New IoT Reference Platform from Abelon Supports Bluetooth 5

Abelon Systems has released their new Internet of Things Reference Platform which includes support for Bluetooth 5. The new platform uses a flexible modular architecture and has two main variants, one for tracking mobile assets and the other for data acquisition or monitoring of static assets. Both these modules are capable of using a variety of sensor types.

The platform supports a wide variety of communication technologies, including the new Bluetooth 5 standard which will be available in the first half of 2017. Local radio is available using Bluetooth Low Energy, ZigBee or 6LowPAN, and for greater range there are options of low power narrowband WAN such as SIGFOX or LoRaWAN. The platform is able to support proprietary ISM band communications on 868 MHz or 433 MHz using commercial off-the-shelf modules and comes with GSM or Wi-Fi support.

It is capable of supporting a variety of low power sensor types. On board is a 9-D Inertial Measurement Unit (IMU) comprising of an accelerometer, gyrometer and magnetometer, but there are interfaces for other sensor types such as temperature, humidity, or other custom sensor types. The platform has a large flash data storage capacity so as to be able to support long term data acquisition and recording requirements.

Although the new platform can be used directly in customer applications, it is also intended to allow rapid prototyping and development of new designs, allowing customers to realize new products in a reduced time frame.

Creating a custom board with sensors can be a complex process as it is usually necessary to build custom proof of concept hardware and firmware, and then progress to building prototypes before being able to test in the field. This platform eliminates the extra time it typically takes to develop a prototype by bringing all the hardware building blocks together on one PCB, as well as having readily-accessible hardware functionality to interface with a wide variety of sensor types, thus considerably reducing the time to market.

To complement the Reference Platform device, Abelon has also created framework applications for mobile, MS Windows and cloud applications. Again this allows rapid evaluation and customization of new products and platforms without the repetitive development cycle to implement from scratch. Their solutions are all based on a control or monitoring device coupled with reliable data transfer and analysis at the head end. It helps to provide continuous remote data on the state of customer’s asset(s) and send out an alarm when safe limits are exceeded. This allows the introduction of low-cost preventive actions instead of having an expensive repair once large-scale faults or damage has occurred. Asset data can be provided via a web interface or by a web services API for easy integration into existing SCADA or other monitoring systems.

 Product Summary

 CPU

 TI CC26XX

 Storage capacity

 64MB, optionally upgradable to 256MB

 Short range communications options

 Bluetooth 4.2, Bluetooth 5 Ready*, ZigBee, 6LowPAN

WAN communications

SIGFOX, LoraWAN, GSM, Wi-Fi

 Sensor support

 Onboard accelerometer, gyrometer and magnetometer. Other sensor types can be supported using the I2C or UART expansion ports. 

 GPS support (optional)

 Multi-GNSS engine with GPS, GLONASS and QZSS

 Expansion options

 I2C, UART