IoT Blog

IoT Blog

Expect more from an IoT module

Today, at the third annual Sierra Wireless Innovation Summit in Paris, we introduced a number of important building blocks that we believe will make it easier for developers to get their ideas through prototyping, testing, and into production more quickly and lower the barriers to building new products and services for the Internet of Things.

First, we introduced our next generation of AirPrime® WP Series modules. Big deal, right? We bring new products out all the time. But there’s more to this story than just new modules.

The new WP Series modules are really than just modules. They offer a number of features our customers have told us are required to be successful, including fully integrated satellite positioning technology, an ultra-low power mode for years of field-use on battery (more to come on that in a future post), footprint compatibility across network technologies, and a multi-core processor running our Legato embedded platform.

First, let’s talk a little more about Legato. The Legato® platform provides what you need to get connected to the cellular network and start your device communicating – the wireless and machine-to-machine communications protocols are already programmed in, ready to go. In addition, there is a secured space on the processor to host your own applications, so that you can collect and use the data you need exactly the way you want. You don’t need to source and then integrate an external processor to communicate with the module, so you reduce component cost, simplify the process and save time.

Legato also includes a ready-to-communicate connection with the AirVantage® cloud, enabling you to manage the device and the data you’re collecting remotely and update the software once it’s deployed, keeping your device and data secure. Having all of this already integrated in the module gives you a head start in getting up and running and allows you to focus on your own application.

Our second introduction today is an open hardware reference design, which called Project mangOH®. Just as Legato gives you a head start on your software development, Project mangOH gives you a head start on your hardware design. Compatible with both the AirPrime HL and new WP Series modules, as well as with Arduino, Project mangOH can reduce your development time from months to days, and once you’ve proven your prototype, you can go straight to production, because Project mangOH is an industrial-grade design when implemented as recommended.

Project mangOH also includes a new IoT connector open interface standard, designed by Sierra Wireless and quickly being adopted by industry partners like Freescale, Linear Technology, and Texas Instruments, who are building modules supporting a number of other wireless protocols that will plug into these IoT connector slots. In doing so, the modules will connect automatically to the AirPrime WP module, because Legato already offers built-in support for a wide range of wireless protocols and peripheral devices. Like Project mangOH, the IoT connector design is industrial-grade, enabling it to go from prototype to production.

So, what if you develop a prototype and discover while you’re testing or building your business case that you actually need a faster connection than you thought? Or that you’re going to deploy it on a 3G network in Europe but you want to use 4G in the U.S.? Or that you’re going to use 3G for the first year of production but then you need to migrate the product to 4G after that? No problem.

The AirPrime WP Series is footprint compatible across 2G, 3G, and 4G – you can develop once and use the modules interchangeably without rewriting any code. It’s also completely footprint compatible with our AirPrime HL Series modules, so if you have an existing device using the HL and you decide you’d like to upgrade it to include a processor and offer more functionality by running applications, no problem – you can use the same board and migrate to the WP modules without having to redesign.   We’re calling this form factor CF3®, and we’ve committed to supporting it across both our Smart and Essential product lines for the long term. It’s the smallest footprint you’ll find with integrated processor, satellite positioning technology, and LTE built in.

In short, you don’t need to be afraid of failure. With rapid prototyping, you can try, test, rework, and try again, all in the time it would have taken you to build your first prototype before. And you don’t need to be afraid of success either – our solution is built to make it quick and easy for you to scale and evolve over time.

For more information about our next-generation AirPrime WP Series modules and Project mangOH, please visit hub.sierrawireless.com.