RFID News Roundup

STMicroelectronics intros low-power microcontrollers for secure IoT applications ••• Paragon ID invests in BW Bielomatik RFID tag production, extends partnership with Biolog-id for health product traceability ••• Lanner Electronics LTE-ready edge gateway for IoT networks gains PTCRB certification ••• Hazelcast announces enterprise edition of its IoT security software ••• Sierra Wireless IoT modules certified in Japan and United States ••• Avnet offers IoT readiness workshops.
Published: October 25, 2018

Presented here are news announcements made during the past week by the following organizations:
Paragon ID, BW Bielomatik, Biolog-id;
Lanner Electronics;
Sierra Wireless; and

STMicroelectronics Intros Low-Power Microcontrollers for Secure IoT Applications

STMicroelectronics, a global semiconductor company, is providing cyber-protection for connected devices with its new STM32L5 microcontroller (MCU) series. The MCU features Arm‘s Cortex-M33 core, which is designed to boost protection for small devices by integrating Arm’s TrustZone hardware-based security system.

The STM32L5-series MCUs include flexible software isolation, secure booting, key storage and hardware cryptographic accelerators. “The STM32L5 series with TrustZone and additional custom protection features considerably strengthens and hardens cyber-protection for small IoT devices,” said Ricardo De Sa Earp, STMicroelectronics’ microcontroller division general manager, in a prepared statement. “Also featuring our unique energy-saving technologies, rich connectivity, and smart digital and analog peripherals, these devices will be the first choice to host cutting-edge connected applications.”

With integrated digital and analog peripherals, as well as consumer and industrial interfaces, the STM32L5 provides a platform for industrial sensors or controls, home-automation devices, smart meters, fitness trackers, smart watches, and medical pumps and meters. The microcontrollers are sampling now and are scheduled to enter production during the second quarter of 2019. ST unveiled the MCUs in a demonstration, created in collaboration with security software specialist Prove & Run, at Arm TechCon, held on Oct. 16-18 in San Jose, Calif.

“IoT devices are increasing in intelligence and functionality, and security needs to be built in from the ground up,” said John Ronco, the VP and general manager of Arm’s Embedded & Automotive Line of Business, in the prepared statement. “Arm’s Platform Security Architecture (PSA), a common framework for security implementation, aims to put security at the heart of IoT. The STM32L5 series makes it easier for developers to build trusted devices on the PSA framework with the Cortex-M33 processor, TrustZone technology and enhanced SoC security features.”

The TrustZone IP integrated in the STM32L5 implements trusted-computing principles for authenticating devices connected to a network. First conceived for such equipment as desktops, mobile devices and communication infrastructure, this hardware-based approach blocks attempts to corrupt devices or software and creates a protected execution environment for sensitive code and cyber-protection, such as cryptography and key storage. The STM32L5 makes this protection accessible for the resource-constrained embedded systems that drive Internet of Things (IoT) devices.

STM32L5 users can include or exclude each I/O, peripheral, or area of Flash or SRAM from TrustZone protection, allowing sensitive workloads to be fully isolated for security purposes. In addition, ST has designed TrustZone to ensure support for secure booting, special read-out and write protection for integrated SRAM and Flash, and cryptographic acceleration including AES 128/256-bit key hardware acceleration, private key acceleration (PKA) and AES-128 On-The-Fly Decryption (OTFDEC), to protect external code or data. Active tamper detection and support for secure firmware install are also included.

The STM32L5 series introduces new digital peripherals, including USB Full Speed with dedicated supply, allowing customers to keep USB communication even when the system is powered at 1.8V, and a UCPD controller compliant with USB Type-C Rev. 1.2 and USB Power Delivery Rev. 3.0 specifications. Smart analog features include an analog-to-digital converter, two power-gated digital-to-analog converters, two ultra-low-power comparators, and two operational amplifiers with external or internal follower routing and programmable-gain amplifier capability. The STM32L5 is available in standard temperature grade for consumer and commercial applications, or high-temperature grade specified from -40 degrees to +125 degrees Celsius for challenging environments.

Paragon ID Invests in BW Bielomatik RFID Tag Production, Extends Partnership With Biolog-id for Health Product Traceability

RFID tag manufacturer Paragon ID, a provider of identification solutions for transport, electronic identification, traceability and brand protection, has announced that it has invested in BW Bielomatik‘s TagLiner chip-bonding concept for RFID tag production, which was launched earlier this year at RFID Journal LIVE! 2018 (see BW Bielomatik Unveils Chip-Bonding Concept for RFID Tag Production).

As a provider of RFID tags and contactless ticketing, with growing requirements from its customers and new contracts to fulfil, Paragon ID identified that it needed equipment that could deliver speed and increased capacity, while offering products operating in the UHF (traceability and retail) and HF (secure authentication and customer engagement) ranges.

The Tagliner has allowed Paragon ID to strengthen its global setup of centralized chip attachment, coupled with multiple converting sites in Romania, France, the United Kingdom and the United States, to serve the mass-transit, health, pharmaceutical, defense, automotive, retail and fast-moving consumer goods markets. This investment has proved beneficial to secure and support new contracts, the company reports, including the Hasbro Dropmix game (in partnership with NXP Semiconductors), new health and pharmaceutical projects (such as one with Biolog-id), and retail and automotive track-and-trace applications.

“Our strategy is to remain one step ahead of technological advancements,” said Clem Garvey, Paragon ID’s CFO and COO, in a prepared statement. “Investing in this equipment was part of our global strategy to serve our customers with growing requirements for contactless solutions. Our product and service offering is at the crossroad between security and digital including issuance, smartphone apps and security platforms.”

In addition, Paragon ID has announced the extension of its collaboration with Biolog-id, a provider of connected-health solutions. Paragon ID and Biolog-id have extended their cooperation to consolidate their commercial strategies in that market.

Biolog-id offers a solution for the management and traceability of sensitive therapeutic products (red blood cell concentrates, platelets, plasma and chemotherapy preparations) based on RFID technology. This solution is intended to ensure that the correct product is administered to the right patient. It allows cost savings through the reduction of product losses and the optimization of the supply chain (a reduction of stock levels, remote management without manual intervention and so forth). In addition, it helps to improve the working conditions of health personnel by relieving them of time-consuming administrative and logistical tasks.

“Biolog-id needed a strong partner like Paragon ID to support its international development,” said Pierre Parent, Biolog-id’s president, in a prepared statement. “It is the ideal partner to produce our RFID tags with a very high level of performance: the quality of the products is exceptional, the punctuality is optimal and Paragon ID, because of its international locations, can accompany us in all the countries where we are present. Paragon ID is also a technology partner that is directly associated with our R&D efforts.”

Lanner Electronics LTE-Ready Edge Gateway for IoT Networks Gains PTCRB Certification

Lanner Electronics, an Intel IoT Alliance member and an original design manufacturer of network computing appliances and gateways, has announced that its small form-factor NCA-1210 desktop appliance has received PTCRB wireless communication certification. NCA-1210 is ready for IoT edge, wireless security and multi-site management solution deployment for commercial, enterprise and public sector applications, the company reports.

The NCA-1210 integrates Telit‘s CAT4 LTE Module (LE910-NA V2) to enable cellular communication via service provider networks. It comes in a compact desktop form factor, suitable for branch office and retail environment. As a wireless gateway for such environments, the NCA-1210 is built in an x86 open architecture for flexibility to run various software and virtual network functions.

PTCRB defines tests and methodologies for the approval of cellular devices in North America, in order to ensure compliance with cellular network standards for operators. These include AT&T, T-Mobile, Sprint, Rogers, Bell, and Telus.

Hazelcast Announces Enterprise Edition of Its IoT Security Software

Hazelcast, an in-memory data-management company, has announced an enterprise edition of its Hazelcast Jet 0.7 platform with security features. Jet, paired with Hazelcast IMDG, offers an in-memory computing platform designed specifically for the Internet of Things (IoT) and microservices.

An early adopter of the Jet platform is already using the system for a critical IoT use case, the company reports. The user, a service provider specializing in the acquisition, persistence, secure transportation and dissemination of high-frequency sensor data, has developed a solution for the energy industry using Jet. Its solution provides comprehensive data-management software for edge processing; the role of Jet within the solution is to capture, stream and publish low-latency and high-frequency sensor data over low-bandwidth networks to multiple consumption points.

In this role, the Jet system acts as the processing backbone of the energy solution, monitoring sensors from remote production locations in varying formats and frequencies, then transforming this raw data into insights and decisions. This allows adjustments to be made to settings in real time, the firm explains. According to the company, Jet has a small footprint suited to the constraints that can be encountered in remote locations with limited IT access.

“We see a powerful new dynamic emerging around data management. In today’s digital era, new systems are required that can deliver information with the time-sensitivity that meets rising business and consumer expectations,” said Kelly Herrell, Hazelcast’s CEO, in a prepared statement. “Hazelcast has already redefined high-performance processing for data at rest. Now, we are bringing that same level of performance to data in motion, enabling a new breed of ultra-high-performance applications based on streaming data that allow our customers to gain insight faster, enable actions within shorter durations, and engage new data at the speed with which it is arriving.”

The latest release of Hazelcast Jet introduces the following features:

Hazelcast Management Center provides a console with various views to enable greater visibility into Jet clusters. The homepage provides a live dashboard-style overview, displaying at-a-glance statistics that can be used to gauge cluster status and health. In addition to monitoring the overall state of clusters, users can analyze the data flow of the distributed pipelines. Management Center provides visual tools to inspect running jobs and detect potential bottlenecks. Developers can observe clusters in real time and gain greater insight into what is occurring under the hood.

Hazelcast Security Suite offers TLS encryption, mutual authentication with X509 certificates, and roles-based authorization over data structures and actions. Cluster members can automatically authorize each other, thereby preventing attackers from impersonating users to steal account credentials. The Security Suite provides data privacy (TLS/SSL and symmetric encryption), authentication (JAAS-based authentication, socket interceptor and TLS Mutual Authentication) and authorization (JAAS-based authorization and security interceptor) within clusters. The suite is integrated into the Jet platform, streamlining the security of sensitive and valuable data.

Hazelcast Jet can dynamically re-scale to adapt to workload changes. When a cluster extends or shrinks, running jobs can be automatically adjusted to make use of all available resources without manual intervention. In the latest release of Jet, the company explains, it is more straightforward to integrate third-party libraries, such as predictive analytics tools for data enrichment. New features provide convenience for frequent tasks and afford companies immediate insight into their data.

Sierra Wireless IoT Modules Certified in Japan and United States

Sierra Wireless, a provider of integrated device-to-cloud solutions for the Internet of Things (IoT), has announced that its AirPrime HL78 LTE-M/NB-IoT embedded wireless modules are certified to operate on both KDDI‘s LTE-M network in Japan and AT&T‘s LTE-M network in the United States. As a growing list of operators deploy LTE-M and NB-IoT networks around the world, these are the first of many certifications for the HL78 modules, the company reports.

“Sierra Wireless’ modules provide exceptional low-power performance that will dramatically extend battery life and enable many new applications on KDDI’s LTE-M network,” said Hiroyuki Kimura, the deputy general manager of KDDI’s IoT Business Development Division, in a prepared statement. “We’re pleased to work with Sierra Wireless and Altair to certify the HL78 modules.”

“These certifications pave the way for our LPWA customers to support large-scale IoT deployments in smart energy, tracking, industrial asset management, home security, patient monitoring, wearables and any other application requiring low power and extended coverage,” said Dan Schieler, Sierra Wireless’s senior VP and general manager of OEM solutions, in the prepared statement. “As an original contributor to the formation of the LPWA standards, we’re excited to see the transformation that LTE-M and NB-IoT networks will bring to IoT applications around the globe.”

Advantages of LTE-M and NB-IoT compared to traditional cellular connectivity options, the company reports, include a longer battery life targeting up to 10 years; greater coverage for IoT devices underground and deep inside buildings; and reduced module and deployment cost. Sierra Wireless’s HL78 embedded modules use the ALT1250 radio baseband chipset from strategic partner Altair Semiconductor .

“The strength of our ongoing partnership with Sierra Wireless helped us to rapidly integrate and certify our ALT1250 chipset into the compact HL78 modules,” said Ilan Reingold, Altair Semiconductor’s VP of business development and marketing, in the prepared statement. “The comprehensive market-leading efficiency of the HL78 modules will be the catalyst for a new generation of IoT applications.”

Avnet Offers IoT Readiness Workshops

Avnet, a global technology solutions provider, has announced a new series of IoT Readiness Workshops designed to prepare digital transformation teams to effectively deploy Internet of Things (IoT) projects within their organizations. These workshops are intended to enable those tasked with implementing IoT solutions to move from idea to implementation with greater efficiency and minimal risk.

Each two-day workshop features presentations, discussions and exercises to help attendees gain an understanding of the IoT from a business and technical readiness perspective. Presenters will share best practices for integrating the IoT into their digital transformation strategy.

The agenda will focus on how to develop the appropriate business case to initiate digital transformation; develop a thorough assessment of an organization’s IoT readiness, and a plan for augmenting the current path to meet targets and goals; gain stakeholder buy-in, including bridging the organizational IT-OT divide, achieving C-level support, and identifying and engaging the right team members for a successful IoT implementation; learn ways to simplify deployment; and avoid proof-of-concept problems that can stall an IoT implementation.

“With the evolving technology landscape and cross-functional implementation, deploying IoT is often more complex than traditional design projects,” said Lou Lutostanski, Avnet’s VP for the Internet of Things, in a prepared statement. “Organizational alignment and a strong business case are essential for a successful IoT implementation and to achieve the best business outcome. Through our IoT Readiness Workshops, we’ll provide those who are leading their digital transformation or IoT initiatives with the tools, training and guidance to navigate the IoT journey and effectively reap the rewards of IoT.”

The IoT Readiness Workshops will be held in Dallas, Texas, on Nov. 14-15, 2018; Charlotte, N.C., on Jan. 16-17, 2019; Irvine, Calif., on Feb. 12-13; Phoenix, Ariz., on Mar. 20-21; Philadelphia, Penn., on Apr. 10-11; Chicago, Ill., on May 8-9; Denver, Colo., on June 19-20; Minneapolis, Minn., on July 23-24; and Boston, Mass., on Aug. 13-14. Tuition to attend a workshop is $1,995.