Internet of Things Gets Major Distance Boost from IBM and Semtech
Wireless sensor technology with a range of 15 km (9 miles) demonstrated
at European Utility Week in Amsterdam
IBM (NYSE:IBM) and Semtech Corporation (Nasdaq:SMTC), a leading
supplier of analog and mixed-signal semiconductors, today announced a
significant advancement in wireless technology, combining IBM software
and Semtech hardware to create a system capable of transmitting data up
to a distance of 15 km (9 miles), depending on the environment, with
significantly improved ease-of-use.
The joint solution, comprised of IBM's Mote Runner software and
Semtech's SX127x with LoRa™, will be demonstrated at European Utility
Week in AmsterdamOctober 15-17 in the Semtech/Future Electronics booth,
Hall 5 Booth F47.
Flicker Photos: http://www.flickr.com/photos/ibm_research_zurich/sets/72157635940171455
Fast Growth Projected for Internet of Things
Over the next
15 years, the number of machines and sensors connected to the Internet
will explode creating what is called the Internet of Things. According
to IMS Research, there will be more than 22 billion web-connected
devices by 2020[i]. These new devices will generate more than 2.5
quintillion bytes of new data every day[ii], while every hour enough
information is transported on the Internet to fill seven million
To make wireless sensor networks (WSN) easier to program and use, IBM
has developed a software development kit — called Mote Runner — which
provides an open and programmer-friendly platform to connect sensor and
This platform is now available on the Semtech SX1272 RFIC to create a
system capable of covering a range of 15 km (nine miles) in a semi-rural
environment and up to five km (three miles) in dense urban environments.
For comparison, the maximum distance today of a smart-meter transceiver
in Europe, utilizing FSK modulation, is between one and two kilometers
"The biggest request we hear from our clients is longer battery life,
low cost, ease of use and longer distances. With IBM, we now have an
answer to all of these questions," said Hardy Schmidbauer, Wireless
Products Director at Semtech. "The new IBM Mote Runner-Semtech system is
available starting today."
The new sensors will utilize a star network architecture with each
gateway capable of handling millions of transactions per day making it
an ideal system to easily deploy any number of applications from smart
metering to remotely monitoring train tracks.
"To realize our vision of a Smarter Planet, we must improve the
usability of instrumented sensors and devices to securely and
efficiently manage large volumes of data," said Thorsten Kramp,
researcher, IBM Research - Zurich. "Together with hardware utilizing
Semtech's new long range technology, IBM Mote Runner now also serves
markets that inherently require adaptive long-range communication."
How does it work?
The IBM and Semtech sensor platform utilizes Semtech's new LoRa (long
range) modulation technology to enable drastic range improvements over
alternative modulation methods.
The additional range provided by LoRa, of up to 15 km, will eliminate
the need for repeaters in these applications, significantly simplifying
the system design and lowering the total cost of deployment.
The Semtech SX127x IC for the end nodes and the SX130x for the gateway
are extremely low power, making the system ideal for battery operated
devices. The adaptive link rate capabilities maximize battery lifetime,
improve capacity of the network and improve scalability. The LoRa
modulation also provides significant improvement interference robustness
compared to traditional modulation techniques.
IBM Mote Runner is an easy to use, infrastructure platform for WSNs. The
software is based on a highly-optimized virtual machine tailored from
scratch for resource-constrained hardware environments with tight power
and resource budgets. Uniquely, the platform even allows applications to
be loaded and updated over-the-air even after deployment, similar to the
way mobile apps are updated on smartphones.
The development environment of IBM Mote Runner comprises a complete tool
chain to develop applications in high-level object-oriented languages
such as Java and C#, providing support for source-level debugging and
network simulations to ease application development and testing. A
web-based deployment and monitoring framework, in concert with edge and
backend servers, finally make IBM Mote Runner an end-to-end-solution for
the development, deployment, integration and visualization of wireless
IBM Mote Runner has been widely used in a broad range of
Internet-of-Things applications including the monitoring of snow
accumulation in the Sierra Mountains to the measuring of air quality in
Pricing and Availability
The SX1272 (order code: SX1272IMLTRT) is available immediately for
sampling and in production quantities. Semtech offers comprehensive
design assistance, including field- and factory-based support. Data
sheets, volume pricing, and delivery quotes, as well as evaluation kits
and samples, are available at http://www.semtech.com/info.
Semtech Corporation is a leading supplier of
analog and mixed-signal semiconductors for high-end consumer, computing,
communications and industrial equipment. Products are designed to
benefit the engineering community as well as the global community. The
company is dedicated to reducing the impact it, and its products, have
on the environment. Internal green programs seek to reduce waste through
material and manufacturing control, use of green technology and
designing for resource reduction. Publicly traded since 1967, Semtech is
listed on the NASDAQ Global Select Market under the symbol SMTC. For
more information, visit http://www.semtech.com.
About IBM Research
For more information, visit www.research.ibm.com.
Semtech and the Semtech logo are registered marks of Semtech
Corporation. IBM is a registered mark of IBM Corporation.
"22 Million Web-Connected Devices ‘by 2020'," Marc Chacksfield, August
Source: Semtech Corporation