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Monday, October 03, 2016

Linear drives Advantech's IoT network roll out

By Nick Flaherty

It's nice to see two embedded companies join forces to simplify the Internet of Things (IoT).

Board and gateway maker Advantech is using SmartMesh IP networking from Linear Technology (now part of Analog Devices) to enable wireless mesh connectivity for industrial IoT applications with its open standard M2.COM sensor platform. This pushes Advantech down to the node level, working with its gateway devices and cloud services. 
The M2.COM platform combines wireless technology, a microcontroller unit (MCU) and networking capability with a standardized interface for sensors. The inclusion of SmartMesh IP mesh networks on this platform offers customers the opportunity to embed wire-free mesh communications into their industrial IoT solutions. 

The SmartMesh IP mesh networks (developed by Dust Networks) are based on the 6LoWPAN standard and the global IEEE 802.15.4 standard, and include a pre-compiled networking stack that delivers >99.999% network reliability at ultralow power. This is particularly important for industrial IoT applications, where wireless sensor networks may be deployed in harsh and remote environments. 

M2.COM was launched earlier this year to create an open and standardized sensor platform to simplify and accelerate IoT sensor applications for makers and sensor manufacturers. Target applications include outdoor wireless sensors, wireless measuring instruments such as CO2 meters and pH meters, agriculture moisture sensors, sensing/tracking devices for supply chain/logistics, and intelligent wireless controllers that allow remote management for things such as street lighting, traffic signals and waste management.

“In order to help our customers bring their IoT solutions to market faster, it is important for us to provide a standardized module interface with the flexibility to support industrial strength wireless mesh connectivity,” said Miller Chang, Vice President of Advantech Embedded Computing Group. “Linear Technology’s SmartMesh products are well recognized in the industry for their robust performance, ease of integration and world class low power consumption. We are pleased to be able to offer this important wireless IoT connectivity option to our customers as part of the M2.COM standard product line.”

“Advantech’s M2.COM open platform has the potential to accelerate the adoption of IoT in industrial applications,” said Joy Weiss, President of the Dust Networks product group at Linear Technology. “We look forward to working with Advantech to promote the use of SmartMesh IP mesh networks as a wireless connectivity option of the M2.COM platform.”

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