When Wi-Fi was introduced, two decades ago, it raised eyebrows as all new ideas do. Today, the world enjoys the liberties and advantages of "going wireless". Wireless networks and associated technologies are here to stay.
It might surprise some to know that communication between devices or sensors in an industrial setup is still over wired connections. Having wires connecting devices limits the flexibility in terms of how many of these devices can be deployed, in turn, curbing the amount of data that can be collected. Not to mention the operational costs that wires bring in for maintaining a reliable communication link.
The environment in an industrial setting is harsher than a home or office. The current prevailing wireless technologies in the market claim to be stable for industrial use. However, the need of the hour here is for an extremely reliable, low power wireless solution that can be deployed anywhere.
“From a wireless communication point of view, the three crucial KPIs for the industrial sector are reliability, bandwidth, and battery life,” begins Manas Behera, founder, and CEO of SpearIx--a company that offers the world’s first low power wireless technology for mission-critical applications in Industrial IoT.
SpearIx’s patented TurboMesh technology employs advanced RF and DSP architectures with intelligent data traffic management algorithms to provide ultra-reliability, low latency, and high throughput performance.
“We are working on a standard-compliant technology, and we provide a chip that can be configured based on what the environment is, and it can be programmed over the air based on the application requirements,” states Behera.
Often end-users have little to no idea about applications running hours or the environment from a wireless communication point of view. “Our solution also provides intelligence by monitoring the environment and the impairments that it adds to the wireless setup. It predicts when there might be a link failure, and it dynamically adjusts the right optimal mode of the hardware to maintain the connection,” explains Behera. The current existing wireless technologies operate on a less noisy spectrum and reduced bandwidth, making them a temporary solution. SpearIx’s solution operates on well established standard ISM frequencies.
We are working on a standard-compliant technology, and we provide a chip that can be configured based on what the environment is, and it can be programmed over the air based on the application requirements
Every wireless network requires retransmissions to ensure that data has been sent. If the transmitter finds a busy frequency, it shuts down for a non-specific amount of time and attempts after random intervals, which is not deterministic, and any external system does not control it. In an industrial scenario, hundreds of devices are present, which leads to chaos. SpearIx’s solution synchronizes time for every device in the network based on a predesigned schedule. “Our environment aware wireless transmission solution can guarantee that there are no retransmissions or it can put a bound on it,” adds Behera. There is a direct impact on the bandwidth of the network because now every device knows how long it may take to transfer the data.
For instance, in a crowded Wi-Fi spectrum in home and buildings, SpearIx’s low power, low latency wireless solution enables portable wireless sensors and cameras to coexist, and it allows real-time monitoring for security and energy management of appliances. The company’s solution makes a significant impact on industrial automation as it offers high-speed tracking and real-time visibility of critical processes. Also, SpearIx matches the scalability requirements of a modern electric grid by providing a secure, non-cellular, ad-hoc wireless mesh network configuration.
“SpearIx is a wireless chip provider primarily, and we also provide the solution based on who the customer is. We can optionally provide services to maintain the wireless network as well,” states Behera. Forging ahead, the company’s next initiative is to bring real intelligence into the wireless networking space in upcoming years. “We feel that there is a need to have an AI/ ML engine running at the edge device that should intelligently process the probability of failure as it gets trained overtime on the environment,” concludes Behera.