Company:Wirepas

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Wirepas provides low-power mesh networking technology for IoT products, intended to be secure and future-proof. Wirpeas Mesh solves the challenges of the communication in large-scale IoT applications such as smart lighting, asset tracking, logistics, smart lighting, conditioning monitoring, preventive maintenance and smart metering. Wirepas operates unlicensed frequencies like 2.4GHz, 865MHz, 868MHz, 870Mhz and 915MHz.

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History

The company was founded in 2010 and is headquartered in Tampere, Finland. The founding of the company was preceded by ten years of research into wireless connectivity at Tampere University of Technology, Finland.

Funding

In 2019 ETF Partners, Inventure, KPN Ventures, TESI (Finnish Industry Investment) and Vito Ventures have invested €14.4 million in Wirepas. The additional funding, including the participation of existing investors, takes the total investment in Wirepas to €22 million.

Application areas

Asset tracking

Deployment of the Wirepas based asset tracking infrastructure is easy, thank to battery operated anchors. Other system requires mains powered listener, locator or scanner devices to identify the location of the devices which makes installation cumbersome. Wirepas has solved this to make anchros to be battery operated up to 10 years life time. Moving assets are utilized by measuring signal strenth of the achors and this data is been sent to throught the battery opereated network to position engine which calculates the coordinates of the assets. The accuracy can vary, but its matter of some meters.

Inventory data

Inventory data can be read even without anchor points, since the moving assets are firming the network. When the assets are connected, those have arrived to building or certain location. When data is not anymore received from the asset, it has left the location.

Pick to light

Wirepas network does have native two way communication. Back end can command any asset tag, group of asset tag or all the asset tag to indicate LED or Buzzer to indicate the right tag on the field.

Smart Lighting

In connected lighting, Wirepas technology helps it customers to make large scale installations. For example well known wired DALI system, devices are sub networks with maximum size of 64 devices. Each subnetwork requires controller. In case of subnetworks needst to cross communicate, DALI system requires main controller to coordinate between the DALI controllers. In Wirepas case, all devices firm a single large network which makes planning and installation and modification easy. Inside of one large network it is possible to command one device, group of devices or all devices. Also device to device communication is supported. One network utilizes all 40 channels for the communication, which makes the communication very robust against the interference in smart buildings.

Lightin control

Wirepas does not provide lighting control, but licensee can develop lighting control on the top of Wirepas mesh. Lighting commands are seamless cross the network. Individual lamp, group of lamps or whole network of lamps can be controlled. Wirepas ecoystem partners does license the lighting control for third parties.

Wireless Switches

It is possible to use Bluetoot based switches or native Wirepas switches. Wirepas devices can scan standard BLE signals, from swiches or mobile phones used for control.

Any sensor data

Lighting system can forward any sensor data in the network. Occupancy sensor data or ambient light data can be used to control to the lihgting or provide information for third parties. Wide Wirepas ecosystem does have multiple sensor suppliers for smart building applications.

Indoor navigation

Wirepas devices can transmit standard BLE beacon signals, which can be used for indoor navigation

Asset tracking

The high trhoughput of the network is allowing lighting used as a asset tracking infrastrucutre to locate assets.

Smart metering

Wirepas provides connectivity for Smart metering. 870MHz is supported in Nordic countries and 865MHz in India. Largest deployed network is in Oslo, Norway with more than 700.000 devices in single network. Proven 99.9 SLA on the field.

Industrial IoT

Wirepas is very suitable for industrial applications.

Conditioning monitoring

Predictive maintenance

Technology

Routing

Wirepas Mesh is a low-power wireless connectivity protocol. It is based on mesh network architecture which means that all the nodes in the network are homogenous and make all the decisions locally according to the local radio environment. Routing is based on routing cost and there is no routing tables stored in the network, which enables infinite network size.

Wirepas Mesh(WM) is a de-centralized wireless communication protocol for devices. With the unique de-centralized operation, the devices contain all the intelligence. The devices themselves make all decisions locally and cooperatively. This enables the most reliable, optimized, scalable and simple to use connectivity for devices.The embedded WMstack software (protocol firmware) can run on any radio chipset and is integrated to customer devices to enable wireless networking. The combination of de-centralized connectivity with rich feature-set and hardware independence gives unique value for large scale IoT applications.

Synchronized time-scheduled slotted operation where neighbouring nodes receive and transmit only very limited time when other nodes may transmit data to them, and node may transmit to other nodes. Rest of the time is spent in low power sleep mode. All nodes are capable for routing.

Roles

  • Sink: In case network have gateway(s) the node role of the gateway is Sink
  • Autorole: Recommended role. Network desides automatically between router and non-router role. This is useful in very dense installations.
  • Router: It is possible to set devices to be only a router
  • Non-router: It is possible to set devices to be only a non-router
  • Non-router long sleep: Specific usuful role for asset tracking purposes, in where device can connect and disconnect from the network in intervals or ad-hoc.

Operation modes

  • Low energy mode: Designed to optimize the battery life of the network. Router power consumption is as low as 0.025mA and non router connected device 0.012mA
  • Low latence mode: Designed to optimize latencies and throughput of network. Gateway can receive 150 packets per second in low latency mode. Latencies below 20ms per hop.

Dynamic Channel selection

Synchronized time-scheduled slotted operation enables collision free transmissions, and Wirepas Mesh is capable to operate in multiple frequency channels (40 channels at 2.4GHz licenced exempt band). Combined time-division and multiple access (TDMA) and Frequency division multiple access (FDMA) operation for efficient spectrum usage. Each router can choose channel dynamically and idependly, so one network can use all 40 channels parallel. In case one router is interferred by other radio devices, router dynamically changes the channel without impacting to other devices in the network.

Hardware support

Wirepas Mesh is a software which runs on standard radio componenents. Wirepas provides open SDK in Github to develop application on single radio chip or dual MCU architecture. Supported radio chips:

  • nRF52 family from Nordic Semiconductor. An example application note by Nordic Semiconductors here [1]
  • EFR32 family from Silicon labs
  • Any modules based on SoC components above

Available hardware using Wirepas:

Available gateway devices supporting Wirepas:

Open SDK

Wirepas has Wirepas Mesh related source code in Wirepas GitHub repository[2].

Over the Air Software update

Wirepas does provide Over the Air (OTA) interface and tooling. OTA is secure and scalabe for any network size.

Network monitoring tool

Wirepas does provide Network Monitoring Tool to visualize the network structure and all network parameters. Tool is not required to manage the network, simply visualize the network.

References