Internet of Things (IoT)
Long talked about, the technology that allows devices and products to be connected to the internet and therefore also more easily to each other is now becoming a reality. It is being called the Internet of Things, and can include one or more of a selection of technologies.
The image to the right is of a LoRa RF module.
IEEE 802.15.4 is the basis for Bluetooth, ZigBee, 6LoWPAN, standard internet protocols and more and features in several of mSemicon’s products.
Radio Frequency Hardware Technologies
While direct Ethernet connectivity is always an option for fixed (i.e. non-mobile) devices, it is rarely practical, which means that connectivity is largely provided wirelessly for all applications. The hardware technology to use usually depends on the amount of data that needs to be transmitted, the distance involved, the environment and on the amount of power available at each end. Here is a selection of technologies employed by mSemicon:
- For short-range data transmission (and not necessarily related to the Internet), the ISM (Industrial Scientific Medical) frequency band allows great flexibility for the development of proprietary solutions, when appropeiate.
- For medium to long range data transmission, with eventual back-end cloud based solutions, Sigfox is one of the top technology choices. This solution features more and more in mSemicon‘s portfolio, especially since the network has been expanded in Ireland in recent times.
- Mid-range mobile applications: If power is very limited, for example in a mobile application where a battery recharge is either impractical or not feasible for several months at a time, another technology is called for. mSemicon‘s choice is a new ultra low power technology called LoRa from Semtech. This very low power technology is suitable for the transmission of limited amounts of data, over several km, and in addition, allows for triangulation, i.e. the detection of physical location. It is also an economical solution.
- General network connectivity, whether mobile or fixed, when available power is not such an issue, can of course be provided by GSM (or GSM/GPRS). This technology relies on a sufficiently strong local signal at whatever site the product is to be deployed.