Even though the demand for connected IoT devices is growing rapidly everywhere, from consumers to Industry 4.0., until now, no suitable and reliable method of communication has been available for transferring many thousands of data packages at the same time. A team of researchers from the Fraunhofer Institute for Integrated Circuits IIS in Erlangen/Nuernberg has now overcome this challenge with the newly developed, ready-for-market mioty® wireless low-power wide-area transmission system — and has been awarded the Joseph von Fraunhofer Prize for its efforts.
Market analysts predict that between 20 and 40 billion connected IoT devices will be needed by the year 2025. The most important elements in this context are simple, energy-efficient and battery-operated sensor nodes consisting of a sensor and a wireless system, which communicate with a base station over a distance of several kilometers. The amount of data involved is usually small to very small, and only needs to be transferred occasionally or sporadically. Examples include water meters that are read wirelessly. However, the existing technologies have proven to be very susceptible to interference.
IoT mioty® technology from the Fraunhofer Institute overcomes existing problems and transfers data from between several thousand and a hundred thousand sensor nodes per square kilometer — or in other words, up to 1.5 million data packages a day — to one single collection point without any transmission loss, even in coexistence with other wireless systems or in areas with no cell phone coverage, and all at a bandwidth of just 200 kHz. The end devices are so energy-efficient that the batteries last up to 20 years. Mobile operation of the sensor nodes in vehicles is also possible, even when driving on the highway at speeds of more than 120 kilometers per hour.