Learning Center
Plans & pricing Sign in
Sign Out

White Paper _1 IP-based Wireless Embedded and Sensor Networks The


									                                       White Paper #1                               4.2.2008, Public

IP-based Wireless Embedded and Sensor Networks: The WiFi
of the Embedded World
Zach Shelby

This white paper gives an introduction of Sensinode IP-based wireless embedded and sensor
network technology. The basics behind the technology and how it is quickly becoming the next
WiFi success story are introduced, along with the applications of the technology.

The next WiFi
The use of wireless technology in a huge range of embedded applications from building automation
to environmental monitoring and industrial automation has become a huge trend over the last years.
Until the release of the IEEE 802.15.4 short-range low-power wireless standard, the industry was
paralyzed and fragmented by proprietary radio products. ZigBee soon followed with a vertical
approach for specific application profiles over 802.15.4. ZigBee however has left much of the
industry alienated with a lack of profiles, long learning curves, difficult certification and
incompatibility with IP-based enterprise systems, together with scalability problems. To this day the
majority of 802.15.4 chips shipped are running with completely proprietary protocols. In 2007 the
IETF released a new standard for using IPv6 over 802.15.4 called 6LoWPAN, opening the door for
the Internet into all embedded wireless devices. At Sensinode we believe this combination of
802.15.4 and IPv6 will be an explosive success, becoming the WiFi of the embedded world. In this
white paper we look at how this technology can be applied in enterprise systems.

IP-based 802.15.4 networks have their greatest potential in large-scale deployments with mobility,
and the need for integration with back-end IP-based systems such as SAP business systems, Web-
services or SCADA. Some key example enterprise applications include:

       Building automation
       Facility management
       Automatic meter reading
       Environmental monitoring
       Industrial automation
       Asset management

The market for 802.15.4 is growing at incredible speed, replacing most proprietary technologies on
the market and opening up entire new applications. According to On World growth is over 200%
annually with the 100 million-unit mark being broken in 2009. On World’s industrial WSN reports
                                       White Paper #1                              4.2.2008, Public

also indicate that IP-based technologies will also dominate that market segment by 2009 with over
55% of the market supporting ISA100 (6LoWPAN based) in addition to a huge amount of plain
6LoWPAN usage.

It is easy to see the advantages of applying IP in all embedded networks, especially since 6lowpan
technology allows IPv6 with low overhead and power consumption in the smallest of devices. The
benefits of using IP-based 802.15.4 from Sensinode include:

       Open standard, with long lifetime (10s of years)
       Easy learning curve, everyone knows the Internet
       Transparent Internet integration
       Network maintainability and scalability
       ”You never lose with IP”

Technology & architecture
The technology used in these networks is very easy to
understand, as the same terminology and tactics used in
the Internet are applicable. 6LoWPAN networks are
either extensions of the Internet through access points
or ad hoc islands. Sensinode router products are called
NanoRouters™. The network is made up of any
wireless device implementing the 6LoWPAN and
802.15.4 standard. Sensinode wireless nodes are called
NanoSensors™. Typically networks are semi-
infrastructure based, with wireless nodes either
speaking directly to NanoRouters™, or multi-hop
through other peers. In 6LoWPAN networks mobility
between routers is very common. Sensinode networks make use of scalable Internet tools such as
ICMP to build and maintain networks. Sensinode NanoMesh™ routing provides a simple ”few
more hop” solution for routing in enterprise 6LoWPAN networks.
  Applications for 6LoWPAN networks are made in a very similar way to the Internet. Sensinode
NanoStack™ provides a standard Socket API for accessing the network. Applications are built upon
UDP and communicate between 6LoWPAN nodes, or with the core network. Compressed
6LoWPAN frames are uncompressed in NanoRouters™ for full UDP/IPv6 compatibility in the

6LoWPAN Standard, RFC 4944,
IEEE 802.15.4 Standard,
ISA Standardization,
Sensinode Products,

To top