LX Group examines the Sensinode IoT System

4th September 2013
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Today’s homes are becoming increasingly connected and “smart”, and previously proprietary systems for applications such as energy monitoring, security and home automation are now moving towards increasing compliance with standard, open protocols such as IP to provide interoperability of the network and connectivity out to the Internet.

One interesting system known as Sensinode – part of the ARM organisation – offers a complete software solution for connected home applications, providing end-to-end software products that bring IP connectivity and web services right out to the end nodes in wireless Internet-of-Things networks, combining highly optimised embedded client software with a scalable management and web application platform.

Sensinode’s NanoStack, NanoRouter and NanoService solutions are valuable building blocks for the Internet of Things – mainly targeting large-scale mesh networks that require IP backbone connectivity such as home and building automation systems, sensor mesh networks for industrial control and monitoring, meter-reading systems and “smart” street lighting systems.

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For example, Sensinode’s Connected Home Reference App provides a great starting point to rapidly deploy a web service for a connected home application, including a complete graphical web-based application for home automation and monitoring with floor plan import, device monitoring and control, data graphing and configurable notifications and alarms – an ideal starting point for home automation developers.



The intelligent control and monitoring of lighting systems is another area with great potential for reduced energy consumption and reduced maintenance costs through intelligent monitoring and control. NanoStack and NanoRouter provide low-power wireless IP connectivity for radio platforms ideally suited for indoor and outdoor lighting, while NanoService provides an end-to-end solution for the integration of lighting control and monitoring with web services.

Sensinode’s Street Lighting Reference App provides OEMs and system integrators with the tools to rapidly deploy a web-based service. Leveraging the power of the NanoService platform, this Street Lighting app includes Google Maps integration with real-time light monitoring and control, alarms, firmware updates and light group management.

Using Sensinode’s reference apps, complete graphical web applications and example source code provided, developers are able to easily get started developing and deploying machine-to-machine services on Sensinode’s NanoService platform. NanoService provides efficient embedded end-to-end web-service connectivity, integrating with new and existing backend web services.

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NanoStack is Sensinode’s advanced 6LoWPAN protocol stack product for 2.4 GHz and sub-gigahertz 802.15.4 RF chipsets, while Sensinode’s NanoRouter software acts as a 6LoWPAN edge router, enabling routing between 6LoWPAN and IPv4/IPv6 networks. NanoRouter integrates with home and mobile 802.15.4 gateways and 802.15.4-enabled devices such as smart meters, providing Internet routing to the 802.15.4/6LoWPAN network.

The NanoStack communications stack for IP-based wireless sensor networks is platform- and radio-independent and gives hardware manufacturers, OEMs and system integrators a fast, easy and cost-effective way to harness Sensinode’s 6LoWPAN low-power mesh technology on inexpensive RF chipsets and microcontroller radio system-on-chips.

As NanoStack features support for both 2.4 GHz and sub-gigahertz 802.15.4 transceivers, robust performance and the ability to support consumer applications on the same system-on-chip as the IP network stack. NanoStack 2.0 fits the power of 6LoWPAN into a footprint of only about 10 kilobytes of flash memory in a low-cost embedded device. Entire wireless sensor firmwares are possible, using NanoStack 2.0, in a footprint of less than 32 kB of flash and 4 kB of RAM.

As NanoStack is designed to run on cheap, low-power, resource-constrained microcontrollers with embedded RF transceivers, such as the Texas Instruments CC2530 and CC430 system-on-chip devices, to name just a couple of examples. Rather than providing any hardware solutions themselves, Sensinode’s products are just software solutions that are used in conjunction with hardware platforms from third-party hardware providers such as Texas Instruments and Atmel.

Atmel has licensed Sensinode’s 6LoWPAN software stack for use with their ultra-low-power wireless hardware platforms. Sensinode’s NanoMesh and NanoService solutions are available on the Atmel Gallery for download, providing developers using Atmel hardware with a valuable starting point for the development of Internet-of-Things solutions using Sensinode technology.

As an example of a combined hardware and software solution implementing Sensinode technology, the Texas Instruments CC1180 6LoWPAN Network Processor is TI’s CC1110F32 low-power sub-gigahertz RF system-on-chip IC pre-loaded with Sensinode’s NanoStack 2.0 Lite 6LoWPAN stack.

The CC1180 handles all the timing-critical and processing-intensive 6LoWPAN protocol tasks in your Internet-of-Things application, leaving the resources of the application microcontroller free to handle the application. The CC1180 makes it easy to add 6LoWPAN functionality to new or existing products, as it provides great flexibility in the choice of the application microcontroller.

The CC1180 IC comes pre-loaded with a bootloader, Sensinode NanoBoot. This bootloader is used to download the Sensinode 6LoWPAN stack, NanoStack 2.0 Lite. The CC1180 offers simple integration of 6LoWPAN with mesh support into any design, running Sensinode’s mature and stable 6LoWPAN mesh stack.

This platform offers a simple UART interface to the host microcontroller, and the 6LoWPAN stack can be updated using the Sensinode NanoBoot API. Over-The-Air firmware updates are supported, provided that the host microcontroller has enough memory to store the new stack image.

With our existing experience in producing a wide range of devices incorporating embedded wireless technology our engineers can take your ideas for home or other types of automation to the final product stage using Sensinode or almost any other platform.

We can create or tailor just about anything from a wireless temperature sensor to a complete Internet-enabled system for you – within your required time-frame and your budget. For more information or a confidential discussion about your ideas and how we can help bring them to life – click here to contact us, or telephone 1800 810 124.

LX is an award-winning electronics design company based in Sydney, Australia. LX services include full turnkey design, electronics, hardware, software and firmware design. LX specialises in embedded systems and wireless technologies design. https://lx-group.com.au

Published by LX Pty Ltd for itself and the LX Group of companies, including LX Design House, LX Solutions and LX Consulting, LX Innovations.

 

LX GroupLX Group examines the Sensinode IoT System

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