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Posts from the ‘Technologies’ Category

Guide to IoT solution development

IoT Analytics published a report on how companies should build Internet of Things (IoT) solutions.

Based on analysis from several projects, the report advises a structured framework of five phases and useful examples of analyzed projects.

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Intel enters the smart buildings market

For years now, one's been talking about the internet of things (IOT) for the built environment. The only problem is that the world of commercial real estate runs on decidedly last-generation technology.

There’s nothing like the equivalent of the ubiquitous home or office Wi-Fi router to connect it all.

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Nest and Samsung launch a new protocol to network everything in your home

One of the biggest hurdles to unlocking the seamless, connected home is getting all of the stuff to communicate with all of the stuff. Simple, right? Until now, that has been solved by home automation platforms that run on closed systems in which security and cable companies can carefully construct the user experience.

But consumers will eventually want -- or demand -- more open systems in which they can customize the hardware they want to integrate over the same network. To move closer to this reality, a new industry group is aiming to bring multiple devices onto a single platform. Google’s Nest Labs, Samsung and others announced a new mesh networking protocol that could potentially achieve more success in opening up the home than have other efforts thus far.

The standard, called Thread, was launched by the Thread Group. It also includes founding members Freescale, ARM, Big Ass Fans, Silicon Labs and Yale Security.

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Get LED lighting connected to the Internet of Things with new ZigBee Light Link development kit from TI

Get LED lighting connected to the Internet of Things with new ZigBee® Light Link™ development kit from TI

Complete hardware and software kit helps LED lighting manufacturers add control with remote or cloud connectivity

Texas Instruments (TI) announced the availability of a ZigBee Light Link™ development kit that simplifies the development and control of wirelessly connected LED lighting products. The new kit includes a remote control and supports smartphone and tablet connectivity through gateways including Ninja Blocks, cloud-enabled computers based on the BeagleBone open-source computer platform powered by TI’s Sitara™ AM335x ARM® processors. Through simplified control, users are able to dynamically configure colors, groups and scenes. With a simple connection to a cloud gateway, the new kit makes it easier to connect LED bulbs and other lighting products to the Internet of Things (IoT) using ZigBee networking.

For consumers, a ZigBee wirelessly connected lighting system delivers richer user interfaces and more flexible control on top of the basic on, off and dim operations. There is absolute flexibility to place and move switches and other controls anywhere in the home versus wire-controlled products. This enables the design of lighting systems for home and office environments that allow individual task lighting for desk, table or countertop to be placed anywhere. Additionally, through use of a gateway, users can control lighting from anywhere using a smartphone or tablet app.

TI’s ZigBee Light Link development kit includes everything designers need to get new lighting products to market quickly:

  • Three Zlights programmed as ZigBee Light Link color lights. The Zlights are based on the SimpleLink™ CC2530 wireless MCU and also include TI’s TPS62730 DC/DC converter.
  • One ZigBee Light Link color scene remote control. The remote is based on the SimpleLink CC2531 wireless MCU and also includes TI\’s TPS76933 LDO and TPS62290 DC/DC converter.
  • Optional CCdebugger to program and debug the system.
  • TI Z-Stack™ ZigBee software that supports the latest ZigBee stack and is ZigBee Light Link 1.0-ready.

ZigBee: Control your world

ZigBee offers green and global wireless standards connecting the widest range of devices to work together intelligently and help you control your world. The ZigBee Alliance is an open, non- profit association of approximately 400 members driving development of innovative, reliable and easy-to-use ZigBee standards. The Alliance promotes worldwide adoption of ZigBee as the leading wirelessly networked, sensing and control standard for use in consumer, commercial and industrial areas.

HomePlug Smart SoC paves the way for smart-home and smart-energy innovations

HomePlug Smart SoC paves the way for smart-home and smart-energy innovations

HomePlug Smart SoC paves the way for smart-home and smart-energy innovations

STMicroelectronics has released the company’s ST2100 STreamPlug System-on-Chip (SoC) targeting smart-home and smart-energy applications to the world market.

The device is already powering a new portfolio of intelligent products developed jointly by ST and Tatung, a leading electronics company for smart-home solutions.

As the world’s first intelligent-gateway SoC, ST’s ST2100 STreamPlug combines a high-performance processing subsystem with Powerline Communication (PLC), security and peripheral features to support hybrid networks utilizing popular wired and wireless standards. The ST2100 is designed to support IEEE 1905.1 that enables customers to converge Ethernet, Wi-Fi and other networking standards in new gateway or hub designs. The ST2100 StreamPlug supports popular PLC protocols such as HomePlug AV and HomePlug Green PHY, as well as IEEE 1901 Broadband Powerline connectivity.

ST’s collaboration with Tatung applying the ST2100 STreamPlug SoC has yielded innovations such as Tatung’s Gateway One home networking hub and other smart-energy devices. The Gateway One enables users to setup multi-bearer home networks combining Ethernet, WLAN, PLC and multimedia devices, greatly enhancing opportunities to improve energy efficiency, security, comfort and convenience throughout the home. Tatung’s Meter Bridge and Home-Area Network (HAN) Bridge enable multi-occupancy dwellings to benefit from smart-energy applications, while solving consumption and billing challenges. The M1i and M3 are intelligent devices that provide energy management as well as network connectivity for devices plugged into the AC line. The M1i is optimized for industrial applications, while the M3 is featured for domestic use including charging plug-in electric vehicles.

“Tatung has long envisioned an open service platform as key to releasing the full potential of smart energy and the smart home. Gateway One is a significant milestone working towards this vision, and is just one of the fruits of our partnership with ST leveraging the ST2100 STreamPlug SoC,” said W. K. Lin, president of Tatung Co.

“The success of our work with Tatung both validates and underlines the capabilities of the unique ST2100 STreamPlug SoC as a platform enabling hybrid networks for smart-energy and Internet-of-Things applications throughout consumer and industrial markets,” said Matteo Lo Presti, Group Vice President and General Manager, Industrial and Power Conversion Division, STMicroelectronics.

Communications protocols for the Internet of Things


RFID-powered Sensors Can Play a Big Role in the Internet of Things

The quantity of devices connected to the Internet exceeds the population of people on Earth. That’s right—there are more devices tapping into the Internet than people on Earth to use them. Different sources predict that by 2020, wireless sensors and other types of wireless network nodes (such as actuators) will account for the majority (60 percent) of the total installed base of Internet of Things (IoT) devices.

Autonomous sensors will play a large part in those predictions. These sensors autonomously execute their functions in the environment in which they have been deployed. They are wireless, and their most distinctive characteristic is that they are self-powered while still being capable of monitoring the environment and transmitting data. Such devices range from simple detectors that trigger an alarm signal if the sensor passes a measurement threshold, to monitoring systems that collect data regarding different products or processes.

Autonomous sensors can potentially be deployed everywhere, though there are usually constraints on the power supply of such devices, so the communication technology must be carefully selected. Most of these sensors employ low-power-consumption wireless protocols, such as ZigBee or Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE). ZigBee is a protocol specifically developed for mesh communication—each sensing device can transmit data either directly to the acquisition module, or to another nearly ZigBee-based sensing device, which in turn will transmit both devices’ data to the acquisition module. When they are deployed in urban areas, it is also typical to implement Wi-Fi-based devices, taking advantage of the Wi-Fi coverage associated with these places. A new, interesting trend with sensor devices connected to the IoT involves using smartphones to serve as a bridge between the sensors and the cloud. A force still to be reckoned with is that many citizens are eager to help their communities by installing smartphone applications that provide such a bridge to data, as long the information is to be used for something they believe in.

Contiki: The Open Source Operating System for the Internet of Things

Contiki: The Open Source Operating System for the Internet of Things

Contiki is an open source operating system for the Internet of Things. Contiki connects tiny, low-cost, battery-operated and low-power systems to the Internet.

Internet Standards

Contiki provides powerful low-power Internet communication. Contiki supports fully standard IPv6 and IPv4, along with the recent low-power wireless standards: 6lowpan, RPL, CoAP. With Contiki’s ContikiMAC and sleepy routers, even wireless routers can be battery-operated.

Rapid Development

With Contiki, development is easy and fast: Contiki applications are written in standard C, with the Cooja simulator Contiki networks can be emulated before burned into hardware, and Instant Contiki provides an entire development environment in a single download.

A Selection of Hardware

Contiki runs on a range of low-power wireless devices, many of which can be easily purchased online.

Freescale and Oracle to push common IoT gateway platform as a standard

Freescale and Oracle to push common IoT gateway platform as a standard

One of the biggest barriers to the widespread implementation of the Internet of Things (IoT) is the lack of a secure, standardized and open infrastructure model for the delivery of IoT services.

Freescale Semiconductor and Oracle have joined forces to address this challenge, working together to present a new, secured service platform that will help standardize and consolidate the delivery and management of IoT services for the home automation, industrial and manufacturing automation markets.

The solution combines end-to-end software with a converged gateway design (called the “one box” platform) to establish a common, open framework for secured IoT service delivery and management. A “box” (or service gateway) built on the platform can consolidate boxes from multiple IoT service providers into a single, unified appliance. The one box platform will help simplify and secure the delivery of IoT services to end users in a home, business or other location, supporting the rapid deployment of a vast array of innovative IoT services.

Supporting a wide variety of IoT sensors and edge nodes, the one box platform is based on the Oracle Java SE Embedded implementation and Freescale processors. It can scale up or down for multiple markets, deploying Oracle Java SE Embedded and integrating Freescale Kinetis microcontrollers, i.MX applications processors and QorIQ communications processors, as appropriate.

The initial implementation of the one box platform supports home/residential applications, including smart energy, smart metering, telehealth and other smart home services. The home/residential one box implementation runs Oracle Java SE Embedded and is powered by a Freescale i.MX 6 series applications processor built on the ARM Cortex-A9 core.

Intel announces new Quark SoC for the internet of things

Intel announces new Quark SoC for the internet of things

Intel just announced a new system on a chip for the internet of things. This is a big moment for the chip giant, signaling a change in its business model and a new architecture.

At the Intel Developers Forum in San Francisco on Tuesday, Intel’s CEO Brian Krzanich showed off a new system on a chip that’s designed for the internet of things. The first Quark core is one-fifth the size of the 22-nanometer Atom chips designed for smartphones, and operates at a tenth of the power. Intel says it has an “open architecture,” which boils down to Intel offering hooks in the silicon to add others’ IP blocks.

Intel does not plan to license the core itself, something analysts hoped it meant when it said it allow others to integrate their own IP with the core. As for the core Intel’s spokeswoman Caludia Mangano said that the first product in the Quark family is a synthesizable Pentium ISA compatible CPU core. It also includes a software stack that includes security, manageability and connectivity features well suited for IoT. No word on what standards might be supported in that software stack.

STMicroelectronics Introduces Smart Home Software Platform

STMicroelectronics Introduces Smart Home Software Platform Closely Integrated with Set-Top Box ICs to Support Innovative Energy, Comfort and Security Services.

New software and comprehensive hardware portfolio provide catalyst for new class of smart-home boxes hosting exciting high-value services

STMicroelectronics (NYSE: STM), a global semiconductor leader serving customers across the spectrum of electronics applications and a leader in set-top box System-on-Chips (SoCs),  introduces its Smart Home software platform at IBC Amsterdam, September 13-17. ST Smart Home will empower set-top boxes to transition to a new class of device, the smart home box, capable of managing home energy, automation and security systems in addition to providing access to digital multimedia content throughout the home.

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