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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.

Battery powered IoT devices crucial to 2020+ standards

Technology must transfer data to the central system in real time, otherwise it may have negative consequences. If the sensor battery power runs out, a machine failure may stop production for one day or lead to direct danger. If battery life is unbelievable and short, IoT applications will become useless, causing more interference rather than making life easier for its intended purpose. Therefore battery powered IoT devices come as a standard in up-to-date IoT installations

Wireless sensors and sensor networks are one of the elements of the Internet of Things systems and intelligent factories. Replacing the standard sensors and data collection devices with versions that communicate wirelessly gives many benefits, but also enforces a highly thought-out system design that will minimize energy consumption. This is important because these systems must work for many years without servicing. In the article we present the issues regarding the design of systems and forecasting of energy consumption in IoT systems.

Wireless communication vs Battery power

The idea of wireless sensor networks has been around for at least two decades, while the IEEE subgroup working on personal wireless networks defined the 802.15.4 standard in 2003, a year later the first versions of ZigBee appeared. Since then, many varieties of wireless communication have been developed, such as LoRa & NarrowBand-IoT and additional functions introduced, as a result of which designers now have a choice of various open or proprietary protocols. What significantly affects the way the entire project is implemented is energy consumption.

Battery powered IoT installation. Source: https://modberry.techbase.eu/

The basic elements of these systems are sensors that measure physical quantities. Some signal and data processing capabilities are also important. After all, the communication interface is important, which will allow you to pass the measured data on. Such a sensor node should wake up from time to time, make contact with its superordinate controller, transfer data and fall back to sleep again. Battery life depends on the total charge collected. Minimizing this consumption in the long run means that you need to minimize energy consumption during each work cycle. In many cases, the sensor will only work for a small fraction of the time. A measurement that lasts a few milliseconds can be triggered once per second, once per minute, or even less frequently. Therefore, the energy consumed in sleep mode may dominate the total energy consumption.

Battery powered sensors market growth

The lifetime of IoT sensors varies greatly: some last a year years, others 10, the first being the most realistic. When organizations need to deploy engineers to install new batteries in sensors and employ staff to monitor them, the benefits of technology itself are beginning to run out.

Battery powered IoT devices crucial to 2020+ standards

It is estimated that in 2020 nearly 31 billion devices will be connected to the Internet of Things. Such forecasts provide ample opportunities, especially for producers associated with the products that make up it, and they are intensified by the developing IoT technology.

Source: https://globenergia.pl/co-laczy-internet-rzeczy-i-perowskity-fotowoltaika-do-zastosowan-wewnetrznych/

Battery-ready IoT devices based on ESP32

Battery / SuperCap power support allows the processes and data to be securely executed, saved or transferred, and the operating system to be safely shutdown or reboot, if the power source has been restored. The power failure alert can also be sent to cloud service, to perform custom task, specified by user or self-learning AI algorithm.

The Moduino device is a comprehensive end-point controller for variety of sensors located throughout any installation. It fully supports temperature and humidity sensors and new ones are currently developed, e.g. accelerometer, gyroscope, magnetometer, etc.

Battery powered Moduino ESP32
Battery powered IoT installation. Source: https://modberry.techbase.eu/

ModuinoModBerry symbiosis allows wide range of wake-up/sleep schedule customization, in order to perform best and save energy accordingly to power supply state. Arduino and MicroPython environments provide libraries to control different scenarios of data and power management.

With built-in algorithms and the possibility to program on your own, the TECHBASE’s sleep/wake addon module can wake the device using schedule/timer. Another option is wake on external trigger, e.g. change of input, etc. All the options for sleep, shutdown and wake can be configured for various scenarios to ensure constant operation of devices, safety of data and continuity of work in case of power failure in any installation.

Some time ago, we wrote about the premiere of Espressif’s ESP32-S2 chip. Check out the summary from Adafruit team on the ESP32-32 features.

Battery-ready IoT devices based on ESP32

Battery / SuperCap power support allows the processes and data to be securely executed, saved or transferred, and the operating system to be safely shutdown or reboot, if the power source has been restored. The power failure alert can also be sent to cloud service, to perform custom task, specified by user or self-learning AI algorithm.

The Moduino device is a comprehensive end-point controller for variety of sensors located throughout any installation. It fully supports temperature and humidity sensors and new ones are currently developed, e.g. accelerometer, gyroscope, magnetometer, etc.

Battery powered Moduino ESP32
Battery powered IoT installation. Source: https://moduino.techbase.eu/

ModuinoModBerry symbiosis allows wide range of wake-up/sleep schedule customization, in order to perform best and save energy accordingly to power supply state. Arduino and MicroPython environments provide libraries to control different scenarios of data and power management.

With built-in algorithms and the possibility to program on your own, the TECHBASE’s sleep/wake addon module can wake the device using schedule/timer. Another option is wake on external trigger, e.g. change of input, etc. All the options for sleep, shutdown and wake can be configured for various scenarios to ensure constant operation of devices, safety of data and continuity of work in case of power failure in any installation.

Coming up ESP32-S2 to fill the ESP32 and ESP8266 gap

In March 2019, photos of the new Espressif‘s chip “7 2-2-A” leaked. Since then, speculation has come up. It includes BLE5, USB, 5 GHz Wi-Fi and so on. Speculation ended last month when Espressif announced the new ESP32-S2. There is still some confusion about the ESP32-S2, but the specification has become clearer.

With state-of-the-art power management and RF performance, IO capabilities and security features, ESP32-S2 is an ideal choice for a wide variety of IoT or connectivity-based applications, including smart home and wearables.

Source: https://www.espressif.com/en/news/espressif-announces-%E2%80%A8esp32-s2-secure-wi-fi-mcu
First look of ESP32-S2

CPU and Memory

  • Xtensa® single-core 32-bit LX7 microcontroller
  • 7-stage pipeline
  • Clock frequency of up to 240 MHz
  • Ultra-low-power co-processor
  • 320 kB SRAM, 128 kB ROM, 16 KB RTC memory
  • Up to 1GB of external flash and SRAM support
  • Separate instruction and data cache

Connectivity

  • Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n
  • 1×1 transmit and receive
  • HT40 support with data rate up to 150 Mbps
  • Support for TCP/IP networking, ESP-MESH networking, TLS 1.0, 1.1 and 1.2 and other networking protocols over Wi-Fi
  • Support Time-of-Flight (TOF) measurements with normal Wi-Fi packets

IO Peripherals

  • 43 programmable GPIOs
  • 14 capacitive touch sensing IOs
  • Standard peripherals including SPI, I2C, I2S, UART, ADC/DAC and PWM
  • LCD (8-bit parallel RGB/8080/6800) interface and also support for 16/24-bit parallel
  • Camera interface supports 8 or 16-bit DVP image sensor, with clock frequency of up to 40 MHz
  • Full speed USB OTG support

Security

  • RSA-3072-based trusted application boot
  • AES256-XTS-based flash encryption to protect sensitive data at rest
  • 4096-bit eFUSE memory with 2048 bits available for application
  • Digital signature peripheral for secure storage of private keys and generation of RSA signatures

Optimal Power Consumption

ESP32-S2 supports fine-resolution power-control through a selection of clock frequency, duty cycle, Wi-Fi operating modes and individual power control of its internal components. 

  • When Wi-Fi is enabled, the chip automatically powers on or off the RF transceiver only when needed, thereby reducing the overall power consumption of the system. 
  • ULP co-processor with less than 5 uA idle mode and 24 uA at 1% duty-cycle current consumption. Improved Wi-Fi-connected and MCU-idle-mode power consumption.

Battery-ready IoT devices based on ESP32

Battery / SuperCap power support allows the processes and data to be securely executed, saved or transferred, and the operating system to be safely shutdown or reboot, if the power source has been restored. The power failure alert can also be sent to cloud service, to perform custom task, specified by user or self-learning AI algorithm.

The Moduino device is a comprehensive end-point controller for variety of sensors located throughout any installation. It fully supports temperature and humidity sensors and new ones are currently developed, e.g. accelerometer, gyroscope, magnetometer, etc.

Battery powered Moduino ESP32
Battery powered IoT installation. Source: https://moduino.techbase.eu/

ModuinoModBerry symbiosis allows wide range of wake-up/sleep schedule customization, in order to perform best and save energy accordingly to power supply state. Arduino and MicroPython environments provide libraries to control different scenarios of data and power management.

With built-in algorithms and the possibility to program on your own, the TECHBASE’s sleep/wake addon module can wake the device using schedule/timer. Another option is wake on external trigger, e.g. change of input, etc. All the options for sleep, shutdown and wake can be configured for various scenarios to ensure constant operation of devices, safety of data and continuity of work in case of power failure in any installation.

ONiO.zero running without battery can revolutionize the IoT market

ONiO, a Norwegian specialist in the field of the Internet of Things (IoT) for the medical industry, announced ONiO.zero, a RISC-V-based microcontroller with very low power consumption, which can work completely from the energy harvested from the environment. ONiO claims that its design can take energy from the radio spectrum and operate up to 24 MHz.

“ONiO.zero is a wireless MCU with very low power consumption, which uses energy acquisition technology,” wrote the company about its creation. This means that ONiO.zero only works on ambient energy. There are no coin cells, supercaps, lithium and batteries, but still offers a lot of performance.

Battery-based solutions have an unavoidable warning about battery replacement. This leads to increased costs over the entire lifetime. ONiO.zero avoids this problem and reduces operating costs. ONiO.zero is self-powered and supports a wide range of power sources, from multi-frequency RF bands supporting GSM and ISM to optional external sources such as solar, piezoelectric, thermal and voltaic.

Source: https://www.hackster.io/news/onio-zero-offers-up-to-24mhz-of-risc-v-microcontroller-performance-on-nothing-but-harvested-energy-70285321d50d

The microcontroller itself is based on the architecture of the RISC-V instruction set of the open source type (in particular RV32EMC) and operates up to 24 MHz with a supply voltage of 1.8 V. The controller will work if necessary with lower voltages. You can get 6 MHz at 1 V and 1 MHz at 0.8 V, and the system still runs slower, but as fast as 450 mV. Includes 1 KB ROM and 2 KB RAM, as well as 8-32 KB of ultra low power flash memory, capable of 100,000 read and write cycles up to 850 mV.

ONIO.zero running without battery can revolutionize the IoT market

ONiO.zero contains a crystalline Low Energy Bluetooth transmitter (BLE) that can operate at a voltage as low as 850mV, an IEEE 802.15.4 (UWB) broadband transmitter operating in the 3.5-10 GHz band, and optional radio transmitter 433 MHz MICS for the industrial, scientific and medical band (ISM).

ONiO.zero hasn’t been released yet. For more information check the ONiO.zero product page.

Battery-ready IoT devices based on ESP32

Battery / SuperCap power support allows the processes and data to be securely executed, saved or transferred, and the operating system to be safely shutdown or reboot, if the power source has been restored. The power failure alert can also be sent to cloud service, to perform custom task, specified by user or self-learning AI algorithm.

The Moduino device is a comprehensive end-point controller for variety of sensors located throughout any installation. It fully supports temperature and humidity sensors and new ones are currently developed, e.g. accelerometer, gyroscope, magnetometer, etc.

Battery powered Moduino ESP32
Battery powered IoT installation. Source: https://moduino.techbase.eu/

ModuinoModBerry symbiosis allows wide range of wake-up/sleep schedule customization, in order to perform best and save energy accordingly to power supply state. Arduino and MicroPython environments provide libraries to control different scenarios of data and power management.

With built-in algorithms and the possibility to program on your own, the TECHBASE’s sleep/wake addon module can wake the device using schedule/timer. Another option is wake on external trigger, e.g. change of input, etc. All the options for sleep, shutdown and wake can be configured for various scenarios to ensure constant operation of devices, safety of data and continuity of work in case of power failure in any installation.