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Redpine champions 5GHz WiFi for M2M

April 03, 2012 // Nick Flaherty

Redpine champions 5GHz WiFi for M2M

M2M networks will increasingly use 5GHz WiFi technology as the 2.4GHz band becomes overcrowded and security becomes vital, says the CEO of module supplier Redpine Signals, Venkat Mattela.


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Redpine has developed Wi-Fi real time location system (RTLS) tags operating in the 5 GHz band for enterprise and industrial markets. The WiseMote WM1-20 (2.4 GHz) and WM1-50 (2.4/5 GHz) 802.11n Wi-Fi RTLS tag devices work with any third-party hardware and software RTLS infrastructure. Using WiFi technology supports enterprise level security that will be increasingly important for M2M networks, says Mattela. It also benefits from reducing costs from higher volume and is more power efficient as small amounts of data can be sent in shorter bursts than 2.4GHz and there is less re-sending as there are more channels available.
With enterprise security and single stream 802.11n operation, the new tags are ideal for deployment in enterprise environments. Operation in the 5 GHz band provides for close adherence to designed battery life compared to crowded 2.4 GHz channels. The operating profiles of tags and sensor nodes involve long periods of sleep with low power consumption interspersed with brief periods of activity. Traffic on the channel extends the periods of activity as the Wi-Fi devices wait for a chance to transmit.
Even a moderately busy channel can reduce the battery life of Wi-Fi devices. This can disrupt the deployment, management and maintenance planning of asset tracking and monitoring in an enterprise. Moving to the 5 GHz band is not only for high throughput, QoS sensitive applications, but is also an important step for long battery life applications, said Mattela. Our goal with our new products is to offer advanced ultra low power Wi-Fi technology in 5 GHz as well as an RTLS architecture that enables our partners to provide their own value to the total solution and ultimately accelerate RTLS deployments worldwide.
Redpines approach of creating RTLS tags in the 5GHz spectrum is unique and effective for overcoming the limits of the increasingly crowded RF space of M2M devices. It also fits well into the future 802.11ac 5GHz enterprise Wi-Fi infrastructure, said Scott Gardner, senior analyst at The Linley Group.
The Redpine devices can be programmed to operate in a variety of modes, supporting multiple location tracking and update mechanisms. In Cisco Compatible Extensions (CCX) mode, they offer Cisco CCX compliant beaconing with configurable patterns, telemetry and alarm notifications. In Wi-Fi associated mode, they periodically connect to access points and communicate sensor and channel data to a server. In other beaconing modes, the devices support standard Wi-Fi clients with simple tag identification software to locate and identify assets.
With the new tags, Redpine is also releasing the WM0 tag configurator and chokepoint device with low frequency excitation circuitry and an automated wireless configuration solution, creating a complete hardware and software infrastructure that enables third-party RTLS solution development.
www.redpinesignals.com

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