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Espressif Systems and Amazon recently announced the ESP32-PICO-V3-ZERO Alexa Connect Kit (ACK) module, which provides support for features such as out-of-the-box connectivity to the cloud service ACK, Alexa control, „seamless setup”, and Amazon Dash completion for connected devices.

This new module is as much as 50% lower in cost.

Source: https://developer.amazon.com/en-US/blogs/alexa/device-makers/2020/07/Introducing-the-New-Alexa-Connect-Kit-Module-with-Espressif-Chipset
ESP32-PICO-V3-ZERO

How Alexa Connect Kit Works

With Alexa Connect Kit, you can make nearly any device with power into an Alexa-compatible smart device your customers will love, all at a fixed per-device cost. You simply integrate an Amazon-managed ACK module into your device, connect it to your device’s microcontroller (MCU) over a serial interface, and add interface code to your device’s firmware to interpret control messages from the ACK module. The ACK module adds Wi-Fi, Bluetooth LE, and all the software needed for Alexa control, Frustration Free Setup, security, and log and metric collection – managed and updated by Amazon. For your customers, products built with ACK include Alexa control through voice and the Alexa app, and the option to support Amazon Dash Replenishment. For developers, ACK enables you to connect your devices to Alexa without the need to operate a cloud, create and maintain an Alexa skill, develop a companion app, or deal with IoT firmware integration. With an ACK module on your device, you can focus on building great hardware.

Source: https://developer.amazon.com/en-US/blogs/alexa/device-makers/2020/07/Introducing-the-New-Alexa-Connect-Kit-Module-with-Espressif-Chipset

Industrial use of LoRa & ESP32-based solutions

One of industrial IoT devices, supporting LoRa wireless technology is ESP32 based 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 and also Raspberry Pi based solutions check Industrial IoT Shop with all the configuration options for eModGATE.

eModGATE with ESP32

Amazon‚s website has introduced a Software Audio Front End (AFE) Development Kit section that lists software algorithms that optimize sound detection in noisy environments. The latest addition is the Amazon Alexa recently certified Espressif audio front end or ESP AFE algorithm for shorts.

The Espressif AFE algorithm was certified by Amazon after achieving excellent performance in long-range Alexa testing. In most cases, in low signal-to-noise scenarios, the wakeup rate reaches 100% and the speech recognition rate exceeds 90%.

Amazon-Qualified “Software Audio Front-End” Solution

Low resource consumption

Espressif’s AFE algorithms are optimized, as they take advantage of Espressif’s AI accelerator that is available in the ESP32-S3 SoC. Espressif’s AFE algorithms consume just 12-20% of CPU and around 460 KB of memory, including 220 KB of internal memory and 240 KB of external memory. This provides sufficient headroom for customer applications on the ESP32-S3 SoC.

Espressif’s AFE algorithms offer an easy and intuitive API for customer applications, so that their performance can change as dynamically as it is required. The distance between the two microphones can be between 20-80 mm, which allows considerable flexibility for the hardware design of developers’ end-products.

Source: https://www.espressif.com/en/solutions/audio-solutions/esp-afe

Industrial use of ESP32-based solutions

One of industrial IoT devices, supporting Espressif’s ESP32 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 and also Raspberry Pi based solutions check Industrial IoT Shop with all the configuration options for eModGATE.

eModGATE with ESP32

Espressif Systems and Amazon recently announced the ESP32-PICO-V3-ZERO Alexa Connect Kit (ACK) module, which provides support for features such as out-of-the-box connectivity to the cloud service ACK, Alexa control, „seamless setup”, and Amazon Dash completion for connected devices.

This new module is as much as 50% lower in cost.

Source: https://developer.amazon.com/en-US/blogs/alexa/device-makers/2020/07/Introducing-the-New-Alexa-Connect-Kit-Module-with-Espressif-Chipset
ESP32-PICO-V3-ZERO

How Alexa Connect Kit Works

With Alexa Connect Kit, you can make nearly any device with power into an Alexa-compatible smart device your customers will love, all at a fixed per-device cost. You simply integrate an Amazon-managed ACK module into your device, connect it to your device’s microcontroller (MCU) over a serial interface, and add interface code to your device’s firmware to interpret control messages from the ACK module. The ACK module adds Wi-Fi, Bluetooth LE, and all the software needed for Alexa control, Frustration Free Setup, security, and log and metric collection – managed and updated by Amazon. For your customers, products built with ACK include Alexa control through voice and the Alexa app, and the option to support Amazon Dash Replenishment. For developers, ACK enables you to connect your devices to Alexa without the need to operate a cloud, create and maintain an Alexa skill, develop a companion app, or deal with IoT firmware integration. With an ACK module on your device, you can focus on building great hardware.

Source: https://developer.amazon.com/en-US/blogs/alexa/device-makers/2020/07/Introducing-the-New-Alexa-Connect-Kit-Module-with-Espressif-Chipset

Industrial use of LoRa & ESP32-based solutions

One of industrial IoT devices, supporting LoRa wireless technology is ESP32 based 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 and also Raspberry Pi based solutions check Industrial IoT Shop with all the configuration options for eModGATE.

eModGATE with ESP32
Sigfox announces changes improving IoT applications

First major announcement is that Sigfox will launch a private network (PAN) that will allow IoT customers to choose private and global services according to their needs. The service was launched for the first time in France in the first quarter of 2020, but Sigfox will be implemented in over 65 countries.

The operator’s wide area network (WAN) will be completed next year in cooperation with Eutelsat. Sigfox provides coverage worldwide using the nano-satellite constellation launched by Eutelsat.

The Sigfox PAN offer will benefit from the existing Sigfox WAN ecosystem. Thanks to the potential to use all components on the market and the use of very low transmit power to support facilities without the need for batteries, the Sigfox PAN offer offers enormous potential,

Ludovic Le Moan, CEO and co-founder of Sigfox.

According to Sigfox, by the end of 2019, there will be more than 15 million registered facilities and over 1,500 customers using this solution in various industries around the world. Sigfox says that PAN customers can expect the same as WAN customers in terms of support and quality. PAN clients can choose to subscribe to additional „WAN Extension” services if needed if the device needs to communicate outside the local network.

Sigfox improving the accuracy of Atlas geolocation services

Internet of Things operators have now launched Atlas Native Complimentary. It is made available free of charge in exchange for the rights to process data regarding GPS data. These data are compared to the fingerprint of the Sigfox network using machine learning, which increases accuracy to 800 meters.

To further increase the accuracy of its geolocation services, Sigfox said it has completed the global implementation of Atlas WiFi in collaboration with HERE Technologies’ mapping experts.

Sigfox uses the global WiFi access point database here. Access points are checked by the Sigfox WiFi tracking module and more closely track the location of external and internal resources with less battery consumption than using GPS.

We are delighted to strengthen our partnership with Amadeus and share our combined expertise to create real digital transformation of the travel sector. Our strategic alliance named PinPoint will not only help to improve the travel experience, but this will also change completely the game for an industry looking for decades for THE technology able to save costs while improving efficiency and quality of services

Raouti Chehih, Chief Adoption Officer at Sigfox
eModGATE with ESP32

Industrial use of ESP32-based solutions

One of industrial IoT devices, supporting Sigfox wireless 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.

ESP-MESH is a network protocol based on the Wi-Fi protocol. ESP-MESH enables the connection of a large number of devices (hereinafter nodes) covering a large physical area (both inside and outside) over a single WLAN (wireless local area network). ESP-MESH self-organizes and self-heals, allowing you to build and maintain networks autonomously.

Traditional Wi-Fi Network Architecture. Source: espressif.com

Traditional Infrastructure of Wi-Fi network is a point-to-multipoint network in which a single central node called an Access Point (AP) is directly connected to all other nodes called stations. The AP is responsible for arbitrating and forwarding transmissions between stations. Some access points relay transmissions to and from external IP networks through routers.

Traditional Infrastructure Wi-Fi networks have the downside of having a limited coverage area as all stations need to be in range to connect directly to the access point. In addition, the maximum number of stations allowed in the network is limited by the bandwidth of the access point, making traditional Wi-Fi networks prone to overload.

ESP-MESH vs traditional Wi-Fi infrastucture

ESP-MESH differs from traditional Wi-Fi infrastructure networks in that the nodes do not have to connect to a central node. Instead, the node can connect with its neighbors. Nodes are responsible for relaying transmissions to each other. This allows for achieving interconnections without the need for nodes to be within the range of the central node, which significantly extends the coverage area of the ESP-MESH network. Likewise, ESP-MESH is less prone to congestion as the number of allowed nodes in the network is no longer limited by a single central node.

ESP-MESH Network Architecture. Source: espressif.com

Industrial use of ESP32-based solutions

One of industrial IoT devices, supporting Espressif’s ESP32 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.

eModGATE with ESP32

Silicon Labs recently announced two hardware modules based on its BG22 Secure Bluetooth 5.2 SoC: 6x6mm BGM220S system bundled (SiP) and slightly optimized for wireless performance with a better link budget. BGM220P introduced, large PCB variant, wider range.

Both modules can be integrated into products with a battery life of up to 10 years using a single coin cell battery. All variants of BGM220S/P can support Bluetooth directional discovery, and some components can also support Bluetooth mesh low power protocol.

Main features

  • Silicon Labs EFR32BG22 Arm Cortex-M33 with DSP instructions and floating-point unit, up to 512 kB Flash, 32 kB RAM, 2.4 GHz radio with TX power up to 8 dBm, and Embedded Trace Macrocell (ETM) for advanced debugging
  • Supported Protocols
    • Bluetooth Low Energy (Bluetooth 5.2)
    • Direction-finding
    • Bluetooth mesh Low Power Node

Source: https://www.cnx-software.com/2020/09/14/silicon-labs-bluetooth-5-2-bgm220s-sip-and-bgm220p-pcb-module/

Industrial use of ESP32-based solutions

One of industrial IoT devices, supporting Espressif’s ESP32 and Bluetooth 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.

eModGATE with ESP32

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.

Sigfox announces changes improving IoT applications

First major announcement is that Sigfox will launch a private network (PAN) that will allow IoT customers to choose private and global services according to their needs. The service will be launched for the first time in France in the first quarter of 2020, but Sigfox will be implemented in over 65 countries.

The operator’s wide area network (WAN) will be completed next year in cooperation with Eutelsat. Sigfox provides coverage worldwide using the nano-satellite constellation launched by Eutelsat.

The Sigfox PAN offer will benefit from the existing Sigfox WAN ecosystem. Thanks to the potential to use all components on the market and the use of very low transmit power to support facilities without the need for batteries, the Sigfox PAN offer offers enormous potential,

Ludovic Le Moan, CEO and co-founder of Sigfox.

According to Sigfox, by the end of 2019, there will be more than 15 million registered facilities and over 1,500 customers using this solution in various industries around the world. Sigfox says that PAN customers can expect the same as WAN customers in terms of support and quality. PAN clients can choose to subscribe to additional „WAN Extension” services if needed if the device needs to communicate outside the local network.

Sigfox improving the accuracy of Atlas geolocation services

Internet of Things operators have now launched Atlas Native Complimentary. It is made available free of charge in exchange for the rights to process data regarding GPS data. These data are compared to the fingerprint of the Sigfox network using machine learning, which increases accuracy to 800 meters.

To further increase the accuracy of its geolocation services, Sigfox said it has completed the global implementation of Atlas WiFi in collaboration with HERE Technologies’ mapping experts.

Sigfox uses the global WiFi access point database here. Access points are checked by the Sigfox WiFi tracking module and more closely track the location of external and internal resources with less battery consumption than using GPS.

We are delighted to strengthen our partnership with Amadeus and share our combined expertise to create real digital transformation of the travel sector. Our strategic alliance named PinPoint will not only help to improve the travel experience, but this will also change completely the game for an industry looking for decades for THE technology able to save costs while improving efficiency and quality of services

Raouti Chehih, Chief Adoption Officer at Sigfox

The first services from the strategic alliance are expected to hit the market in 2020.

Industrial use of ESP32-based solutions

One of industrial IoT devices, supporting Sigfox wireless 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.

eModGATE with ESP32
Realtek RTL8720DN Dual-Band WiFi & BT 5.0 vs ESP32

IoT market ofers wide range of small and efficient modules for Home & Industrial Internet of Things applications, equipped with 2.4GHz Wi-Fi, such as Espressif’s ESP32 or older ESP8266 modules. Additional Bluetooth 4.2/5.0 is often found on those. Dual-band Wi-Fi, on the other hand, is hard to find on low-budget IoT modules. Here comes Realtek RTL8720DN.

Realtek RTL2720DN module, as a part of AmebaD family, comes with ARM Cortex-M4/M0 wireless MCU with support of 802.11 b/g/n Dual-Band Wi-Fi 2.4GHz / 5GHz and extra Bluetooth 5.0 wireless connectivity.

Realtek RTL8720DN Dual-Band WiFi & Bluetooth 5.0 module

Realtek RTL8720DN specifications:

  • Wireless SoC – Realtek RTK8720DN MCU with KM4 Arm Cortex-M4 core @ 200 MHz and KM0 Arm Cortex-M0 core @ 20 MHz
  • Connectivity
    • WiFi
      • 802.11 a/b/g/n WiFi 4
      • Frequency Range – 2.412-2.484GHz & 5.180-5.825GHz
      • Data Rates
        • 802.11a: 6,9,12,18,24,36,48,54Mbps
        • 802.11b: 1,2,5.5,11Mbps
        • 802.11g: 6,9,12,18,24,36,48,54Mbps
        • 802.11n: MCS0–MCS7 @ HT20/HT40 2.4GHz and 5GHz bands
      • AP, Station, AP/Client supported
    • Bluetooth
      • Bluetooth 5.0 LE
      • Receiver Sensitivity: -92 dBm
      • Transmit Power: 7 dBm
    • Antenna – IPEX connector or PCB Antenna
  • I/O – 16x castellated holes with GPIO, 2x UART (AT commands + serial), ADC, I2C, SPI, 4x PWM, 3.3V, GND
  • Power Supply – 3.3±5% V
  • Dimensions – 24 x 16 x 3 mm
  • Temperature Range – Operating: -20°C to 85°C; storage: -40°C to 125°C
  • Relative Humidity – 10%~90% (non-condensing)
  • Certifications – FCC, CE, SRRC, RoHS

Source: https://www.cnx-software.com/2020/01/17/realtek-rtl8720dn-dual-band-wifi-bluetooth-5-0-iot-module/

Bluetooth 5.0 update for ESP32

The Espressif’s flagship ESP32 chip recently passed the SIG Bluetooth LE 5.0 certification. This confirms that the version of the protocol supported by the ESP32 microcontroller has been upgraded from Bluetooth LE 4.2 to Bluetooth LE 5.0, which is more stable and compatible.

The implementation and development of the Bluetooth LE (BLE) application requires not only a system that supports this function, but also an attached Bluetooth LE protocol stack consisting of a driver and a host.

Thanks to Bluetooth LE 5.0 certification, ESP32 SoC not only updates the system as a whole, but also adds new features that improve the latest software after passing more stringent tests than previous certification.

Industrial use of ESP32-based solutions

One of industrial IoT devices, supporting Espressif’s ESP32 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.

eModGATE with ESP32