07 Dec 2020 -

Semtech aims for LoRa® Everywhere

A decade ago the Internet of Things (IoT) was still typically illustrated by a smart fridge that could sense when the milk was running low and order you some more. An excellent idea, but the technology came with a $20K price tag and some security issues; we were never sure if we could fully trust that fridge.  

But the fridge was not deterred. Quietly it’s been smartening up it’s act, gaining a unique IP, microcontrollers, sensors, BlueTooth and WiFi, and RFID to detect packaging labels. It’s had a makeover with a glossy screen and is now priced closer to a regular fridge. And with better encryption and a snazzy ap,p we can now trust it to keep out the internet robbers. The internet fridge has become a real thing along with many other things.

Any devices embedded with sensors, software and other technologies for the purpose of connecting and exchanging data with other devices and systems over the Internet is part of the ever expanding IoT. Security Today claims 31 billion IoT devices are currently connected with 127 new IoT devices connected every second, while others suggest there will be up to 50 billion connected by the end of the year. According to the International Data Corporation (IDC), worldwide spending on the Internet of Things is forecast to pass the $1.0 trillion mark in 2022, reaching $1.1 trillion in 2023.

The IoT’s major significant trend in recent years is the explosive growth of devices connected and controlled by the Internet. From factories to FitBits, traffic systems to hospital beds, fish farming to oil pipelines, and wearable battlefield technology to the now less humble fridge, IoT devices have already penetrated every aspect of our lives. This is why IoT pioneer, Semtech, have called their new campaign just that – LoRa Everywhere.

What is LoRa®

LoRa (Long Range) is a non-cellular wireless technology used in the Industrial, Scientific and Medical (ISM) band. The underlying RF modulation technology was developed by French Cycleo and then acquired by US-based Semtech in 2012. The technology was incorporated into Semtech’s future RF platforms and has become the de facto technology for Internet of Things (IoT) networks worldwide.

Semtech says that LoRa devices will help to solve some of the biggest challenges facing our planet: energy management, natural resource reduction, pollution control, infrastructure efficiency, disaster prevention, and more.

Semtech’s LoRa chipsets and the widely adopted, open LoRaWAN® protocol, managed by the LoRa Alliance®, have amassed several hundred known uses cases for smart cities, smart homes and buildings, smart agriculture, smart metering, smart supply chain and logistics, and more. With over 158 million devices connected to networks in 92 countries and growing, LoRa devices are creating a Smarter Planet.

Why has LoRa been so successful?

According to Semtech, solutions based on LoRa devices provide a unique combination of flexibility and scalability to connect applications that bring value to everyone. With long range capability, devices up to 30 miles apart can be connected. This has huge advantages for penetrating rural areas as well as dense urban or indoor environments. The low power usage requires minimal energy, with prolonged battery lifetime of up to 10 years, which not only minimises battery replacement costs but reduces the need for frequent maintenance. LoRa also addresses concerns about security, with end-to-end AES128 encryption, mutual authentication, integrity protection, and confidentiality.

But that’s not all. Device interoperability and global availability of LoRaWAN networks and the high capacity of these networks makes it faster to develop and deploy new applications anywhere in the world. As Semtech says… LoRa Everywhere.

What is LoRaWAN®?

The LoRaWAN open specification is a low power, wide area networking (LPWAN) protocol based on LoRa. Designed to wirelessly connect battery operated things to the Internet in regional, national or global networks, the LoRaWAN protocol leverages the unlicensed radio spectrum in the Industrial, Scientific and Medical (ISM) band. The specification defines the device-to-infrastructure of LoRa physical layer parameters and the LoRaWAN protocol, and provides seamless interoperability between devices.

The growth of IoT is a certainty, and Semtech’s LoRa is making everything that surrounds us smarter. We thought the internet fridge was clever, but 20 years on we’re still only scraping the surface of what’s possible.

Semtech Corporation is a leading supplier of high performance analog and mixed-signal semiconductors and advanced algorithms for infrastructure, high-end consumer and industrial equipment. Semtech has 60 years of experience designing and manufacturing proprietary platforms differentiated by innovation, size, efficiency, performance, and reach. Its balanced portfolio of semiconductor products is used by original equipment manufacturers and their suppliers for automotive, broadcast equipment, data centers, passive optical networks (PONs), industrial, Internet of Things (IoT), LCD TVs, smartphones, tablets, wearables, and wireless infrastructure applications. www.semtech.com

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