoRa RAK2287 features

RAK2287 key features and specifications:

  • LoRa Connectivity:
    • Semtech SX1302 LoRa Transceiver with 2x SX1250 Tx/Rx front-end
    • Tx power – up to 27dBm
    • Rx sensitivity – down to -139dBm @ SF12, BW 125 kHz
    • LoRaWAN® 1.0.2 compatible.
    • LoRa band coverage – RU864, IN865, EU868, AU915, US915, KR920, AS923
    • 1x iPEX antenna connector for LoRa
  • GNSS – GPS / QZSS, BeiDou, Galileo, and GLONASS via U-blox ZOE-M8Q GPS SiP; 1x iPEX antenna connect for GPS

Source: https://www.cnx-software.com/2020/08/06/rak2287-mini-pcie-lorawan-concentrator-module-supports-up-to-500-nodes-per-km2/

Use of LoRa in industrial automation

Use of wireless connection makes life and work easier for us every day – from radio stations and GSM to Wi-Fi wireless networks, Zigbee, short-range Bluetooth connectivity and LoRa. With the spread of internet access, the possibility of using wireless connectivity for a new type of service and application has opened. Terminology such as M2M (Machine to Machine) – remote communication between devices and IoT – a network of applications and devices communicating with the Internet have been created.

Device equipped with LoRa module is delivered with a LoRaWAN protocol stack, so it can be easily connected to the existing, fast-growing LoRa Alliance infrastructure – both in privately managed local area networks (LAN) and public telecommunications networks to create wide area low power WAN (LPWAN) on a national scale. LoRaWAN stack integration also allows connection to any microcontroller, such as LoRa Gateway industrial device from TECHBASE.

ZigBee Mesh used in end-point IoT devices

ZigBee mesh‚s usefulness for IoT is partly due to the fact that it is an open standard. The same products can be used all over the world, which gives customers a large selection of available option. The high competition between products and producers means that the created solutions are innovative, characterized by high quality and give customers a considerable choice. Many suppliers of cooperating elements of this ecosystem mean that they are not limited to any specific brands or specific semiconductor manufacturers.

ZigBee Mesh. Source: ZigBee Alliance
ZigBee Mesh. Source: ZigBee Alliance

Compatibility is also promoted, as ZigBee Mesh 3.0 brings all the various ZigBee environments to a single, unified standard. Over the years, ZigBee has covered applications ranging from industrial to business to home, which has led to the development of separate service standards. ZigBee 3.0 collects all these various applications under one umbrella. This eliminates the need for mediation bridges between different sets of ZigBee supporting devices. All of them will be able to communicate directly, regardless of type.

Competitiveness of ZigBee based solutions

With a maximum data bandwidth of 250 kbps at 2.4 GHz, ZigBee is slower than other popular wireless standards such as Wi-Fi or Bluetooth, but it doesn’t matter in typical sensor applications. ZigBee Mesh is designed to send small data packets at relatively long intervals, which is usually sufficient to collect data from temperature sensors, safety sensors, air quality monitoring systems and similar subsystems. In the meantime, the low bandwidth affects the low power needed for the system to work, so that ZigBee nodes can usually work for many years on a single AAA battery.

ZigBee Power Consumption. Source: ZigBee Alliance
ZigBee Power Consumption. Source: ZigBee Alliance

With low power consumption, ZigBee supporting products typically have a short transmission range – typically from 10 to 15 meters, and the signal they emit is easily disturbed by obstacles on the route, or changes in the environment. However, the beauty of ZigBee devices lies in their work as part of a lattice topology network, where each of them transmits signals between themselves over a total of longer distances. The grid topology also means that damage to a single device will not stop the entire network, as communication can simply be redirected.

Data security via ZigBee wireless technology

ZigBee 3.0 has introduced an advanced set of tools that allows designers to introduce reliable networks with a balanced security policy and ease of installation. Available features will be constantly updated to respond to emerging threats. The security solution used is based on the ZigBee PRO grating protocol, which was originally created for the ZigBee Smart Energy profile. It is currently used by hundreds of millions of media consumption meters around the world, without detecting any security holes.

New features include device-unique authentication, when connecting to the mesh network, updating of keys used during work, secure software update via wireless network and data encryption at the logical layer of the link.

Industrial use of ZigBee Mesh

One of industrial IoT devices, supporting ZigBee Mesh technology is eModGATE from TECHBASE. Economical, ESP32-based solution can serve as an end-point in any installation or works well as a gateway, gathering data from scattered sensor mesh across the installation. For more information check Industrial IoT Shop with all the configuration options for eModGATE, including ZigBee modem.

The wM-Bus or Wireless Meter Bus is a European standard (EN 13757-4) that defines communication between usability meters and data loggers, hubs or intelligent meter gates. Based on the M-Bus wireless bus, a new advanced measurement infrastructure (AMI) was developed to meet the needs of media meters across Europe. Several years have passed since M-Bus and sub-GHz wireless connections were introduced, but they are still evolving in response to changing environments and taking advantage of technological advances, including the emergence of the Internet of Things.

2.4 GHz band vs unlicensed bands

Wireless communication over long distances is a requirement for intelligent network devices. These frequencies are unlicensed and provide better radio wave propagation than 2.4 GHz. In Europe, the most common frequencies are 868 MHz, 434 MHz and 169 MHz. These unlicensed bands can be used to reach difficult areas, such as underground meters or the location of buildings with many walls and obstructions. In addition, utilities have lower solution costs when operating in the unlicensed band.

COVID-19 and wireless technologies

The use of wireless technologies during COVID-19 pandemic hazards is often a necessity, to prevent the virus from spreading. One of obvious choices for Internet of Things and home monitoring is Wireless M-Bus implementation.MODUINO series expansion options now include TECHBASE’s high-performance Wireless M-Bus module.

For low power applications using either the specifically allocated 169 MHz metering band or the 868 MHz ISM band, the module can be configured as an embedded micro system or simple data modem. For Industrial IoT applications, the device can be configured for interoperability in a WMBus network.

In terms of covered area and power consumption, the RF implementation ensures best-in-class performance. On the 169 MHz band, the output power can be increased up to +30 dBm (+27 dBm on the optimized version for maximum power efficiency) and up to +15 dBm on the 868 MHz band. The extremely reduced power consumption gives access to long lasting battery life requirements (up to 2 μA in sleep mode for wireless M-Bus modules with an RTC clock running).

It is possible to make Moduino devices equipped with a WMBus stack that Embit developed specifically for the ESP32 platform, allowing them to be integrated in any desired system, without effort, and simplifying interactions in WMBus networks.

NXP Semiconductors recently announced the launch of a comprehensive Wi-Fi 6 (802.11ax) product portfolio, which greatly expands the market range of products that can adopt the latest Wi-Fi standard. NXP ’s expanded Wi-Fi 6 product portfolio demonstrates NXP ’s vision and differentiated technology approach for new end-to-end solutions designed to help the automotive, access, mobile, industrial, and Internet of Things markets embrace the era of connected innovation.

Rafael Sotomayor, senior vice president of NXP Semiconductors ’Security and Connectivity Division, said that in order to provide Wi-Fi 6 to a wider market, OEMs need Wi-Fi 6 options that can meet their needs. They need product series that can meet the performance and cost needs of different market segments. With NXP ’s latest connectivity solutions, we help customers to more easily invest in our Wi-Fi 6 platform, and then use Wi-Fi 6 for smart homes, connected cars and industrial machinery. We are very pleased to see these markets gain the advantages of Wi-Fi 6 networking.

New Wi-Fi 6 addition to NPX’s portfolio

Wi-Fi 6 adds many improvements to the connection, including symmetric multi-gigabit (multi-gigabit) upload and download, significantly reducing latency, increasing capacity, and improving power efficiency across applications. As of now, these technological advancements have been limited to high-end products. Through NXP ’s extensive product portfolio, these advantages can now be applied to large-scale deployments in multiple markets, giving products the most advanced Wi-Fi capabilities, including up to four times the performance improvement, wider coverage, extended battery life, Connection reliability is higher.

In addition, the focus of NXP ’s Wi-Fi 6 product portfolio includes its leading 4 × 4 and 8 × 8 streaming solutions integrated with Bluetooth 5 (Bluetooth 5), suitable for home and enterprise access solutions (88W9064, 88W9068), AEC-Q100-compliant dual-frequency parallel (Concurrent Dual) Wi-Fi 2 × 2 + 2 × 2 + Bluetooth 5 solution, designed for the highest performance infotainment and remote information processing automotive applications (88Q9098) , Dual-band parallel Wi-Fi 2 × 2 + 2 × 2 + Bluetooth 5 solution, providing top-level products (88W9098) for multimedia streaming and consumer access applications, 2 × 2 WiFi 6 + Bluetooth 5 focusing on the Internet of Things, Reduce costs and improve power, and NXP ’s Silicon Germanium (SiGe) -based RF front-end solution portfolio can extend Wi-Fi 6 functionality from low-end to high-end applications, including 1 × 1, 2 × 2, 4 × 4 and 8 × 8 MIMO (Multiple Input Multiple Output) solutions. The product portfolio is packaged in ultra-compact 3 mm x 4 mm modules optimized for mobile solutions.

Source: https://media.nxp.com/news-releases/news-release-details/nxps-new-wi-fi-6-portfolio-accelerates-its-large-scale-adoption/

What is Wi-Fi 6?

The Wi-Fi 6 standard enables enterprises and service providers to support new and emerging applications within the same wireless LAN (WLAN) infrastructure while ensuring higher standards of support for older applications. This scenario prepares the ground for new business models and increased use of Wi-Fi.

Upcoming Wi-Fi 6 and Wi-Fi 7 forecast for industrial IoT
Source: TP-Link

This is exactly the same standard as 802.11ax. The Wi-Fi Alliance has launched a campaign to give the IEEE 802.11ax standard the name „Wi-Fi 6”. This name suggests that this standard is a 6th generation Wi-Fi network. The justification for this idea was to simplify the marketing message of the 802.11ax standard in order to gain an image advantage over the standards of the Third Generation Partnership Project (3GPP) used in cellular network technology (e.g. 5G).

Expectations about Wi-Fi 7 standard

During a speech during the August Wi-Fi Qualcomm Day and subsequent interviews, V.K. Jones, vice president of technology, shared details about the operation of Wi-Fi 7. He expects a three-step improvement over today’s Wi-Fi 6, called 802.11ax in the world of technology.

The first improvement expected will increase Wi-Fi 6 bandwidth and use new radio waves that will allow the governments of the United States and Europe to start wireless transmission soon next year. Secondly, the Wi-Fi 6 update in 2022 should improve speed, especially for those who transfer data such as videos from phones and computers. The third, and perhaps the most interesting, is the Wi-Fi update collection expected in 2024, known only under the technical name 802.11be.

ZigBee Mesh used in end-point IoT devices

ZigBee mesh‚s usefulness for IoT is partly due to the fact that it is an open standard. The same products can be used all over the world, which gives customers a large selection of available option. The high competition between products and producers means that the created solutions are innovative, characterized by high quality and give customers a considerable choice. Many suppliers of cooperating elements of this ecosystem mean that they are not limited to any specific brands or specific semiconductor manufacturers.

ZigBee Mesh. Source: ZigBee Alliance
ZigBee Mesh. Source: ZigBee Alliance

Compatibility is also promoted, as ZigBee Mesh 3.0 brings all the various ZigBee environments to a single, unified standard. Over the years, ZigBee has covered applications ranging from industrial to business to home, which has led to the development of separate service standards. ZigBee 3.0 collects all these various applications under one umbrella. This eliminates the need for mediation bridges between different sets of ZigBee supporting devices. All of them will be able to communicate directly, regardless of type.

Competitiveness of ZigBee based solutions

With a maximum data bandwidth of 250 kbps at 2.4 GHz, ZigBee is slower than other popular wireless standards such as Wi-Fi or Bluetooth, but it doesn’t matter in typical sensor applications. ZigBee Mesh is designed to send small data packets at relatively long intervals, which is usually sufficient to collect data from temperature sensors, safety sensors, air quality monitoring systems and similar subsystems. In the meantime, the low bandwidth affects the low power needed for the system to work, so that ZigBee nodes can usually work for many years on a single AAA battery.

ZigBee Power Consumption. Source: ZigBee Alliance
ZigBee Power Consumption. Source: ZigBee Alliance

With low power consumption, ZigBee supporting products typically have a short transmission range – typically from 10 to 15 meters, and the signal they emit is easily disturbed by obstacles on the route, or changes in the environment. However, the beauty of ZigBee devices lies in their work as part of a lattice topology network, where each of them transmits signals between themselves over a total of longer distances. The grid topology also means that damage to a single device will not stop the entire network, as communication can simply be redirected.

Data security via ZigBee wireless technology

ZigBee 3.0 has introduced an advanced set of tools that allows designers to introduce reliable networks with a balanced security policy and ease of installation. Available features will be constantly updated to respond to emerging threats. The security solution used is based on the ZigBee PRO grating protocol, which was originally created for the ZigBee Smart Energy profile. It is currently used by hundreds of millions of media consumption meters around the world, without detecting any security holes.

New features include device-unique authentication, when connecting to the mesh network, updating of keys used during work, secure software update via wireless network and data encryption at the logical layer of the link.

Industrial use of ZigBee Mesh

One of industrial IoT devices, supporting ZigBee Mesh technology is eModGATE from TECHBASE. Economical, ESP32-based solution can serve as an end-point in any installation or works well as a gateway, gathering data from scattered sensor mesh across the installation. For more information check Industrial IoT Shop with all the configuration options for eModGATE, including ZigBee modem.

The RAK2287 is a mini-PCIe LPWAN hub module based on the Semtech SX1302 that can be easily integrated with existing routers and other networking equipment with LPWAN gateway capabilities. It can be used on embedded platforms that offer a free mini PCIe slot with SPI connector. In addition to LPWAN functionality, the module is equipped with a ZOE-M8Q GPS chip that provides GNSS functionality.

This module is an exceptional, complete, and cost-efficient gateway solution offering up to 10 programmable parallel demodulation paths, an 8 x 8 channel LoRa® packet detector, 8 x SF5-SF12 LoRa® demodulators and 8 x SF5-SF10 LoRa® demodulators. It is capable of detecting an uninterrupted combination of packets at 8 different spreading factors and 10 channels with continuous demodulation of up to 16 packets. The module is well suited for Internet-of-Things (IoT) applications, that require node density of up to 500 nodes per km² in an environment with moderate interference.

Source: https://www.semtech.com/company/press/semtech-releases-a-new-portfolio-of-solutions-lora-edge-to-simplify-and-accelerate-iot-applications
LoRaWAN RAK2287 concentrator module

LoRa RAK2287 features

RAK2287 key features and specifications:

  • LoRa Connectivity:
    • Semtech SX1302 LoRa Transceiver with 2x SX1250 Tx/Rx front-end
    • Tx power – up to 27dBm
    • Rx sensitivity – down to -139dBm @ SF12, BW 125 kHz
    • LoRaWAN® 1.0.2 compatible.
    • LoRa band coverage – RU864, IN865, EU868, AU915, US915, KR920, AS923
    • 1x iPEX antenna connector for LoRa
  • GNSS – GPS / QZSS, BeiDou, Galileo, and GLONASS via U-blox ZOE-M8Q GPS SiP; 1x iPEX antenna connect for GPS

Source: https://www.cnx-software.com/2020/08/06/rak2287-mini-pcie-lorawan-concentrator-module-supports-up-to-500-nodes-per-km2/

Use of LoRa in industrial automation

Use of wireless connection makes life and work easier for us every day – from radio stations and GSM to Wi-Fi wireless networks, Zigbee, short-range Bluetooth connectivity and LoRa. With the spread of internet access, the possibility of using wireless connectivity for a new type of service and application has opened. Terminology such as M2M (Machine to Machine) – remote communication between devices and IoT – a network of applications and devices communicating with the Internet have been created.

Device equipped with LoRa module is delivered with a LoRaWAN protocol stack, so it can be easily connected to the existing, fast-growing LoRa Alliance infrastructure – both in privately managed local area networks (LAN) and public telecommunications networks to create wide area low power WAN (LPWAN) on a national scale. LoRaWAN stack integration also allows connection to any microcontroller, such as LoRa Gateway industrial device from TECHBASE.

ZigBee Mesh used in end-point IoT devices

ZigBee mesh‚s usefulness for IoT is partly due to the fact that it is an open standard. The same products can be used all over the world, which gives customers a large selection of available option. The high competition between products and producers means that the created solutions are innovative, characterized by high quality and give customers a considerable choice. Many suppliers of cooperating elements of this ecosystem mean that they are not limited to any specific brands or specific semiconductor manufacturers.

ZigBee Mesh. Source: ZigBee Alliance
ZigBee Mesh. Source: ZigBee Alliance

Compatibility is also promoted, as ZigBee Mesh 3.0 brings all the various ZigBee environments to a single, unified standard. Over the years, ZigBee has covered applications ranging from industrial to business to home, which has led to the development of separate service standards. ZigBee 3.0 collects all these various applications under one umbrella. This eliminates the need for mediation bridges between different sets of ZigBee supporting devices. All of them will be able to communicate directly, regardless of type.

Competitiveness of ZigBee based solutions

With a maximum data bandwidth of 250 kbps at 2.4 GHz, ZigBee is slower than other popular wireless standards such as Wi-Fi or Bluetooth, but it doesn’t matter in typical sensor applications. ZigBee Mesh is designed to send small data packets at relatively long intervals, which is usually sufficient to collect data from temperature sensors, safety sensors, air quality monitoring systems and similar subsystems. In the meantime, the low bandwidth affects the low power needed for the system to work, so that ZigBee nodes can usually work for many years on a single AAA battery.

ZigBee Power Consumption. Source: ZigBee Alliance
ZigBee Power Consumption. Source: ZigBee Alliance

With low power consumption, ZigBee supporting products typically have a short transmission range – typically from 10 to 15 meters, and the signal they emit is easily disturbed by obstacles on the route, or changes in the environment. However, the beauty of ZigBee devices lies in their work as part of a lattice topology network, where each of them transmits signals between themselves over a total of longer distances. The grid topology also means that damage to a single device will not stop the entire network, as communication can simply be redirected.

Data security via ZigBee wireless technology

ZigBee 3.0 has introduced an advanced set of tools that allows designers to introduce reliable networks with a balanced security policy and ease of installation. Available features will be constantly updated to respond to emerging threats. The security solution used is based on the ZigBee PRO grating protocol, which was originally created for the ZigBee Smart Energy profile. It is currently used by hundreds of millions of media consumption meters around the world, without detecting any security holes.

New features include device-unique authentication, when connecting to the mesh network, updating of keys used during work, secure software update via wireless network and data encryption at the logical layer of the link.

Industrial use of ZigBee Mesh

One of industrial IoT devices, supporting ZigBee Mesh technology is eModGATE from TECHBASE. Economical, ESP32-based solution can serve as an end-point in any installation or works well as a gateway, gathering data from scattered sensor mesh across the installation. For more information check Industrial IoT Shop with all the configuration options for eModGATE, including ZigBee modem.