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Friday, March 17, 2017

Laird moves up the IoT value chain with LoRa gateway

By Nick Flaherty

Wireless module maker Laird is moving up the value chain in the Internet of Things with a long range, low power gateway using the LoRa protocol.

"The Sentrius RG1xx has been purpose-built from the ground up to create a secure, scalable, robust LoRa network solution," said Scott Lordo, senior vice president of Laird. "The RG1xx, paired with the other elements of Laird's growing Sentrius LPWAN ecosystem, enables cost-effective and end-to-end control of public and private LoRa networks alike."

The move brings together all the elements that Laird already provides for OEMs and developers  to accelerate IoT development for many of the most challenging industrial settings and applications, ranging from smart metering to equipment monitoring to municipal asset management and more.

In industrial automation, for example, full-scale networks can be used to track assets that are spread across a vast facility. A LoRa network can easily span an entire campus and gather sensor data that can provide deep insights needed to maintain efficiency, productivity and be used to make the best business decisions possible. The Sentrius RG1xx gateway helps to make a proprietary network easy to build, scale, and maintain.

The gateway uses Laird's enterprise grade 802.11 a/b/g/n MIMO Wi-Fi, wired Ethernet, Bluetooth and BLE connectivity within a single LoRa gateway, linking short-range, low-power wireless technologies with Low-Power Wide Area Network (LPWAN) technology to dramatically expand the geographic range of IoT implementations.

LoRa provides secure, bi-directional data transfer and communications with IoT networks over long distances of up to 10 miles for years without a battery change.

Based on the Semtech SX1301 / SX1257 chipset designs enabling eight channels and 27 dBm transmit power, the gateway is designed to work with Laird's LoRa ecosystem of Sentrius RM1xx LoRa + BLE certified modules and LPWAN antennas and provides compatibility with third party Cloud and LoRa partners and other LoRaWAN client devices.

The Sentrius RG1xx gateway also comes equipped with intuitive web-based configuration, integrated LoRa packet forwarder software, and default settings for multiple LoRa network server vendors. It is fully certified for FCC, IC, CE, along with a Bluetooth SIG listing.

"With multiple wired and wireless interface options, the RG1xx gives you complete design freedom to create a private end-to-end LPWAN network, which eliminates the need for a network carrier subscription," said Lordo. "The RG1xx gateway, paired with the RM1xx series of LoRa and BLE modules and Laird's LPWAN antennas, will give developers and OEMs control of their cost-effective LoRa ecosystem."

Given Laird has all the elements available already, having samples of the Sentrius RG1xx for select customers in May seems a little late. Full production follows after that, presumably if there is enough interest.

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