IoT News Roundup

LoRa network coming to Gothenburg, Semtech adding geolocation; PARC announces machine health monitoring platform; Ayla Network lands $39 million, growing Chinese presence; STMicroelectronics releasing Bluetooth system-on-chip; Cisco announces LPWAN module for its industrial routers.
By Mary Catherine O'Connor
Jul 01, 2016

Semtech: New Gothenburg Network and End-Node Location Tracking

Swedish telecom operator Tele2 will launch an Internet of Things network in Gothenburg, Sweden, to support a range of smart-city, asset-tracking, environmental-monitoring and public-transportation applications, according to Semtech, whose LoRa-based low-power wide-area network (LPWAN) radios will be used to build the network. TalkPool, a Tele2 affiliate that has developed IoT networks and related services in many markets worldwide, is also partnering to establish the network, which is expected to go live before the end of the year.

Semtech has also announced, at this week's Mobile World Congress in Shanghai, that its LoRa wireless RF solution can now figure out the location of LoRa sensors, without the use of GPS. The function is enabled in Semtech's second-generation LoRaWAN gateways, which will use differential time of arrival (DTOA) algorithms to determine a LoRa sensor's position to the nearest block of the city in which that sensor is located, based on an ultra-high-resolution timestamp in each LoRa data packet the gateway receives. Semtech has enabled its solution to provide the location of LoRa sensors because some end users are interested in knowing the slocation of the mobile assets to which they add LoRa sensors. Until now, location tracking required the addition of a GPS receiver, which both increases sensor cost and reduces battery life.

PARC Launches Condition Based Maintenance Platform

PARC, a Xerox-owned technology-development company, has launched a platform to enable companies to monitor the health, safety and performance of their equipment. Called the Condition Based Maintenance (CBM) platform, it is a suite of software and hardware products that collect data from sensors and other sources and then process that information using such tools as machine diagnostics, machine learning and predictive analytics. PARC is working with a wide range of organizations to implement the CBM platform, it reports, including East Japan Railway, BAE Systems, General Motors, Hitachi, LG Chem Power, IHI and Xerox.

"Our team works with organizations to transition from scheduled-based maintenance to condition-based maintenances," says Ajay Raghavan, PARC Research's area manager. "Algorithms tell them when something is going to fail in, say, a week—rather than having plant managers being woken up in the middle of the night to fix something that might cost millions of dollars to fix."

PARC attaches low-cost sensors onto equipment, ranging from manufacturing systems to electronic tolling infrastructure to railyard equipment, to directly monitor system state. CBM is a model-based approach, PARC explains, enabling higher than 90 percent accuracy and negligible false-alarm rates, and arming its customers with actionable data for informed deployment.

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