RFID News Roundup

HID Global to acquire RFID company LUX-Ident; AT&T certifies LTE-M/NB-IoT solution from Murata Electronics, Altair Semiconductor; Schneider Electric launches IoT platform for multiple industries; Solace, Boomi partner on integration platform for enterprise IoT applications; Semtech unveils indoor reference design for smart buildings, homes; LoRa Alliance announces LoRaWAN-IoT test houses in India.
Published: October 10, 2019

Presented here are news announcements made during the past week by the following organizations:
HID Global, LUX-Ident;
AT&T, Murata Electronics, Altair Semiconductor, NTT DOCOMO;
Schneider Electric;
Solace, Boomi;
the LoRa Alliance, TÜV Rheinland, and DEKRA.

HID Global to Acquire RFID Company LUX-IDent

HID Global, a provider of trusted-identity solutions, has announced that it has signed an agreement to acquire LUX-IDent, a provider of RFID components based in Lanskroun, Czech Republic.

“Our proven leadership in RFID technology positions HID as a premier source of components for a wide variety of RFID use cases and IoT applications. The acquisition of LUX-IDent further optimizes our portfolio with more ways to offer customization in both large and small volume projects,” said Stefan Widing, HID Global’s president and CEO, in a prepared statement. “Expanding our presence in Central and Eastern Europe with LUX-IDent will further enhance HID’s ability to serve customers locally while extending our RFID technology into emerging markets.”

LUX-IDent designs and manufactures RFID components such as inlays, prelaminates, smart labels, wristbands, key fobs, glass transponders and other finished tag products in the low-frequency (LF), high-frequency (HF), Near Field Communication (NFC) and ultrahigh-frequency (UHF) ranges. The company’s customers include smart card manufacturers, original equipment manufacturers and systems integrators.

With its expanded RFID components portfolio, HID says it hopes to be able to better serve the RFID market, broaden its smart label offerings and address the growing Internet of Things (IoT) spectrum with new capabilities in RFID component design and flexible manufacturing. The acquisition is subject to regulatory approval and customary closing conditions, with the transaction expected to close during the fourth quarter of 2019. Following the close, LUX-IDent will become part of HID’s Identification Technologies business area.

AT&T Certifies LTE-M/NB-IoT Solution from Murata Electronics, Altair Semiconductor

Murata Electronics and Altair Semiconductor have announced that their LTE-M/NB-IoT solution has secured AT&T certification for operating on the carrier’s 4G LTE wireless network. The small-form-factor solution enables applications such as dual-mode cellular IoT.

The module is powered by Altair’s ALT1250 cellular IoT chipset, which provides low power consumption, enabling a long battery life for cellular IoT. Commercially available, the chipset features a hardware-based security framework, an integrated SIM (iUICC), MCU and GNSS, making it suitable for integration in a range of industrial and consumer IoT applications, according to the company. Measuring 11.1 millimeters by 11.4 millimeters by 1.4 millimeters, the module was developed in partnership with Altair and includes an ALT1250 chipset. It provides Global Navigation Satellite System functionality and is RoHS-compliant to address consumer and Industrial IoT applications.

“Flexible and optimized solutions are the building blocks for realizing IoT on every wireless device,” said Mehul Udani, Murata Americas’ director of connectivity solutions, in a prepared statement. “With the AT&T certification, developers can easily tap Murata’s RF expertise and access best-in-class solutions. Murata’s Type 1SC module is a significant asset as demand for more miniaturized, higher functioning solutions continues on its steep rise.”

“Murata is a world leader in providing innovative building blocks for the Internet of Things,” added Ilan Reingold, Altair Semiconductor’s VP of business development and marketing, in the prepared statement. “Murata’s partnership with Altair reaffirms the quality of our products and our performance leadership in is shipping in volume, allowing device makers to reimagine what is possible in terms of power consumption, performance, and overall quality.”

Altair has also announced ALT1250’s validation for NB-IoT and CAT-M at NTT DOCOMO. Following this announcement, the chipset is now active on the NTT DOCOMO network. Altair’s validation enables ALT1250-based products to operate on NTT DOCOMO’s network. It is intended to address the growing demand for low-power cellular-connected smart meters, vehicle telematics devices, smart trackers, connected wearables, home appliances and more.

“Completing the interoperability testing of Altair’s ALT1250 chipset on our cellular IoT network will help enable the integration of affordable and battery-operated IoT devices,” said Takeshi Higuchi, the VP and general manager of NTT DOCOMO’s Communication Device Development Department, in a separate prepared statement. “ALT1250 will open up the market for even more IoT devices to run on our network.”

“We’re looking forward to enabling the expansion of cellular IoT through our partnership with Japan’s largest telecommunications company,” added Reingold in this separate statement. “As Japan is one of the world’s most advanced cellular markets, NTT DOCOMO’s interoperability test completion is a large step towards supporting the country’s growing cellular IoT developments.”

Schneider Electric Launches IoT Platform for Multiple Industries

Schneider Electric, a provider of digital-transformation solutions for energy management and automation, has announced that its EcoStruxure Plant Performance Advisors suite is intended to help companies in numerous industries leverage industrial automation data to increase operational profitability. These sectors include food and beverages; mining, minerals and metals; oil and gas; water and wastewater; and other industrial enterprises.

EcoStruxure Plant Performance Advisors, a suite of smart manufacturing apps and digital services, provides data-driven manufacturers with real-time analytics for quick decision-making, the company reports. The suite’s modular and scalable approach to implementation, the firm explains, makes it cost-effective for plants to turn the volumes of data they produce into the actionable insights they require to achieve high levels of operational efficiency, profitability and sustainability.

“The digital transformation vision is coming to life for industrial operations,” said Sophie Borgne, the senior VP of Schneider Electric’s Digital Plant, in a prepared statement. “Industry 4.0 has embraced digitalization but now must get out of ‘pilot purgatory’ and scale up. Respecting an industrial enterprise’s operational investment, the modular EcoStruxure Plant Performance Advisors make it easy for plants of all sizes—not just big corporations—to modernize at a sustainable pace and accelerate their digital transformation in very simple, step by step manner.”

EcoStruxure Plant Performance Advisors collects, measures and analyzes information and recommends cost-effective actions to take for continuous improvement. Transformative business models, including asset optimization and asset performance management, predictive maintenance and real-time decision-making, drive efficiency and resilience in increasingly competitive industrial environments, the company explains.

Using EcoStruxure Plant Performance Advisors and other technologies, Schneider Electric has digitalized its own smart factory in Bantam, Indonesia, which has reported a 44 percent reduction in machine downtime within a single year. The firm’s smart factory in Vaudreil, France, has also implemented the solution, which contributed to a 10 percent reduction in energy consumption, a 25 percent improvement in plant operations efficiency, a 20 percent reduction in maintenance costs, and a 20 percent reduction in diagnosis and repair times.

Solace, Boomi Partner on Integration Platform for Enterprise IoT Applications

Solace, an enabler of event-driven architecture (EDA) solutions, and Boomi, a Dell Technologies business, have partnered to provide a cloud-native, event-driven integration platform that can instantly notify applications and connected devices if specified events occur. Organizations can capture real-world data about business events in digital form as they happen, by listening to such sources as Internet of Things (IoT) devices, mobile applications, ecosystems, and social and business networks.

“Our extensive experience helping capital markets, gaming and telecommunications firms take advantage of event-driven architecture has given us deep expertise in what it takes to reap the rewards of becoming event-driven and real-time,” said Paul Fitzpatrick, Solace’s chief business-development officer, in a prepared statement. “The combination of Boomi’s best-in-class integration platform and Solace’s event streaming and management platform gives enterprises of all shapes and sizes the digital backbone they need to innovate and thrive in today’s increasingly real-time world.”

Boomi helps enterprises integrate diverse applications across environments so they can automate business processes and engage with customers in a responsive, customized manner. Solace’s PubSub+ event-streaming and -management platform enables the design, discovery, streaming and life-cycle management of events across the distributed enterprise and the Internet of Things.

“Our customers are always being asked to do more with less. No one is asking for less data slower, and they have to be able to unify past, present and future data and applications seamlessly within their digital ecosystems,” said Michael Morton, Boomi’s chief technology officer, in the prepared statement. “Customers are looking to Boomi to help solve their business problems and allowing them to achieve all kinds of business outcomes, faster. To do so they have to connect everything in real-time.”

Customers can learn about and deploy EDA solutions with Boomi via its new EDA webpage. The company’s EDA initiative also focuses on building a strong partner ecosystem with companies regarding message brokers, event meshes, streaming and pub/sub technology.

The partnership between Boomi and Solace is intended to help companies modernize their enterprise service bus and message-oriented middleware infrastructure, the two companies report, and to migrate applications and other IT assets to the cloud; integrate assets across multiple lines of business and operating environments, both cloud and on-premises; break monolithic applications into microservices to improve the agility and responsiveness of back-end and customer-facing applications; and implement IoT solutions by using PubSub+ to exchange information and instructions with sensors, smart devices, connected vehicles and more.

Semtech Unveils Indoor Reference Design for Smart Buildings, Homes

Semtech, a supplier of analog and mixed-signal semiconductors and advanced algorithms, has announced the general availability of its LoRa Corecell reference design for indoor gateway applications. The reference design is developed in accordance with the LoRaWAN protocol and is targeted for home, building and factory automation.

“The LoRa Corecell reference design’s key features, including low power, smaller package and higher integration with improved performance, aim to eliminate design complexity and accelerate time-to-market in the smart home and building industries,” said Pedro Pachuca, the director of IoT for Semtech’s Wireless and Sensing Products Group, in a prepared statement. “As we announced earlier this year, Semtech is committed to developing a LoRa product roadmap that simplifies Internet of Things (IoT) applications that enable a faster time-to-market for IoT solution providers and systems integrators. This new reference design is key to our LoRa offerings as more real estate and commercial managers, as well as consumers, look for solutions that solve their daily challenges, such as meeting room occupancy and temperature/humidity monitoring.”

The reference design comprises two integrated circuits, a LoRa-based gateway baseband transceiver (SX1302) and a low-power multi-band Sub-GHz RF Front End (SX1250), enabling customers to deploy indoor gateway solutions. The ICs are designed to reduce power consumption up to one tenth the power of legacy products, the company reports, enabling power-constrained USB-based gateways and mobile battery-operated gateways.

The new products allow for a cost reduction in bill of materials, provide a small package form factor and increase performance based on a larger number of modulators and demodulators, according to Semtech. Spreading factors five and six were added to support higher data rates, reducing time on air and power consumption.

LoRa Alliance Announces LoRaWAN-IoT Test Houses in India

The LoRa Alliance, a global association of companies backing the open LoRaWAN standard for Internet of Things (IoT) low-power wide-area networks (LPWANs), has announced that its authorized test house, TÜV Rheinland, has opened a LoRaWAN certification testing site in India, and that DEKRA will also offer local certification testing by the end of the year. Both sites in India will provide local testing of LoRaWAN devices seeking to become LoRaWAN-certified.

The Alliance has also announced that the LoRaWAN Certification Test Tool (LCTT), introduced this past June, is now available to its members globally. These two developments offer support to the Indian market, the organization explains, making it easier and more cost-effective to certify LoRaWAN devices.

“Certification is critical to successful implementation and project outcomes,” said Donna Moore, the LoRa Alliance’s CEO and chairwoman, in a prepared statement. “This is why the LoRa Alliance only promotes LoRaWAN-certified devices––those that have passed our comprehensive and rigorous test suite and deliver the quality and performance expected by installers and end-users. LoRaWAN is an open global specification, so facilitating certification worldwide is a key priority for us. As we look to support the growing number of LoRaWAN deployments in India, this expansion of DEKRA and TÜV Rheinland’s services here, along with full global availability of the LCTT precertification tool, are critical developments for our members and significantly augment device manufacturers’ ability to certify their devices.”

DEKRA’s and TÜV Rheinland’s presence as local test houses in India means that companies seeking to certify their devices can do so with greater efficiency, the companies report. LoRa Alliance members can utilize the LCTT before officially engaging in the certification process, further accelerating development roadmaps and timelines.

“We are entering into a world of technological advancements where we will soon be looking beyond Wi-Fi and Bluetooth for Internet of Things (IoT) applications,” said Kalyan Verma, the VP of TÜV Rheinland India, in a prepared statement. “LoRaWAN’s technical flexibility will address a broad range of IoT applications, both static and mobile. TÜV Rheinland’s LoRaWAN Certification program will guarantee that devices perform as per the specified standard. It will help device manufacturers and network operators to explore global markets.”

“DEKRA is accredited by the LoRa Alliance to perform IN865 band testing since February 2018, in our lab in Spain,” added Ronjoy Rajkhowa, the director of DEKRA India, in the prepared statement. “Now, with a new test facility in India, we are expanding our facilities to conduct LoRaWAN certification testing in this band locally. With our new laboratory in Mumbai, members of the LoRa Alliance can certify devices so end users have greater confidence in the quality of their devices. This lab will also provide a better path for validation to the multiple ecosystems of companies that are developing smart home and smart metering products in India.”