The main Internet-of-Things (IoT) application opportunities are related to communication between “things”, meaning Machine-to-Machine (M2M) communication. Indeed, more than 65% of the world population is already connected through mobile phone but more than 99% of « things » are not connected yet! Thanks to M2M connectivity, attractive growth potential can be expected in markets such as healthcare, smart grid, home and building automation and smart city.
Wireless is one of the key technologies to implementing applications with M2M communication effectively with the expected performance. For instance, the choice of using connected sensors and switches in a new building, instead of cables, to reduce power consumption and improve security seems an easy economical choice. However, the potential savings will not be worth it if the maintenance of the batteries of this wireless sensor network needs to be done before 5 years or if the system robustness is no reliable.
For smart sensors communication through M2M, power consumption optimization of the system of sensor, wireless communication and data is a challenge exponentially proportional to the requested battery life and to the environment type that the sensor needs to communicate in. A reliable and effective solution requests a deep know-how based on extensive experience. For instance, Sofrel’s communicating sensors LS/L are using GSM/GPRS communication for remote telemetry and control of water network. They are working in harsh environment (wastewater and rainwater networks) and a deep expertise is needed to master the wireless communication with multiples protocols, data and transmission while ensuring the quality of service. The outcome is an M2M solution running 10 years on batteries and without any maintenance, which is crucial in an environment with difficult access. Such effort for such performance is not feasible in other applications requiring M2M connectivity with much less constraints.
One of the challenges of the power consumption in M2M communication is also linked to the adequacy of the performance of the wireless technology and its use for a specific need.
Recently, a new radio communication protocol has been launched; it will ease the long-range communication of devices with low power consumption consumer: LoRaWAN. This technology is best for the transmission of low data rates (from 0,3kbps 50 kbps) and is suitable for markets like home automation and industrial automation. Moreover, this protocol is available in Open Source enabling its adoption for the development of new applications by big companies as well as start-ups.
The LoRa Alliance has been launched in January at CES show in Las Vegas to develop and promote this protocol. LACROIX Electronics is now a member of the LoRa alliance in order to meet increasing customer demands on wireless communication for long distance and low power consumption.
For several years, LACROIX Electronics has developed significant expertise in wireless and LoRa is now a complementary technology to our radio communication industrialization services.
For further information please visit www.lacroix-electronics.com