IoT News Roundup

STMicroelectronics intros Sigfox-certified IoT solution for industrial asset management ••• Silicon Labs offers LTE-M solution for low-power cellular IoT applications ••• Kerlink launches Japanese subsidiary to serve IoT market in Asia ••• Soracom, Unabiz unveil Sigfox Monarch development kit ••• LoRa Alliance announces new LoRaWAN protocol specs to support OTA firmware updates ••• Longview IoT, GMO GlobalSign, Intrinsic ID partner on IoT security solution ••• HARMAN International opens new headquarters in Israel.
Published: October 31, 2018

STMicroelectronics Intros Sigfox-Certified IoT Solution for Industrial Asset Management

STMicroelectronics, a semiconductor firm serving customers across the spectrum of electronics applications, is the first chip maker to develop and market a certified solution for seamless global, ultra-low-power, and long-range wireless IoT connectivity enabling the Monarch worldwide tracking and positioning service from Sigfox, an IoT service provider.

ST’s solution lets users create region-independent smart objects that connect automatically to the local Sigfox network anywhere in the world, empowering inter-regional mobility, geolocation, and asset tracking without relying on more expensive GPS or GNSS positioning devices. These could include smart-baggage products that aid tracking in airports or transport hubs, or innovations for supply-chain management and air or rail transportation in the industrial asset-management market, such as smart pallets. Regional independence also allows makers of connected smart objects such as consumer or commercial IoT devices to standardize products for multiple export markets, simplifying manufacturing and logistics.

“The widespread worldwide coverage of the Sigfox network represents a unique Global connectivity service for remote monitoring and industrial asset management. This ready-to-go offering for Sigfox Monarch networking perfectly complements the existing ST IoT ecosystem providing the fastest go-to-market solution for IoT connectivity,” said Benedetto Vigna, President, Analog, MEMS and Sensors Group, STMicroelectronics. “ST’s customers can quickly create new products for seamless worldwide tracking and positioning that are cost-effective, secure, real-time connected, and inherently benefit from long range and ultra-low-power consumption.”

ST is providing a complete Software Development Kit (SDK) for Sigfox Monarch networking, supported by development kits, reference designs, and tools that accelerate project completion.

“The launch of this Monarch solution demonstrates that we are building a solid business collaboration with ST, aiming to expand further the vast possibilities of the IoT market,” said Raouti Chehih, Chief Adoption Officer at Sigfox. “The S2-LP based Ultra-Low-Power Sigfox Monarch Ready Solution will deliver a great user experience for our clients who need to enable devices to run seamlessly in all parts of the world, unlocking endless use cases in logistics and supply chain, in the consumer industry, and in automated maintenance for the shipping, aircraft, and railway industries.”

The fully certified Sigfox Monarch solution is based on ST’s S2-LP ultra-low-power, long-range, sub-1GHz radio, which is automatically tuned on the local regional Sigfox frequency band, across all relevant worldwide zones (RC1 to RC6), enabling seamless connectivity to the Global Sigfox network and geolocation services.

The SDK runs on the STM32 STM32 is a registered and/or unregistered trademark of STMicroelectronics International NV or its affiliates in the EU and/or elsewhere. In particular, STM32 is registered in the US Patent and Trademark Office.

MCU family and benefits from its vast portfolio availability, including both low-power and higher-performance product families. For instance, for processing demanding applications, the ARM Cortex-M4 based devices enable highly efficient data pre-processing and localized AI, thus reducing network traffic requirements.

To jump-start new product development, ST’s S2-LP radio is also available for the STM32 Open Development Environment (ODE) with X-NUCLEO-S2868A1/-S2915A1 (upcoming in late Q4’18) expansion boards and X-CUBE-SFXS2LP1 Sigfox Ready software expansion pack.

The SDK also supports a convenient dual-radio reference solution powered by the S2-LP and BlueNRG-2 Bluetooth low energy SoC, enabling easy in-field provisioning, maintenance and configuration of the device through a convenient smartphone app.

The design can easily be enhanced with the STSAFE secure element for robust cyber-protection and with ST’s comprehensive industrial portfolio of motion and environmental MEMS sensors.

The availability of a Sigfox Monarch certified solution for LPWAN connectivity along with the ST comprehensive IoT and industrial portfolio makes ST the one-stop shop for creating innovative devices for real-time and always-connected remote monitoring and asset-tracking applications.

Silicon Labs Offers LTE-M Solution for Low-Power Cellular IoT Applications

Silicon Labs delivers ultra-low-power, long-range wireless connectivity to battery-powered IoT devices with a new LTE-M expansion kit featuring Digi International’s Digi XBee3 pre-certified cellular modem. The LTE-M expansion kit works with Silicon Labs’ EFM32 Giant Gecko 11 starter kit and simplifies and accelerates the development of gateways and end devices that operate in deep-sleep mode and require extended battery life. The solution is ideal for agricultural, asset tracking, smart energy and smart city IoT applications.

“Together, Silicon Labs and Digi International are dedicated to connecting people, networks and ‘things’ with best-in-class IoT and M2M technologies,” said Matt Johnson, Senior Vice President and General Manager of IoT products at Silicon Labs. “We’ve collaborated with Digi to deliver flexible LTE-M cellular connectivity capabilities, enabling cloud-connected applications that are remote, on the go and ready to deploy.”

“The jointly developed LTE-M expansion kit works with Silicon Labs’ starter kits to accelerate development by quickly enabling cellular IoT connectivity and avoiding costly cellular device certifications,” said Mark Tekippe, Director of Product Management, Digi International. “Digi XBee3 cellular modems and Silicon Labs Gecko MCUs are an ideal pairing to deliver seamless cloud connectivity with ultra-low power capabilities. The pre-certified Digi XBee3 cellular modem is easy to configure and provides secure, flexible out-of-box connectivity over LTE-M and NB-IoT networks.”

“LTE-M is a great option for LPWAN applications that require a combination of long battery life, LTE reliability and low latency. LTE-M is compatible with existing LTE networks and in the future will coexist with 5G technologies,” added Mike Krell, Head of IoT Strategy, J. Brehm & Associates. “Vendors offering easy-to-use development tools to accelerate LTE-M solutions will be well-positioned for growth in the cellular IoT market.”

Developers can take advantage of the LTE-M expansion kit’s advanced development tools including the Digi Remote Manager, Silicon Labs’ Energy Profiler and pre-programmed demos to rapidly deliver optimized LTE-M products. Digi XBee3 modems certified on AT&T and Verizon cellular networks, combined with energy-friendly EFM32 microcontrollers (MCUs), provide developers with a mobile IoT development toolkit to deliver advanced, low-power wide-area network (LPWAN) connectivity.

Kerlink Launches Japanese Subsidiary to Serve IoT Market in Asia

Kerlink , a specialist in solutions dedicated to the Internet of Things (IoT), has announced the launch of a Japanese subsidiary to support LoRaTM network deployments in that country and accelerate the company’s growth in Japan and across Asia.

Tsuneo Tatara, an international information and communications technology (ICT) veteran who joined Kerlink in the fall of 2017 as country manager to guide the company’s ramp up in Japan, was promoted to general manager of the subsidiary, Kerlink Japan KK.

“Japan is a very large potential market for IoT deployments in the key verticals, such as smart cities, smart industry, asset tracking and smart health, and Kerlink will help develop that potential with this expanded presence in Japan,” said Robert Clapham, Kerlink’s assistant general manager. “Tsuneo Tatara has laid the groundwork for this expansion, which marks Kerlink’s commitment to help large network operators, cities and small businesses realize the benefits of LoRaTM low-power, wide-area networks. One of his first tasks will be increasing Kerlink’s sales staff in Japan and Asia.”

Tatara has more than 40 years of professional experience with companies whose businesses spanned Japan, Canada and India. His expertise ranges from engineering and business development to sales and marketing, working with international fixed-operators and mobile telcos, telecom vendors and Japanese multinational companies.

“Kerlink has become a global provider of turnkey solutions for deploying LoRaWANTM networks, because of the reliability of its products, and focus on building long-term relationships with its customers, so they can achieve the specific goals for their IoT networks,” Tatara said. “Since opening a sales office in Japan last fall, we have seen growing interest among Japanese ICT companies and smart-city proponents in deploying both public and private LoRaWAN networks. With this subsidiary, Kerlink will work closely with customers in Japan and Asia to start realizing the efficiency, safety and security benefits of the Internet of Things.”

As a co-founder and board member of the LoRa AllianceTM, an ecosystem of more than 500 diverse companies that support LoRaWANTM networks, Kerlink has played a major role in spreading LoRa technology around the world. Founded in 2004, the company has installed more than 100,000 gateways, base stations and other wireless connectivity products for M2M and IoT networks for more than 330 clients in Europe, Asia and North and South America. As it grew internationally, it diversified its IoT portfolio, augmenting its equipment with a complete range of services for designing, deploying and managing low-power, wide-area (LPWA) networks.

Kerlink also specializes in critical network services, such as geolocation, an accurate, land-based tracking technology that is both less expensive and more energy efficient than satellite-dependent systems, and device management, a powerful tool for configuring, updating, and remotely managing connected LoRaWAN devices.

Soracom, Unabiz Unveil Sigfox Monarch Development Kit

Soracom, Inc. and UnaBiz has announced the launch of UnaMKR, the first global roaming Arduino Shield supporting Sigfox Monarch, at Sigfox Connect, a two-day conference held at the Arena Berlin.

UnaMKR combines connectivity, industrial-grade sensors, hardware and platform integration capabilities in a single, easy to program development kit. The kit supports both Sigfox and BLE (Bluetooth Low Energy) and comes pre-configured with sensors, drivers, sample code, access to data storage and a data visualization platform to accelerate prototyping and go-to-market.

“Offering a fully-integrated, out-of-the-box, global Sigfox-enabled Starter Kit is a big advance for the IoT community,” said Alexis Susset, Technology Director at Soracom and Sigfox Ambassador. “We look forward to all the amazing IoT projects that developers and innovators will build with a flexible product on a global, cloud-based platform.

Integration remains among the top concerns of IoT makers and developers. UnaMKR addresses this challenge with (a) a large variety of embedded sensors: temperature, humidity, air pressure, gas, light, accelerometer, magnetometer, etc, and (b) quick integration APIs that can be used by manufacturers, design houses and universities alike.

UnaMKR is the first development kit supporting Sigfox Monarch, a unique radio recognition service enabling devices to run seamlessly in all parts of the world. By automatically recognizing and adapting to local radio frequency standards, the shield provides connectivity with no need for additional hardware such as a GPS or Wi-Fi chipset.

“This is another major milestone for UnaBiz and Soracom on our road to drive global IoT adoption,” said Philippe Chiu, CTO and co-founder of UnaBiz. “Built with the most advanced Sigfox features and equipped with industrial-grade sensors, UnaMKR will enable any maker, educator and learner, to build the next big IoT application, wherever they are located.”

“Our mission from day one has been to create a global IoT ecosystem that allows developers to create new connected experiences without limits,” said Kenta Yasukawa, CTO and co-founder of Soracom. “UnaMKR demonstrates the value of partnership in IoT and frees developers to build new connected experiences across networks and geography.”

UnaMKR marks the first hardware collaboration between Soracom and UnaBiz since the Soracom IoT Fund announced a strategic investment in the Sigfox operator’s US$10 million Series A funding. The pairs’ joint effort will see further opportunities to develop new solutions and services for the international IoT community.

UnaMKR is available to pre-order now with delivery expected in early 2019.

LoRa Alliance Announces New LoRaWAN Protocol Specs to Support OTA Firmware Updates

The LoRa Alliance, the global association of companies backing the open LoRaWAN protocol for Internet of Things (IoT) low-power wide-area networks (LPWANs), has announced the public availability of three new specifications. Together, the new specifications support and standardize firmware updates over the air (FUOTA), a capability unique to LoRaWAN among LPWANs.

These major enhancements to the protocol are accompanied by significant growth in deployments and certification, with an increase of more than 50% in the number of LoRaWAN CertifiedCM products compared to this time last year. Additionally, the number of public LoRaWAN networks is quickly approaching 100 globally.

“Continued development of standard specifications for the LoRaWAN protocol is key to enabling interoperability between end-device providers and network providers,” said Donna Moore, CEO & Chairwoman of the LoRa Alliance. “The new specifications showcase how our members collaborate to continuously advance LoRaWAN. The rapid uptick of LoRaWAN Certified products validates that the market stands behind the need for IoT devices that deliver a proof of quality.”

The LoRa Alliance has a rapidly growing ecosystem in Japan with members actively deploying LoRaWAN networks and solutions. Recent examples include NEC providing LoRaWAN network servers for remote liquefied petroleum gas meter reading, and SenseWay deploying a LoRaWAN network on the Kashiwanoha Campus to acquire and visualize the city’s environmental information to build a true smart city.

The LoRa Alliance is hosting its Q4 Members’ Meeting in Tokyo this week, with its LoRaWAN Live showcase taking place, October 25, in the Hilton, Tokyo 2, Shinjuku, Tokyo, 160-0023. LoRaWAN Live will feature presentations and demonstrations from our large member ecosystem covering the latest technologies and key use case and deployment stories. Japanese member company and event sponsor, M2B Communications, will deliver a keynote titled “LoRaWAN and disaster prevention,” during the morning session. Additionally, a signing ceremony to announce a strategic liaison between the LoRa Alliance and the IoT Connectivity Alliance will take place. The Marketplace will feature demos from the following companies: Actility, Daliworks, Kiwi Technology, LoRa Alliance, M2B Communications, Macnica, Manthink, Multitech, Murata, RedwoodComm, Semtech, SenseWay, STMicroelectronics, Tektelic, Viloc and Yokogawa Electric.

These specifications were developed to allow the LoRa Alliance ecosystem to perform FUOTA in a standardized way. The ability to update devices remotely is critical for the IoT, where many sensors are in remote or difficult locations to reach but may require updating. Making FUOTA part of the specification contributes to future-proofing LoRaWAN and ensuring that LoRaWAN devices will continue to operate over long lifetimes.

Together, the new specifications enable FUOTA. However, three separate specifications have been issued because each can be used independently. For example, the remote multicast setup protocol can be used standalone to send messages to a group of end-devices; fragmentation can be used on its own to send a large file to a single end-device (unicast); and time synchronization can also be used as a standalone capability.

As is true for the LoRaWAN protocol as a whole, security was a strong focus of this development effort and is addressed in the Multicast and Fragmentation specifications. For multicast, the protocol has a means to securely deliver a cryptographic key to the group of end devices. This key exchange is described with its security implication. In fragmentation, a section is dedicated to file integrity and authentication recommendations.

Longview IoT, GMO GlobalSign, Intrinsic ID Partner on IoT Security Solution

Longview IoT, a Carnegie Technologies company, has announced its partnership with GMO GlobalSign, a global Certificate Authority and provider of identity and security solutions for the Internet of Things, and with Intrinsic ID, a provider of digital authentication technology for Internet of Things security. Together, the trio of best-in-class providers built world-class security into the Longview solution to guard against attacks before they happen.

Longview is a comprehensive collection of custom-engineered sensors, gateways, cloud analytics, and industry-specific applications that come pre-configured to work right out of the box. As a self-contained solution, there are no servers to buy or computer experts to manage. Longview foresaw the need to maximize IoT security and took a proactive approach by partnering with best-of-breed security providers from the onset rather than reactively fixing issues as they arise.

Layer 1: Longview’s triple-layer security includes the robust LPWAN network protocol LoRaWAN, which can cover vast areas that cannot be covered by Wi-Fi and may not have cellular connectivity. LoRaWAN includes native symmetric 128-bit encryption on every transmission on the network.

Layer 2: Longview incorporates Intrinsic ID’s SRAM PUF, a Physical Unclonable Function (PUF) to generate a device-specific key based on minuscule anomalies of each semiconductor, similar to a human fingerprint, to uniquely identify each of Longview’s sensors and gateways.

Layer 3: Each Longview device includes two security certificates provided by GlobalSign’s IoT Identity Platform and are automatically provisioned by GlobalSign’s IoT Edge Enroll solution. This protects both the device in the supply chain as well as the data transmitted on the LPWAN network, thus truly enabling a secure, connected ecosystem with a Strong Device Identity for every one of Longview’s IoT devices. Longview’s data is then stored in a private, secure cloud infrastructure that provides the final layer of comprehensive data security.

“We have made IoT security the utmost priority with Longview throughout the entire solution, from our sensors to the cloud, and into the field,” said Brad Bush, managing director of Internet of Things for Carnegie Technologies. “Working with GlobalSign and Intrinsic ID ensures that businesses and users are protected by best-in-class technologies at every point in the system, ensuring that our solution is secure and future proof for enterprises of any size.”

“These three companies working together have created a truly impressive IoT solution,” said Lancen LaChance, vice president, product management, IoT Solutions, GlobalSign. “The security focus that Carnegie has implemented into the product design and development of Longview with GlobalSign’s IoT Identity platform is outstanding foresight from the lowest component all the way up to the cloud.”

“Sound security depends on a hardware-based root of trust, and Longview’s use of Intrinsic ID’s software IP ensures device identities are unclonable and makes it possible to secure the IoT solution at the factory,” said Pim Tuyls, chief executive officer of Intrinsic ID. “We’re pleased Longview chose such an aggressive security strategy as it goes to market with its IoT solutions.”

The Longview IoT solution includes a configurable dashboard that enables real-time asset tracking and analytics from anywhere using a computer, tablet, or smartphone. The notification system enables businesses to create customizable text or email alerts so they can stay informed at all times. Longview is built to support many industry verticals including oil and gas, construction, medical, smart buildings, smart cities, and utilities. In applications such as smart cities it is very important to secure data through its entire lifecycle.

HARMAN International Opens New Headquarters in Israel

HARMAN International, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd., focused on connected technologies for automotive, consumer and enterprise markets, has announced that the company is strengthening its presence in Israel. HARMAN has opened a new, 46,000 square feet facility, located in Hod Hasharon, which will now serve as the headquarters for HARMAN in Israel.

This three-storey building will feature an advanced Smart Car Lab, where teams can research, test and validate the company’s award-winning cybersecurity, over-the-air software updates technologies, and automotive cloud solutions, in real-life conditions. The company’s existing Research & Development (R&D) centers, currently based in Kfar Saba, Hod Hasharon and Ramat Gan will now be consolidated under the new center at Hod Hasharon.

HARMAN President and CEO, Dinesh C. Paliwal inaugurated the new center, where he spoke about the importance of enabling HARMAN’s growth in Israel. “We are now preparing for the next phase of growth – connected vehicles and automated driving, and the entrepreneurial spirit and innovations taking place in Israel play an instrumental part in this strategy,” said Mr. Paliwal.

Paliwal, who was invited to serve the keynote at the Annual Smart Mobility Summit in Tel Aviv, hosted by Honorable Prime Minister of Israel, Mr. Benjamin Netanyahu, will use the opportunity to meet with emerging Israeli automotive and mobility companies during his visit.

“As an innovation leader, we have built strong teams across the globe. From India to US, and from Israel to China, our teams in both developed and emerging markets, are creating the future of connectivity,” says Mr. Paliwal. “By capitalizing on the diverse strength of our workforce, and by leveraging our relationship with Samsung, HARMAN is well-positioned to play a starring role on the stage, at home, and in the car for a long time to come.”

HARMAN is increasing its innovation capabilities globally, including expanding its workforce in Israel. HARMAN’s innovation hubs in Israel are home to a team of highly-skilled, senior engineers developing technologies that will shape our future, including autonomous, connected and augmented reality platforms.

According to Oren Betzaleli, Country Manager – HARMAN Israel, and Senior Vice President, Software Platforms, HARMAN Connected Services, the growth rate of the company’s operations in Israel is fast and the immediate implication is the constant hiring of new employees. “We are continuously searching for the highest quality professionals in the field, and it was important to us that all of HARMAN employees work in one location, as they are collaborating to develop products and solutions that contribute to the future of the automotive industry,” said Mr. Betzaleli.

HARMAN, a Samsung company, has acquired three Israeli start-ups in the last five years: iOnRoad, a red alert company situated in Ramat Gan; Red Bend, which enables today’s cars to be connected to the cloud and is located in Hod Hasharon; and TowerSec Automotive Cybersecurity, which was based in Kfar Saba.