Industry alliance defines platform for massive IoT connectivity - Embedded.com

Industry alliance defines platform for massive IoT connectivity

This year’s Embedded World in Nuremberg marked the official launch of the Mioty Alliance whose software-based technology offers an alternative to the limitations of common Low-Power Wide-Area Network (LPWAN) solutions. The Alliance aims to provide an open, standardized and interoperable ecosystem that addresses tomorrow’s wireless connectivity needs for smart cities and industrial IoT. Founding partners include Texas Instruments, Fraunhofer Institute and Diehl.

“We are in the fastest technology revolution ever in history, and the underlying reason is all about data,” said Matthias Lange, general manager of Connectivity at Texas Instruments (TI), at the Mioty Alliance launch event. “But to get data, you need connectivity. The Mioty Alliance is a platform for improved and robust connectivity.”

Massive IoT

Mioty stands for massive-IoT. It is a LPWAN protocol that is purpose-built for massive industrial and commercial IoT deployments. Fraunhofer’s patented Telegram Splitting, the core of the Mioty protocol, “sets new standards in the direction of openness, robustness, scalability, ease-of-use and energy efficiency,” said Hermann Trottler, chairman of the Mioty executive board. The solution relies on an asymmetrical transmission method that uses scores of simple sensor nodes and a complex receiver.


Hermann Trottler, Chairman of the Mioty executive board,
at the Mioty event launch, Embedded World 2020

Mioty can indeed aggregate millions of messages a day with a single base station, achieve an interference immunity and transmit data with ultra-low power consumption, partners claimed. Smart cities, for instance, rely on thousands of sensors. So far, it has been impossible to ensure reliability as sensors interfere with each other. “Mioty can handle 1 to 1.5 million sensors without interference,” Trottler noted.

The Mioty communication approach divides a message into multiple sub-packets and transmits them at different times and frequencies. This enables the lowest packet error rates, even in a crowded spectrum. “The fact that it splits the package both in time and frequency provides the robustness we have not seen in the past,” Lange commented. “This will enable more power efficiency so you can build sensors that can last for ten to fifteen years without having to switch the battery.

With a power consumption of 17.8 µWh (end-point, 868MHz) per message, Mioty is claimed to make batteries last for more than twenty years.

The Mioty technology is not new. The Fraunhofer Institute has been working on it since 2009, and it is constantly updating and refining it to anticipate future needs. “New ideas come every day, and for our members, it is important to translate and develop these technical ideas into solutions,” said Trottler. “Mioty is not a technology to replace other technologies,” said Trottler. “It completes them and makes them more secure, more scalable and more energy efficient.”

The dawn of the IoT era

IoT applications have been developed and talked about for a long time, “but I think we are just at the beginning of IoT,” said Lange. “We have not seen anything yet of what this will bring to us in terms of innovation and efficiency.” Until now, efforts have concentrated on building the infrastructures, putting in place all the basic components to be able to collect, transmit and analyze the data, while making sure it is secure. “In any stage of the industrial revolution, the basic infrastructure is what provides the basis for what is coming next,” noted Lange. “It has been true since the Romans built roads, since we have developed power lines, electrical lines, since the World Wide Web was established. I think Mioty provides a stamping stone on which we will innovate and build new types of applications for smarter grids, smarter cities and more automation.”


Matthias Lange, general manager of connectivity at Texas Instruments,
at the Mioty Alliance launch event, Embedded World 2020

Building an ecosystem

It is not about adding a new standard, but filling the gaps, founding partners claimed. Plenty of options exist in broadband and critical IoT applications, but there are currently limitations when it comes to massive throughput. “In the space of long range communications, in the Sub-1 Ghz area, there has not been a lot of standards, and the ones that have been there have had some significant gaps.”

A strong driving force behind the creation of the Alliance is the necessity to build an ecosystem. “No companies will do it by themselves, that’s why we need an alliance that brings together companies from different disciplines,” said Lange. “TI provides its knowledge about semiconductors, Fraunhofer has been working on this protocol for a long time, and Diehl has been working on gateways and end-equipment meters. We need all these components and the support of each other to get the standard and the features that will help us take things forward.”

Officially launched at Embedded World 2020, the Alliance was formed in November 2019. Early partners include Fraunhofer Institute for Integrated Circuits ISS, Texas Instruments, Diehl Metering, Diehl Connectivity Solutions, ifm, Ragsol, Stackforce and Wika.

“We are at the beginning of what we think is a technology revolution,” Lange commented. “It is going to bring industrialization to the next level with smarter grid, smarter cities. To do this, we need companies to work together.”

Beside raising awareness and encouraging companies to join the Alliance, partners aim to set rules and define specifications to ensure sensors’ interoperability. A certification is underway to guarantee the quality and make sure all technical requirements are met.

Mioty is already compliant with the new ETSI standard and compatible with most hardware variants.

>> This article was originally published on our sister site, EE Times Europe.

 

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