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Posts tagged ‘Weightless’

Weightless-N Open Standard IoT network goes live across London

The Weightless SIG today announced the deployment of a Weightless-N Smart City network in the heart of the UKs capital. The network, operating on Nwave technology, has been deployed in conjunction with the Digital Catapult national centre to rapidly advance the UK’s best digital ideas, which is making available the infrastructure on which Weightless base stations are deployed.

Operating in sub-1GHz, licence-exempt ISM spectrum using ultra narrow band (UNB) technology, Weightless-N offers best-in-class signal propagation characteristics, leading to excellent range of several kilometres, even in challenging urban environments such as the city of London. Very low power consumption provides end points with exceptionally long battery life measured in years from small conventional cells, and leading edge innovation in design minimises both terminal hardware and network costs.

London is one of the worlds largest cities, the largest municipality in Europe with over 21 million people in a metropolitan area covering over 8000 square kilometres. Siting of base stations to support an efficient, low cost city-wide network is an important part of the deployment planning process.

We are delighted to be able to provide a platform to showcase Weightless-N technology, a key enabler for Smart City projects not just across the capital but around the world, said Peter Karney, Head of Engineering, Digital Catapult. We are looking forward to opening this up to our network to enable them to continue to showcase the UKs innovation in this area; we will be leading an open call in the near future allowing these innovators to register their interest in the project.

Network modeling predicts coverage encompassing well known London landmarks including Buckingham Palace, the Houses of Parliament and the Tower of London to the south and the Emirates Stadium to the north. Independent real world signal verification will shortly be carried out to provide an accurate coverage map and this will be published on the Weightless website when complete.

Yury Birchenko, CEO of Nwave Technologies, described the network as “a groundbreaking milestone – the first public network deployment from Nwave since the publication of the Weightless-N open standard”.

Weightless-N is designed around a differential binary phase shift keying (DBPSK) digital modulation scheme to transmit within narrow frequency bands using a frequency hopping algorithm for interference mitigation and enhanced security. It provides for encryption and implicit authentication using a shared secret key regime to encode transmitted information via a 128 bit AES algorithm. The technology supports mobility with the network automatically routing terminal messages to the correct destination. Multiple networks, typically operated by different companies, are enabled and can be co-located. Each base station queries a central database to determine which network the terminal is registered to in order to decode and route data accordingly.

More info here.

Weightless-N Open Standard Released

The Weightless SIG announced the publication of version 1.0 of the new Weightless-N open standard based on a low power wide area star network architecture. Operating in sub-GHz spectrum using ultra narrow band (UNB) technology, Weightless-N offers best in class signal propagation characteristics leading to excellent range of several kilometres even in challenging urban environments. Very low power consumption provides for exceptionally long battery life measured in years from small conventional cells and leading edge innovation in design minimises both terminal hardware and network costs.

Central to the Weightless proposition is its status as an open standard. Weightless is differentiated from all alternative proprietary LPWAN technologies by uniquely enabling a competitive, free and fair market that does not lock developers into using particular vendors or network service providers.

Details of hardware supporting Weightless-N as well as SDKs will be made available on the Weightless website shortly.

More information available here

Weightless Specification Silicon for M2M launches

The Weightless Special Interest Group (SIG) today announced the release of the world’s first transceiver chip using the Weightless Specification and operating over white space spectrum.

Capable of tuning across the entire UHF TV white space spectrum (470 – 790MHz), the single chip solution draws very little power while delivering reliable, secure, long range wireless connectivity for next generation M2M applications using the Weightless Standard.

Developed by Weightless SIG Promoter Group Member, Neul, and dubbed ‘Iceni’, samples are available today to select partners to begin testing and development of new white space-enabled solutions. More details of the silicon can be found on the company’s website.

“This is a seminal moment in the evolution of Weightless technology” commented Professor William Webb, CEO of the Weightless Special Interest Group, adding “for the first time designers around the world can begin developing next generation M2M solutions using Weightless technology with silicon designed explicitly to be compatible with the Standard”.

Developed by the team behind the world’s first single-chip Bluetooth device, Iceni operates within white space spectrum to access the high quality and license free UHF spectrum. Iceni and Weightless together dramatically reduce the costs and increase battery life in machines connected to the network opening up applications that are not technically or commercially feasible using alternative technologies.

James Collier, CEO of Neul commented “Weightless is a major opportunity for silicon vendors. With a forecasted 5-10 billion devices to be shipped per year, this is a market that is bigger than cellular, and one that will support as many as a dozen major silicon vendors. The Weightless SIG already has silicon companies as members, and we expect a number of them to develop their own silicon.”

Bob Lockhart, Senior Research Analyst at Pike Research – a part of Navigant, said “The anticipated exponential growth in machine-to-machine communications, as ever more ‘smart’ devices find their way into homes and industry such as electricity grids, argues for innovative, low-cost approaches to M2M communication. Without low-cost communications between devices, the so-called Internet of Things is likely to remain only wishful thinking.”

The machine to machine or Internet of Things market is widely forecasted to be worth over a trillion US dollars in value and to enable tens of billions of connected devices by 2020.

More information about Weightless silicon can be found here.


Weightless, the global organisation  delivering the royalty-free open standard to enable the Internet of Things, today announced the release of version 0.9 of its innovative M2M Specification. Weightless enables M2M systems featuring a chipset cost of less than USD$2, a range of up to 10km and a battery life of 10 years.

The announcement follows the recent announcement of growing support and momentum for the standard with the appointment of ARM, Cable and Wireless Worldwide, CSR and Neul to the Board and Promoter Group.

Weightless is the Special Interest Group (SIG) and the name of the wireless wide area global standard for machine to machine short to mid-range communications.

With the release of version 0.9 the Weightless Specification moves within a single step of a final, stable v1.0 release due towards the end of Q1 2013. Version 0.9 is now complete with significant additions made to the MAC, Security and Applications sections. On the MAC, significant detail has been added to areas such as handling of alarm events, initial network selection and the entire set of channels has been re-grouped and re-named in a more logical and consistent way. On security all aspects of encryption have been detailed and the setting of Master and Subsidiary keys  has been fully defined along with details of their storage and transport. On applications a complete protocol for application to MAC interfacing has been produced and linked carefully into MAC features and requirements. The specification is now over 300 pages long and provides all the detail needed for developers to fully understand and model it.

More info here.

Experience Weightlessness

The Executive Chairman of Ford, Bill Ford Jr, recently set out a vision of a world mostly free of traffic congestion as intelligent systems monitored traffic flow and directed vehicles accordingly. A world where each parking space is monitored and cars directed to specific empty spaces as they enter a city. For all those sat on gridlocked highways, or driving endlessly round a multi-story car-park this may seem fantasy. But, in principle, it is a dream we could bring about. Monitoring traffic flow is relatively easy, as is deducing where congestion is occurring and working out where to re-route cars. But there is a big piece missing from the puzzle at the moment —a way to get information from sensors to control centre and from control centre back to cars, traffic lights, roadside signage and more.

Transport is not the only area crying out for an M2M connectivity solution. Connectivity for the smart meter is far from solved. Smart cities require myriad sensors to be connected. Healthcare could be revolutionised with sensors in pill dispensers, diabetes monitors, scales, heart rate monitors and so much more. Even devices in the home might benefit from a simple and cheap connection to an external network.

There tend to be two differing reactions when the M2M connectivity problem is discussed. One is to note that there have been predictions of machine connectivity for decades and that they have never really been fulfilled. This leads to scepticism that they ever will. The other is to assume that cellular systems can provide all that is needed.

Responses to both of these require an assessment of what machines actually need. While there are many possible applications, the common characteristics tend to be: very low cost both for the chipset and the annual fee for sending data; ubiquitous coverage, even better than cellular; in some cases battery life of 10 years or so.

This is obviously challenging, but there are some characteristics of M2M traffic that can be exploited in system design including: Most messages are very short; Delays of a few seconds are rarely problematic; data rates can be low; sleep times can be long in some cases and; seamless handover is not required.

More info here.