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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
Bluetooth LE 5.0/5.1 comming soon to ESP32-based controller

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.

Bluetooth 5.0 update for ESP32

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.

Due to hardware limitations, ESP32 does not support such functions of Bluetooth LE 5.0 as 2M PHY, LE Long Range, and ADV Extensions.

It is also worth mentioning that the combination of Bluetooth and Mesh networking is expected to become a key technology for the Internet of Things. A  Bluetooth® Mesh network enables a „many-to-many” relationship among potentially thousands of wireless devices, where data are transmitted not in a direct radio range but in wide physical areas. Espressif’s contribution in this field is the ESP-BLE-MESH, which got fully certified by Bluetooth SIG in September 2019.

Several Bluetooth-operated products on the market, such as wearable devices, smart speakers, cleaning robots, smart lights/sockets, etc., provide evidence that Bluetooth 5.0 and the Bluetooth Mesh networking technology are mature enough to drive the development of interconnected IoT devices. To this end, Espressif’s chips and ESP-BLE-MESH, in particular, are designed to help customers develop easily secure and cost-effective products for smart homes, smart buildings, healthcare, new automobiles and other smart industries.

Source: https://www.espressif.com/en/news/BLE_5.0_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
IoT Security with latest SLM 9670 Industrial Grade TPM 2.0

Like other embedded systems, Industrial IoT design faces a constant stream of threats. As hackers adopt new attacks, developers rush to close security holes. Deployed devices need to update IoT firmware, increasing potential security vulnerabilities. For example, using a simple firmware verification check can leave the software published. In this situation, the developer may expect to be able to query external resources for verification and catch attempts to replace the firmware with hacked code. However, even relatively novice hackers can replace the firmware with code that ignores such verification checks. To secure these vurnerabilities comes Industrial Grade TPM 2.0.

Securing devices with Infineon industrial grade TPM

Infineon Technologies AG has unveiled a new security chip that defines the first TPM (Trusted Platform Module), designed specifically for industrial applications such as industrial computers, servers, industrial controllers and edge gates. The module protects confidential data in connected devices and reduces the risk of leakage of this information due to attacks, e.g. hackers.

The OPTIGA TPM SLM 9670 module protects the integrity of industrial systems and the identity of users using them. The system controls access to sensitive data at key locations in industrial environments, such as an automated factory. It also protects the cloud interface if the network uses one. The security system fully meets the TPM 2.0 standard developed by the Trusted Computing Group and is certified by an independent test laboratory in accordance with the criteria contained in this standard. The new module is meticulously controlled and certified by Infineon. Thanks to its use, it is possible to shorten the time of designing and introducing the device to the market, thanks to the ready security solution in the system.

The TPM system has a lifetime declared as 20 years. It allows programmers to perform firmware updates, which in turn enables them to meet the long-term security requirements in rapidly changing industrial environments. In this way, it can also reduce maintenance costs of industrial equipment thanks to secured remote software updates. The TPM chip will be available in serial production in the second half of 2019.

TPM 2.0 Key Features

  • Random Number Generator (RNG) according to NIST SP800-90A
  • TPM FW update functionality installed
  • 6962 Bytes of free NV memory
  • Full personalization with Endorsement Key (EK) and EK certificate
  • Up to 3 keys in the volatile memory
  • Up to 7 keys in the NV memory
  • Up to 8 NV counters
  • Support of various cryptographic algorithms:
    • RSA-1024 and RSA-2048
    • SHA-1 and SHA-256
    • ECC NIST P256
    • ECC BN256

Security chip implementation in Industrial IoT devices

With knowledge of latest Industrial IoT security measures, the choice of proper end-point conroller or gateway is much easier than you think. Some manufacturers can implement TPM 2.0 security chip in production process, to allow users to generate certification keys after purchase, maximizing security of their installations. TECHBASE offers wide range of solutions, optionally aided with TPM system.

For example, ESP-32 based solution, Moduino X series and eModGATE series products offer the support for such security measures. Read more in Industrial IoT Ecosystem brochure, to understand the importance of reliable and secure hardware for Industrial IoT.

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.

ESP32-WROVER-B

Upgraded Espressif’s ESP32 module platform for Moduino X

Espressif, a manufacturer of popular ESP32-based IoT solutions, has developed a new version of the ESP32-WROVER module, called ESP32-WROVER-B. Updated module, in addition to the dual-core LX6 microprocessor, has now twice the amount of RAM, compared to previous version of the WROVER module. The ESP32 module can work with Pseudo Static RAM. Up to now, modules with up to 4MB RAM have been the most common. Recently Espressif Systems introduced a new ESP32-WROVER-B module, which is equipped with up to 8MB pSRAM.

ESP32-WROVER-B

The new module is compatible with TECHBASE’s Moduino X series of IIoT devices. The system works with MicoPython, ESP-IDF (freemask based on FreeRTOS with light-weight Internet Protocol), Mongoose OS, Zephyr Project and is Arduino compatible. ESP32-WROVER-B is based on the ESP32-D0WD system with dimensions 5 x 5 mm, which replaced the earlier ESP32-D0WDQ6 (6 x 6 mm). The ESP32-D0WD model has 2 CPU cores that can be controlled independently. The CPU clock frequency can also be configured in the range of 80 to 240 MHz.

Updated Moduino X with ESP32-WROVER-B also comes with variety of Flash Memory available: 4MB and 16MB.

To read more about Industrial Moduino X solution, visit: https://moduino.techbase.eu/

To order sample devices, loor for  ESP32-WROVER-B option in Moduino X product configurator module:

New base platforms for Moduino device

Revised version of TECHBASE’s Moduino edge controller offers now support and compatibility with wide range of Pycom’s compute modules with built-in communication interfaces, e.g. LoRa, Sigfox, NarrowBand-IoT / LTE cat. M1/NB1 and WiFi/BT4.2, similarly to standard Moduino devices, powered by Espressif’s ESP32-WROVER module.

With new Moduino platform you can choose from variety of Pycom modules to power the unit, in order to receive specific wireless features. At the present day Moduino supports these models:

    • WiPy 3.0 with WiFi & Bluetooth 4.2
    • SiPy with WiFi/BT and Sigfox
    • LoPy4 with WiFi/BT and LoRa, Sigfox
    • GPy with WIFi/BT and NarrowBand-IoT / LTE cat.M1/NB1
    • FiPy with WIFi/BT and LoRa, Sigfox, NarrowBand-IoT / LTE cat.M1/NB1

If physical network connection is a must, you can always choose standard Moduino ESP32 with Ethernet expansion module to ensure communication via LAN. Of course the possibility to choose wired-to-wireless communication is also available with the Moduino configurator.

All Pycom-based Moduino solutions are compatible with wide range of interface expansions for standard Moduino ESP32 platform, e.g. RS-232/485, Analog I/Os, Digital I/Os, Relay, CAN and many more, including SuperCap & OLED screen options. You can find the whole list of available expansions here: https://iiot-shop.com/product/moduino/

To read more about Industrial Moduino X solution, visit: https://moduino.techbase.eu/

 

ESP32-WROVER-B

Upgraded Espressif’s ESP32 module platform for Moduino X

Espressif, a manufacturer of popular ESP32-based IoT solutions, has developed a new version of the ESP32-WROVER module, called ESP32-WROVER-B. Updated module, in addition to the dual-core LX6 microprocessor, has now twice the amount of RAM, compared to previous version of the WROVER module. The ESP32 module can work with Pseudo Static RAM. Up to now, modules with up to 4MB RAM have been the most common. Recently Espressif Systems introduced a new ESP32-WROVER-B module, which is equipped with up to 8MB SPI PSRAM.

ESP32-WROVER-B

The new module is compatible with TECHBASE’s Moduino X series of IIoT devices. The system works with MicoPython, ESP-IDF (freemask based on FreeRTOS with light-weight Internet Protocol), Mongoose OS, Zephyr Project and is Arduino compatible. ESP32-WROVER-B is based on the ESP32-D0WD system with dimensions 5 x 5 mm, which replaced the earlier ESP32-D0WDQ6 (6 x 6 mm). The ESP32-D0WD model has 2 CPU cores that can be controlled independently. The CPU clock frequency can also be configured in the range of 80 to 240 MHz.

Updated Moduino X with ESP32-WROVER-B also comes with variety of Flash Memory available: 4MB, 8MB and 16MB.

To read more about Industrial Moduino X solution, visit: https://moduino.techbase.eu/

To order sample devices, visit our new Industrial IoT Shop and ask our Sales Department via chat about new Moduino X with ESP32-WROVER-B module: