This IoT class is an introduction to IoT and LPWAN, it has been made to be a 2x2h teaching session for engineer school students. This class has been given to I.S.I.M.A. school in Clermont-Ferrand in 2017. This class has been completed by 2 more hours on the backend part for IoT by Daniel Petisme. It has been followed by three industrial conferences.
The content of my class had the following slides (in French):
Introduce why IoT is a revolution compared to M2M and why service matter. Introduce the different phases of a connected object design and the involved technologies. Introduce the challenge, from the technical stand point to the business model considerations.
Introduce the LPWAn technologies, presenting Sigfox and LoRaWan solutions.
LPWA networks needs antennas and gateway to receive the device communication and transfer them to a network kernel. You can take a look to my post on the LPWA network architecture for more details.
In the LoRaWan ecosystem we call the first part of this network architecture a gateway. There are different kind of gateway : The network operator gateway with a big and efficient antenna, capable to support external weather like the Kerlink IoT Station and some low costs solution you can deploy at home or within a building (indoor) to cover a local device fleet.
The Kerlink Wirenet iFemtoCell device is a such type of gateway. this post will review how to get start with it and what we can expect in term of coverage.
IoT design a usually a matter of antenna as already seen in different previous blog post. Antenna performance is the assurance of your capacity to deploy your object in larger zone and a way to save energy by reducing transmission power.
As we will see, if you get a hardware component and simply put it in a box its radio behavior will be totally different as the box is impacting the transmission.
This post will practically show you the impact of a box on a device radio quality.
This last monday I had the chance to meet the two Sigfox founders Ludovic Le-Moan and Christophe Fourtet during a really nice day at Labege (SigFox headquarter) with other Sigfox ambassadors.
From the meeting we had with the founders I retained some of the Sigfox strategical guide line:
- Scalability – this is the major point raised during our discussions : the network must be able to scale and all what has been designed in the radio protocol & technology, as in the cloud architecture was for scalability.
Thanks to this initial design no big change are expected in the radio solution in the coming years. It has already been designed for future.
In regard to this scalability strategy we have also meet the team operating the network. I’ve seen a really nice Network Operation Center, well equiped and with about 40 people involved. It has been fun for me as in my daily job I’m managing internal inter-application communication of a large company. The volume of data we are proceeding every day is quite similar as of now but Sigfox is well more equiped than I am and better prepared for scaling 😉
- Reliability – The ISM band will continue to have more and more noise on it coming from all the coming radio device using it. Sigfox design has been made to ensure a long term capacity to support this evolution. Ultra narrow band is actually the best and secure way to continue to communicate over noisy environment also protecting this common good by limiting the spectral usage.
- Simplicity – Sigfox has been made to be simple to use with no parameters to tune the radio or the protocol. Everything is defined to ensure a good quality in the communications. This spirit will be kept in the future but potentially we will have the capability to tweak some of the parameters. We could imagine to limit the repetition time for frame with lower criticality. This will save power or send more frame per hour. We could imagine to get higher speed. Why not having more downlink ? Larger payload ?
This is a regular discussion I have with prospect or with different business oriented people about producing electronics in developed countries and costs of devices. When you talk about electronic products in many minds it is equivalent to talk about Chinese production & design. It’s like when you talk about software in a couple of years ago it was a kind of synonym with back-office Indian development.
Sigfox has just published a documentation on the technical basis of the network. This pdf document is a good summary of all what you need to know to get start on the technology.
The document is attached here Sigfox technical overview
To complete this overview you can also take a look to my different post & video
As seen in a previous post, working with nRF52 and Eclipse is not the easiest challenge !
This post will detail how to create a template project for a BLE project using a softdevice working on the PCA10040 board and using my ble library.
This can be apply to most of ble starting project with nRF52. I assume you configured Eclipse IDE as described in this post. As a pre-requisite you also need git. The tutorial works with SDK 12.3
nRF52382 is a BLE micro-controler based on a 32b Arm M4 core operating at 64MHz. It includes 512kb of flash memory and 64kb of RAM with a price about 2,80$.
It supports BLE (Bluetooth Smart) and ANT RF protocol. It also includes a NFC-A tag. NFC can wake up device and allow easy bluetooth pairing.
Device allows Over-the-Air Firmware Upgrade. It also have different SoftDevice (protocol stacks) with BLE or ANT8 or both.
By including internal Oscillators, power supply elements and Rf elements, this chip is a low cost solution for building IoT.
nRF52832 will be available Q1 2016 but development kit preview are available. (note – this post has been kept as a draft for a too long time !! )
Now, let’s read the next part for how to quick start with the development kit.