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Monday, August 12, 2019

Skyworks teams with Nordic on BLE and Bluetooth 5

By Nick Flaherty

Nordic Semiconductor is using the family of fully-integrated front-end devices from Skyworks with its multi-protocol system-on-chip (SoC) for Bluetooth Low Energy (LE) and emerging Bluetooth 5 applications.

The combined platform is aimed at battery-powered Internet of Things (IoT) devices with a 4x boost in range for connected home and outdoor usage cases.

Bluetooth LE is a critical protocol for IoT, given its upgraded communication capabilities and minimal power consumption requirements. Bluetooth 5 further enhances benefits and supports extra features such as extended ranges, higher data throughputs and improved co-existence, all key elements in an increasingly dense network.

“Our collaboration with Nordic to deploy premium Bluetooth systems for diverse markets represents Skyworks’ commitment to enable the future of connectivity,” said John O’Neill, Skyworks’ vice president of marketing. “The intersection of our solutions is driving wireless adoption and elevating performance to higher levels for revolutionary new applications across home automation, automotive, industrial, medical, wearables, mobile and more.”

According to a recent report from ABI Research, Bluetooth LE devices are forecast to reach over 1.6 billion annual shipments by 2023, representing a 27 percent compound annual growth rate between 2018 and 2023 ─ or tripling in size.

The SKY66112-11 and SKY66403-11 front-end modules that deliver up to 40 percent reduction in current consumption when compared to certain standalone SoCs. In addition, these modules increase sensitivity up to 6 dB, more than doubling the receive range for typical IoT devices.

Dev kit for 802.11ah long range sub-GHz WiFi for IoT

By Nick Flaherty

Adapt has developed a long range Wi-Fi development platform for system integrators and application developers targeting the industrial IoT market. 

The company's HaLow Development Platform supports the IEEE 802.11ah standard, offering a complete hardware and software development environment in a small-form factor for use across multiple industry segments including agriculture, construction, logistics, retail, security, smart home and transportation.

Wi-Fi HaLow operates in the sub-Gigahertz, license-free frequencies of the ISM bands with a longer range of more than 1 km while using less power than existing Wi-Fi technologies. Additional benefits of the 802.11ah standard include better penetration through buildings, support for up to 8191 stations (STA) per Access Point (AP), and support for WPA3 for authentication and encryption.

Development teams can create pilot installations today using an FPGA-based systems, in advance of the company's System-on-Chip (SoC) solution for large-scale, cost-effective deployments, which will be sampling to customers in the first half of 2020.

The HDP-100 is aimed at in-house development teams, and includes FPGA-based systems, software drivers, digital signal processing and radio transceiver for limited range communication, and API to connect to targeted software applications. Entry-level pricing including initial technical support starts at $35,000, available today.

The HDP-200, aimed at initial pilot project deployments, includes all of the HDP-100 functionality, plus an integrated power amplifier which supports the 1km communication range. 

"Wi-Fi HaLow enables an unprecedented solution for the wide-spread deployment of large-scale IoT solutions, as it meets the critical market needs for distance, speed, power and security. Utilizing license-free spectrum and the potential for multi-year battery operation, it will enable a whole new class of applications and business models," said Michael McNamara, CEO and co-founder of Adapt. "As a member of the Wi-Fi Alliance®, we are pleased to offer our HDP systems to the market today and look forward to expanding market adoption with our SoC implementations in 2020."

Package pricing starting at $50,000, with availability in September 2019.

ON teams with Cree on SiC ... Self-powered fabric ... Bosch boost for fuel cells

POWER NEWS this week at eeNews Power by Nick Flaherty

. ON Semi teams with Cree for SiC wafers
. Hyundai cuts out Europe for car with solar roof charging system

. Bosch backs fuel cells as it cuts jobs


. Self-powered fabric generates power for remote controls

. 14 cell battery management chip boosts electric car range

. Prototype lithium sulfur battery aims at electric aircraft


. Dialog Semi moves into automotive power management
. 160W fanless DC-DC converter runs 24/7 in industrial and mobile
. 40W IP22 medical power adaptor targets home healthcare


. An engineer's guide to understanding connectors for use in harsh industrial environments

. Broadband chokes for Bias Tee applications

. Decreasing Time to Design in the Industrial Internet of Things

Friday, August 09, 2019

First Rust port to Nordic chip for secure IoT designs

By Nick Flaherty

Design consultancy 42 Technology in Cambridge has ported the Rust programming language application to a single-chip Internet of Things (IoT) device for the first time.

This software achievement could accelerate the development of more robust and secure low cost, low powered cellular IoT products and systems, and play a critical role in unlocking significant new markets for smart industrial and consumer products. For example in areas such as real-time asset tracking and monitoring, utility metering and smart city technology.

Rust is a very-high-performance alternative to systems programming languages such C and C++, which avoids the memory safety issues that plague those languages, and without the complexity and overhead of Java. It was specifically designed from the outset with a focus on memory-safety in small, low cost hardware. This allows developers to be highly productive without incurring significant run-time overhead, and because of the strict type-checking and borrow-checking, the Rust compiler is able to highlight potential issues early in the development process.

42 Technology’s application demo is based around the recently launched Nordic Semiconductor nRF9160 System in Package (SiP) device, which features a full multimode LTE-M/NB-IoT modem to connect to the mobile network, assisted GPS and an ARM Cortex-M33 processor. The ARMv8-M architecture’s TrustZone security features are particularly exciting, allowing applications and associated services to operate securely, protected from hacking, misuse and corruption.

In recent field trials, 42 Technology’s Rust application made secure encrypted connections to Amazon cloud services via an early LTE Cat-M network that is being rolled out across the UK by O2, the mobile network operator. The board also supports NB-IoT which is being launched by Vodafone and other operators.

42 Technology has specifically developed its Rust-based application to demonstrate an easier and faster way for companies to develop new products for the cellular IoT revolution but without inadvertently compromising on security. 

"Our aim is to help eliminate the security vulnerabilities that too many people have seen, for example, with low cost home security cameras, smart hubs and with medical equipment such as insulin pumps," said Jonathan Pallant, who led the application development programme at 42 Technology and is also a founding member of the Rust Embedded Working Group.

"Nordic’s nRF9160 SiP offers game-changing energy-efficiency, performance and security. And we are delighted 42 Technology’s Rust-enabled application will help to demonstrate the wide range of genuinely secure IoT applications that our new wireless module can be used for," said John Leonard, senior product marketing manager at Nordic Semiconductor.

42 Technology designs and develops market-winning connected products and systems for its clients that successfully integrate sophisticated sensors, electronics and communications for more intelligent data and information collection. Recent announcements have included: Linde EVOS DCi, an IoT digital valve for industrial gas cylinders and a world first in its market sector; and FuseOhm, a real-time condition monitoring system that could allow electricity suppliers to monitor the performance of every substation within their network routinely for the first time.

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