Development kit connects Bluetooth/LPWAN devices

Support for concurrent communication over Bluetooth Low Energy and Sub-1GHz wireless allows users of the STEVAL-FKI001V1 dual-radio development kit to build and connect IoT devices like smart sensors, finders and trackers. These devices can be configured, updated, remotely monitored and tracked using various network topologies, protocols and services, confirms STMicroelectronics.

The development kit is for use by IoT developers in projects from smart homes and smart buildings to asset tracking, energy management, smart farming and industrial monitoring and control use.

The kit includes ST’s BlueNRG-1 Bluetooth system on chip and S2-LP sub-1GHz transceiver. The dual-radio architecture enables simultaneous operations on a variety of radio-frequency bands and protocols such as Bluetooth Low Energy or proprietary 2.4GHz, Sub-1GHz, and Sigfox.

According to ST, users can create smart objects that connect to each other locally through mesh or point-to-point connections and support flexible ways of connecting to the Cloud. For instance, a sensor ecosystem for a smart home could be created with local sensor networking leveraging either Bluetooth Low Energy or Sub-1GHz wireless link and the whole system is then connected to the Cloud through a local gateway or directly via a seamless Sigfox ubiquitous link, for surveillance or remote monitoring purposes.

The BlueNRG-1 Bluetooth 5.0 certified kit allows configuration or modification of device settings during installation or maintenance and permits monitoring of networked node sensors through an app running on any Android or iOS device.

The sub-1GHz S2-LP transceiver allows local networking as well as LPWAN installations including global Sigfox connectivity, which allows capabilities such as real-time notification of events. Sigfox-ready networking can be used to track and remotely localise devices or assets.

The kit can be expanded through its Arduino Uno V3 connectors with ST’s X-Nucleo offering, including expansion boards with MEMS sensors, motor control, GNSS receivers or industrial I/O and power drivers.

The STEVAL-FKI001V1 development kit is interoperable with the recently announced BlueNRG-Tile board. This combination can allow users to build end-to-end smart-sensor networks, including the sensor node, local gateways and Cloud connectivity.

Leveraging the BlueNRG-1 SoC’s versatile interfaces and low-power Arm Cortex-M0 core with 256kbyte of embedded program memory, users can connect their own choice of external sensors and process the data acquired locally in real time. The STEVAL-FKI001V1 has a software development kit (SDK) that simplifies development to reduce time to market, yet preserves the flexible, scalable nature of the design. It could also be used in conjunction with the ST BlueNRG-Mesh software package to create extensive networking on a large-scale installation, advises ST. Over the air (OTA) firmware updates are possible via the Bluetooth Low Energy connection.

Based on a ready-to-use WS2118 RF dual-radio module from Jorjin, the STEVAL-FKI001V1 provides a pre-certified solution for developers to quickly move from early concept-feasibility phase to prototyping, field trials and volume production. The programmable low-power radio module has flexible power management and wake-on-event capability that allows multi-year lifetime from a small primary battery, says ST.

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Adesto partners with Watson to predict energy analytics

Smart buildings can be enhanced with insights into energy management and other operational data through services running on the IBM Watson IoT platform, says Adesto at the launch of its SmartServer IoT edge server platform.

Through its recent acquisition of Echelon, Adesto has been selling its open embedded IoT platform into the building automation and energy management industry for over two decades. The SmartServer IoT edge server platform features built-in device and data management for sensors, meters, actuators and controllers in buildings, through traditional and emerging protocols including BACnet, LonWorks and Modbus.

The IBM Watson IoT platform is a managed, cloud-hosted service designed to make it simple to derive value from IoT devices. It enables organisations to capture and explore data for devices, equipment, and machines, and discover insights that can drive better decision-making. When combined with the seamless connectivity of data from Adesto’s SmartServer IoT, engineers can provide facility managers with deep insights into energy consumption and other operational aspects of a building.

“IBM Watson IoT Platform enables customers to maximize the value of their physical assets,” said Sanjay Tripathi, VP of strategy and business development, IBM IoT. “Adesto’s SmartServer IoT provides the critical connection from industrial data to our platform so that customers can perform powerful analytics on their data. We are delighted to work with Adesto to demonstrate our combined capabilities, and we look forward to making the solution available to customers in the buildings sector.”

Adesto will demonstrate this revolutionary capability for building integrators, facility managers and property owners in its booth C5234 at the AHR Expo in Atlanta, Georgia (14 to 16 January) and at Embedded World, Nuremberg, Germany (26 to 28 February, booth 4A:124).

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Biosensor module integrates PPG and ECG for mobile use

To deliver both photoplethysmogram (PPG) and electrocardiogram (ECG) measurements for health monitoring from a mobile, battery-powered device, Maxim Integrated Products has unveiled the MAX86150 at CES.

It is believed to be the first biosensor module to comprise internal LEDs, photodetectors and an ECG analogue front-end (AFE) to provide FDA-certifiable PPG and ECG performance in compact, power-saving designs.

Designed for mobile phones, laptops, tablets and smart speakers, it delivers synchronised PPG and ECG measurements without using two separate biosensors that together consume more board space and power than a mobile device can typically afford. As well as space, the design challenge has been to achieve high accuracy in the measurements, particularly in cases where sensor sensitivity might be impacted by low perfusion levels or dry skin.

The MAX86150 overcomes these challenges, sampling both PPG and ECG simultaneously to provide the highest sensitivity of pulse transit time. To reduce battery drain, the module can be shut down through software with near-zero standby current, allowing the power rails to remain powered at all times.

The MAX86150 is available in a 3.3 x 6.6 x 1.3mm, 22-pin optical module.

The module is accurate with common mode rejection ratio (CMRR), a measurement of noise rejection, of at 136dB, the module’s; the highest on the market, says Maxim. Its 100mA-capable, high-dynamic-range LED driver enables higher sensitivity on an array of skin types. In addition, a low-impedance contact for the ECG sensor enables more accurate measurements, even in cases of dry skin, says the company.

It minimises battery drain with low shutdown current of 0.7 microA typical and low power consumption extends battery life compared to competitive solutions.

The module’s dry electrode operation eliminates the need for gels, fluids and sticky or wet pads on other parts of the body to obtain accurate readings.

The MAX86150 is available now and the company also offers the MAX86150EVSYS# evaluation kit.

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Xiaomi Selects Bluetooth Mesh Technology from Silicon Labs for New Smart Home Products

Xiaomi launches new smart home products using Bluetooth mesh networking technology from Silicon Labs. The new products from Mi Ecosystem partners include smart LED light bulbs, candle bulbs, downlights and spotlights. The voice-assistant XiaoAi smart alarm clock serves as a gateway to control smart Bluetooth mesh lights through voice commands.

“Silicon Labs is a valued technology partner providing best-in-class wireless hardware and software, development tools and local engineering support for Mi Ecosystem partners in the China market,” said Yanlu Zhang, RD Director of Xiaomi IoT platform. “Silicon Labs’ Wireless Gecko platform provides the connectivity options, design flexibility, ease of use and security features our ecosystem partners need to simplify smart product design and accelerate time.”

The new Xiaomi smart home products use EFR32BG Wireless Gecko system-on-chip (SoC) devices running Silicon Labs’ Bluetooth mesh protocol stack. Wireless Gecko SoCs offer an optimal combination of features and capabilities including high transmit power and a +125 oC temperature rating for Xiaomi’s application requirements.

“We are seeing increasing deployment of Bluetooth mesh in China’s fast-growing smart home market, and Xiaomi is poised to ship mesh-enabled smart home products at scale, driving further adoption of this versatile, ubiquitous wireless technology,” said Matt Johnson, Senior Vice President and General Manager of IoT products at Silicon Labs. “We look forward to collaborating with Xiaomi and Mi Ecosystem developers on future products leveraging our Wireless Gecko hardware and software platform.”

Silicon Labs is a leader in Bluetooth innovation, delivering ultra-small Bluetooth SiP modules, multiprotocol SoCs supporting Bluetooth commissioning, and software tools and stacks to simplify Bluetooth development. Silicon Labs is also the leading supplier of silicon and software for mesh networking applications. The company has shipped more than 150 million mesh networking SoCs and modules and has more than 15 years of experience in developing standards-based mesh networking solutions for customers worldwide.

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