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Life Lessons: Ritam Gandhi, founder of Studio Graphene

By IoT Now Magazine

Ritam Gandhi, the founder of Studio Graphene (http://www.studiographene.com/), works
at the intersection of digital product design and IoT solutions. He thinks that one
of the most interesting facets of any culture is how they do business.

1: What job did you want when you grew up?

I oscillated quite a lot in terms of what I wanted to do, everything from being a pilot to a chef.

I think this stems from the fact that I went to a “free progress” school which informed a lot of my thinking. The school’s ethos was that every couple of weeks, we would learn something new that we were interested in. This made me want to do a job that involved variety, creativity and being inventive. Tech provides a great ecosystem for this and that’s why I always wanted to do a job that involved doing new things with technology.

2: If you had one business lesson to share with your younger self what would it be?

“Sometimes you are ahead, sometimes you are behind… the race is long and in the end, it’s only with yourself”. I’ve used this quote many times when working with start-ups or young entrepreneurs. It is something I am constantly trying to get better at, as achieving a sense of equilibrium keeps you grounded and allows you to make more rational decisions.

3: Which Internet of Things (IoT) use case has recently fired your imagination?

IoT’s ability to have a transformative impact on farming and the food supply chain is fascinating. The IoT ecosystem is allowing for longer range communication and lower utilisation of battery power, an example is the LORA Alliance. If you look at a country like India, roughly two thirds of the population are farmers, yet it is a net importer of food. This is purely because of inefficiencies in farming methods and the food supply chain, which IoT can change through automated temperature monitoring and soil analysis.

4: What lessons have you learned from doing business in other countries or organisations?

I think one of the most interesting facets of any culture is how they do business. If one doesn’t embrace these unique cultures, it is practically impossible to collaborate across countries and organisations. We have clients in South Asia, the Middle East, Europe and America, all of which have an entirely different approach to business. Some of our clients are start-ups, whilst others are corporates and government bodies, which means that we must constantly adapt and be receptive to other points of view as a business.

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Machfu announces release of MACH-3 IIoT platform and gateway

By Zenobia Hegde

Machfu, an Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) technology company, announced the release of its MACH-3 IIoT Gateway, a device allowing companies in energy, water, oil and gas as well as other industrial segments to seamlessly connect legacy infrastructure to cloud based IoT and existing SCADA systems.

The product was designed to both simplify the connection and management of devices as well as provide a secure and easily customisable application framework to process and manage data at the network edge. The versatile functionalities of the MACH-3 IIoT Gateway will be demonstrated at the 2018 DistribuTECH show, January 22-25 in San Antonio, Texas.

“The MACH-3 IIoT Gateway allows companies to securely gather actionable data from legacy infrastructure in an elegant and straightforward manner, enabling them to make informed, strategic business decisions in ways that would previously require enormous financial and time investments,” said Prakash Chakravarthi, CEO, Machfu.

Deployment of this platform enables enterprises to easily access and analyse data from diverse sources (i.e. sensors, controllers, smart grids, etc.) via secure wireless and wired connectivity as well as create and rapidly integrate “edge” and “emerging web-based” industrial IoT applications to existing infrastructure.

The application framework is “sandboxed” providing enterprises much needed flexibility in terms of adding/deleting APPs and drivers over the life of their system—much like a smartphone—based on their specific needs and/or requirements. Defense-in-depth security has also been built into the platform and extends from the physical to application layers.

“The resulting IIoT solutions decrease time to action and connectivity costs, while, simultaneously, minimising disruption and risk to existing automation systems,” added Chakravarthi.

There are many practical applications and benefits for the MACH-3 IIoT Gateway in the energy industry. “Using Machfu’s industrial hardened gateway, utilities can create and rapidly integrate next generation distributed control systems,” said John Geiger, V.P. business development, Machfu.

“For example, the Gateway provides the ability for any sensor to be transported as DNP3 objects to head-end SCADA applications over both private and public networks. It also provides a secure cellular overlay to existing private networks. The flexibility and versatility of the platform is its greatest asset.”

Machfu will be demonstrating the product at DistribuTECH 2018 held January 22-25 in San Antonio, TX (Booth 1862).

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Bosch technology enables redundancy needed for automated driving

By Zenobia Hegde

Without redundancy, there is no automated driving. The promise of automated driving requires a mix of technological, societal and regulatory development and co-operation. The technology continues to advance thanks to sensors and software, but also thanks to redundancy. In order to realise fully-automated driving on the path to the accident-free future, redundancy in safety-critical systems such as braking and steering is an absolute.

Bosch is actively developing and bringing to market redundant braking solutions to support all levels of automation as defined by SAE. At the 2018 North American International Auto Show, the leading global supplier of technology and services will showcase its braking solutions, including redundant braking for automated driving.

“The importance of redundancy for the rollout of automated driving goes beyond just the technological function as it ultimately will build confidence in consumers as they understand these systems are designed with deep levels of complexity to handle a variety of situations,” said Mike Mansuetti, president of Bosch in North America.

SAE level 3 (conditional automation) vehicles will begin to hit the market as soon as 2018. For these vehicles, a human driver is still necessary, but safety-critical functions may be completely shifted to the vehicle under certain traffic or environmental conditions.

Drivers must still remain present, but will need a certain amount of time to realise that an intervention is necessary. Redundant functions ensure that all safety-critical functions continue during this time span, even in the rare case of a failure in the system. For SAE levels 4 and 5, the redundancy becomes even more critical as the time span increases without the driver in the loop.

Bosch’s solution for a fail-degraded brake system (steering system and EE architecture) is the combination of its electromechanical brake booster iBooster and ESC (Electronic Stability Control), also known as ESP® (electronic stability program), systems. Both are independently capable of performing braking functions for the vehicle in the rare case of a single failure.

The technological breakthrough of redundant braking was achieved by modifying one system element; the vacuum brake booster is replaced by an intelligent electro-mechanical booster, the iBooster. A conventional brake system today comprises two actuators: a vacuum brake booster and ESC unit.

The redundant brake system is comprised of two actuators that are each able to decelerate the vehicle independent of the driver applying the brake pedal. Even if a failure occurs in the brake system, either actuator (iBooster or ESC) is able to avoid wheel lock-up by modulating the brake pressure, which maintains the ability to steer during deceleration.

Bosch’s redundant brake system for automated driving was named a finalist for the 2018 Automotive News PACE (Premier Automotive Suppliers’ Contributions to Excellence) Award, which is acknowledged globally as a prestigious industry benchmark for automotive supplier innovation. Bosch was also honored with an eMove360° Award in the category of Automated Driving for the redundant braking technology.

Redundant steering is also a key technology for automated driving and Bosch is leading in this area. At NAIAS 2017, Bosch introduced its Electric Power Steering (EPS) system with fail-operational function. The system, which enables […]

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Haier Unveils Complete Smart Home Solutions at CES

By IoT – Internet of Things

The 51st CES, the world’s most influential event for the technology industry, was held in Las Vegas from January 9th to 12th, Pacific Time. Intelligence and technology became the mainstream at this year’s session, where more than 3,900 exhibitors from around the world showcased their latest technological achievements. Chinese brand Haier displayed the world’s first […]

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Senet and Sagemcom partner to demonstrate LoRaWAN geolocation services at CES 2018

By Zenobia Hegde

Senet, a provider of cloud-based software, global connectivity service platforms and network build-out for the Internet of Things (IoT), and Sagemcom, a French group providing high added-value smart terminals market, have partnered to demonstrate LoRaWAN™ geolocation services at CES 2018.

With research indicating that over 50% of the IoT market is best suited to Low Power Wide Area Network (LPWAN) connectivity and a third of the world’s 15 billion connected devices forecasted to be dependent on geodata by 2020, LoRa™ geolocation is well positioned to offer power efficient and cost-effective location capability for a wide range of applications that do not require the precision of GPS.

Sagemcom and Senet are demonstrating LoRaWAN tracking capabilities through the integration of Sagemcom’s geolocation solver software with Senet’s LoRaWAN network. Sagemcom Siconiaä multi-sensor devices have been placed on mobile and stationary assets throughout the Las Vegas area and are reporting geolocation and environmental data over the Senet LoRaWAN network.

Geolocation information is being combined with other readings and visualised in demo applications that illustrate how users across industries can leverage IoT data for asset management, inventory, security and maintenance. Sagemcom is conducting demonstrations in the Venetian, Tech West, Level 3, meeting rooms 3301A/3201B.

Eric Rieul

“LoRaWAN geolocation brings a strong disruption in the asset management and logistic markets and is a viable commercial technology for a wide variety of IoT applications where GPS is cost and/or battery life prohibitive,” said Eric Rieul, CEO of Sagemcom Energy & Telecom SAS. “Through our tight collaboration with Senet, we are able to rapidly deliver these new features and capabilities to market and successfully drive new business opportunities where the promise of IoT had previously been slowed by cost and scalability challenges.”

“Geolocation is an exciting enhancement to our LoRaWAN connectivity services and opens up new use cases that are expected to drive substantial revenue streams for LoRaWAN network operators and solution providers,” said Dave Kjendal, CTO of Senet. “We are pleased to be partnered with Sagemcom to deliver such high-performance and highly differentiated solutions to the market.”

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Toyota to Introduce Amazon Alexa in its Vehicles

By IoT – Internet of Things

Toyota announced at CES 2018 it will introduce Amazon Alexa, Amazon’s intelligent cloud based voice service, within select Toyota and Lexus vehicles with Toyota Entune 3.0 App Suite and Lexus Enform App Suite 2.0 in 2018. Additional models will be available in 2019. This feature will allow Toyota and Lexus customers in the United States […]

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Sierra Wireless AirPrime modules certified on T-Mobile’s NB-IoT network

By Zenobia Hegde

Sierra Wireless, the provider of fully integrated device-to-cloud solutions for the Internet of Things (IoT), announced that Sierra Wireless AirPrime® WP77 embedded wireless modules are now certified to operate on T-Mobile’s NB-IoT network, which is live in Las Vegas and will be nationwide mid-year.

NB-IoT, part of the 3GPP standard for Low Power Wide Area (LPWA) networks, supports large-scale IoT deployments such as smart city services, smart metering, supply chain management, and industrial equipment monitoring. LPWA has been embraced by leading global carriers, which helps build a broad base of ecosystem partners, devices and applications for global markets.

Advantages of LPWA compared to traditional cellular connectivity options include:

Longer battery life targeting up to 10 years.
Better coverage for IoT devices underground and deep inside buildings.
Reduced module and deployment cost.

“T-Mobile’s NB-IoT network in the U.S. makes cellular the superior option for connecting IoT solutions, which will benefit existing applications and enable many new ones,” said Dan Schieler, senior vice president and general manager, OEM Solutions at Sierra Wireless.

“Sierra Wireless WP77 modules will help customers take advantage of NB-IoT’s improved coverage and battery life, with dramatically simplified development for applications like secure gateways for smart homes and cities.”

The WP77 also supports LTE-M (Cat-M1) with 2G fallback, an integrated GNSS receiver, and comprehensive set of interfaces for connecting sensors with a dedicated application CPU core running the Linux-based open source Legato application framework. WP77 modules are fully compliant with the 3GPP Release 13 standard and footprint compatible with all 3G and 4G (Cat-1/3/4) WP Series. For more information, click here.

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Qorvo IoT Solution Powers Senior Home Care

By IoT – Internet of Things

Qorvo® is helping seniors live more independently in their homes with the help of a new eHealth system powered by the company’s chipsets for the Internet of Things (IoT). Health insurer CZ will provide the system to 3,000 elderly customers in the Netherlands, marking the first deployment of a senior smart home solution by a […]

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Hager Group launches building automation solution powered by Silicon Labs’ multiprotocol technology

By Zenobia Hegde

Hager Group and Silicon Labs have collaborated to create a smart home platform that enables seamless connectivity for applications using multiple wireless standards including Bluetooth Low Energy (LE), KNX and Sigfox. The new Hager Smart RF module incorporates Silicon Labs’ EFR32 Wireless Gecko system-on-chip (SoC) device to enable versatile, energy-efficient multiprotocol and multiband connectivity at 2.4 GHz, 868 MHz and 433 MHz.

The tiny, stamp-sized Smart RF module is ideal for home automation, ambient assisted living and commercial building automation applications requiring excellent RF performance, ultra-low power, multiprotocol wireless connectivity, easy application development, and interoperability with IoT applications and smartphones.

The flexible, feature-rich Wireless Gecko SoC enables the Hager module to continually adapt to changing automation needs and evolving software requirements through multiprotocol support and over-the-air updates.

François Lhomme

“Multiprotocol connectivity is a critical enabling technology for home and building automation as end users increasingly require solutions that enable them to join and configure multiple wireless networks using smartphone apps and Bluetooth LE,” said François Lhomme, chief technical officer, Hager Group.

“Wireless Gecko SoCs provide a best-in-class multiprotocol solution for our Smart RF module, and Silicon Labs’ deep RF expertise, easy-to-use development tools and IoT engineering support are helping us drive innovation for electrical installations and services in residential and commercial buildings.”

The Hager Smart RF module integrates all necessary elements for home and building automation applications and services that need 2.4 GHz Bluetooth LE connections, secure KNX RF communications in sub-GHz bands and Sigfox technology for low-power wide-area network (LPWAN) access.

Daniel Cooley

The module incorporates a high-performance ARM® Cortex®-M4 CPU, 512 kB flash (ample memory for software updates), a multiprotocol RF transceiver with -103.3 dBm sensitivity at 2.4 GHz, built-in hardware cryptographic acceleration for AES 128/256, SHA-1/2 and ECC, and a wide range of low-power peripherals and interfaces.

The 20.285 mm x 14 mm x 2.1 mm module fits space-constrained IoT end node designs, and its low energy consumption (1.4 µA in deep sleep mode) makes it a good choice for power-sensitive systems requiring long battery life.

“We are proud to partner with Hager Group to help deliver multiprotocol IoT solutions that will protect homes, families and commercial buildings with safe, easy-to-deploy electrical installations,” said Daniel Cooley, senior vice president and general manager of IoT Products at Silicon Labs.

“We applaud the exceptional design innovation behind Hager’s Smart RF module. Versatile, small-footprint, energy-friendly multiprotocol platforms like this are simplifying and accelerating smart home deployments worldwide.”

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Infineon supports NVIDIA DRIVE Pegasus AI platform for Level 5 autonomy

By Zenobia Hegde

Infineon Technologies AG expanded its safe automated driving collaboration with NVIDIA, announcing that its AURIX ™ TC3xx series automotive microcontroller (MCU) will be used in the NVIDIA DRIVE™ Pegasus AI car computing platform. The supercomputer for autonomous vehicles meets the requirements of Level 5 autonomous driving as defined by the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE).

Infineon now supplies the safety microcontroller, safety power supply IC, and selected vehicle communication interface ICs for several NVIDIA DRIVE systems. The devices support increasing levels of autonomous driving capability, ranging from auto cruise functionality to auto chauffeur and full autonomy.

Development time reduced by up to 40%

The collaboration enables users of the platform to access AURIX capabilities through an AUTOSAR-compliant software stack. This potentially allows re-use of higher-level application code and can likely reduce development time by 20% to 40% compared to traditional platforms.

“Infineon has a 30+ year history of delivering the safety and reliability technology that is critical at all levels of autonomous driving. We make cars safer, smarter and greener,” said Ritesh Tyagi, head of the Silicon Valley Automotive Innovation Centre (SVAIC) at Infineon. “Collaboration between Infineon and NVIDIA through multiple generations of DRIVE car computers provides the automotive industry with a consistent platform for development and market deployment across all classes of driver-assist and fully autonomous systems.”

“NVIDIA’s DRIVE AI vehicle supercomputers deliver up to 100-times more computational horsepower than the most advanced cars on the road today,” said Gary Hicok, senior vice president of Hardware Development at NVIDIA. “Their multiple levels of redundancy and safety functionality demand a proven, widely deployed safety architecture, like that of the AURIX TC3xx series.”

Infineon microcontrollers power automated driving

The multicore microcontrollers help the platform meet the highest possible functional safety standard (ISO 26262 ASIL-D) for Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) and self-driving systems. The AURIX TC3xx series offers significant upgrades in performance compared to the previous generation to enable scalable and efficient platforms.

Gary Hicok

Key features of the AURIX microcontrollers are relevant to implementing both ADAS and Automated Driving (AD) functionality. That includes advanced support for ASIL-D applications assisted by more than 3,000 DMIPS of safety computational performance, self-test mechanisms in hardware for logic and memory, integrated monitoring, and redundant peripherals.

In addition, the latest generation of AURIX offers a greater level of integration, enhancements in high-speed connectivity interfaces, and advanced security capabilities.

The microcontroller handles a key layer of the safety supervision framework of the platform and performs monitoring functions for the SoC. In turn, AURIX plays an important role for DRIVE Pegasus to achieve system-level ASIL-D safety.

It also manages the power-up sequence and monitoring of warning signals for the self-driving platform. In addition, the AURIX microcontroller provides the main in-vehicle interfaces for multiple network communication channels to the system, such as CAN FD, Gigabit Ethernet, and FlexRay.

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