In the lead-up to last month’s Embedded World event in Germany, ARM, Advantech, Bosch Sensortec, Sensirion, and Texas Instruments teased a new Internet of Things (IoT) sensor platform called M2.COM, and now the group has delivered the specifications as promised.
The genesis of M2.COM is the burning need to standardize, in some way, how data-gathering devices are architected. This will save developers from constantly having to reinvent the wheel given that the true value of IoT is not so much in the hardware, but in the data that the hardware gathers. The easier it is to deploy the data gatherers, the sooner the IoT will achieve its potential, or so the thinking goes.
To that end, the six companies kicked off the M2.COM launch in February with its new platform that adopts the popular M.2 form factor. The module combines general wireless connectivity with an MCU, specifically, TI’s SimpleLink Wi-Fi CC3200 wireless MCU. Around that, ARM ads its mbed OS support, Bosch adds its MEMS and sensor technologies, Sensirion brings its own wide range of sensors to the party, while Advantech adds its embedded systems design expertise.
The group is open to new members, of course, and it’s an ecosystem play that is designed to enable as many applications as possible with the minimum development time. A smart planet requires a lot of smart devices, from smart cities to smart agriculture, and factories to wearable health monitors, and M2.COM is architected to be flexible enough to accommodate them all.
While SimpleLink is Wi-Fi based, the module is intended to support the other wireless standards, including ZigBee and Bluetooth for short range, as well as LTE and sub-1-GHz standards for longer range.
Figure 1. The driving force behind M2.COM is the need to get IoT data-gathering devices deployed as quickly, securely, and as cost-effectively as possible, while remaining flexible with respect to connectivity and sensor options.