Fujitsu Develops World’s Smallest Sensor Device Supporting LPWA Communication

Fujitsu Develops World's Smallest Sensor Device Supporting LPWA Communication

Fujitsu Develops World's Smallest Sensor Device Supporting LPWA Communication

Eliminates Need for Battery Replacement. On-site data can be directly transmitted to the cloud across several kilometers just by placing an 82x24x6 mm miniature sensor.

Fujitsu Laboratories Ltd. today announced development of the world’s smallest sensor that eliminates the need to replace batteries.

The new sensor supports Low Power Wide Area (LPWA) wireless transmission technology that can reach a broad area with low power.

As the spread of IoT systems gains momentum, expectations are rising for sensor devices that support LPWA technology, which can wirelessly transmit sensor information directly to the cloud. In order to create systems that employ this technology, there has been a demand for the development of easy-to-install miniature devices using solar cells to achieve both convenience and low cost, which dispense with the need to replace batteries.

Fujitsu Laboratories previously developed power control technology(1) that can operate a beacon with the power provided just by a solar cell. Conventionally, power output variation of solar cells due to temperature had been tolerated by enlarging the size of energy storage elements. Now, however, Fujitsu Laboratories has developed technology that achieves high power efficiency by controlling signal transmission timing based on the temperature variation measured by a temperature sensor, which makes it possible to reduce the required energy storage elements for signal transmission by half. This has enabled Fujitsu Laboratories to successfully miniaturize the device to a size of 82x24x6 mm, creating the world’s smallest sensor device supporting LPWA that does not need replacement batteries.

In a test of the sensor device using this technology, Fujitsu Laboratories confirmed that the collected temperature and humidity data can be transmitted to a Sigfox(2) base station over a distance of about 7 km. Since it is now possible to acquire measured data even from locations where it is difficult to secure power and install power cables just by placing these sensor devices, the maintenance-free deployment and management of IoT systems has become a reality, accelerating the process of on-site digitalization.

Development Background

The spread of IoT systems has progressed in recent years, and it is predicted that by 2020, several tens of billions of IoT devices will be connected to the cloud through networks. In IoT systems, information collected from multiple sensors installed in the field, need to be transmitted to and analyzed on the cloud, and LPWA has been gaining attention as a wireless technology that can directly transmit data to the cloud with low power consumption across a wide area. From a convenience and cost standpoint there are high hopes for miniaturization, which not only meets the LPWA standards, while utilizing solar cells that eliminate the need for replacement.


Fujitsu Laboratories has previously developed power control technology using miniature circuits that can transmit data over short distances wirelessly using Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE). This technology realizes sensor devices that support BLE without the need to exchange batteries, providing power with solar cells, and reliably activating a wireless circuit by monitoring and adjusting the balance between power generation and consumption.

Sensor devices using this previous technology, however, could not support LPWA. That’s because the time required for transmission with LPWA is significantly longer than with BLE. LPWA transmits small amounts of data slowly in order to ensure signal quality over long distances. In effect, this means that a single transmission can require significant power usage of up to about 1,500 times of BLE.

About the Newly Developed Technology

Now, Fujitsu Laboratories has developed new power control technology to ensure transmission power while minimizing circuit size. This technology’s advantages are as follows.

1. Power control technology that permits power variations with temperature

Fujitsu Laboratories has developed power control technology that can control the timing of LPWA signal transmissions in real time, based on temperature data collected from a temperature sensor. With this technology signal transmissions are only carried out at the time when the activation voltage, which varies with temperature, is maximized in order to prevent it from falling below the minimum operational voltage for LPWA module. By using power efficiently in this way, it is possible to tolerate variation in power consumed by the wireless circuit or power generated by solar cells due to temperature. This eliminates the need for the excess energy storage elements that were previously necessary to respond to power fluctuations, enabling miniaturization of the sensor device with the smallest power storage elements required.

2. Power monitoring technology that reliably activates the temperature sensor

In order for the power control technology to operate reliably, the device must be able to continually and reliably activate the temperature sensor with a small amount of power. To resolve this challenge, Fujitsu Laboratories has developed power monitoring technology that analyzes voltage changes in power source, and accurately judges whether or not sufficient power has been stored to operate the temperature sensor. This technology can prevent unnecessary shutdowns of the temperature sensor by using the minimum amount of power based on the temperature.


This technology was implemented using Sigfox, an LPWA standard, creating the world’s smallest sensor device (82x24x6 mm) supporting LPWA communications without the need to replace batteries.

Fujitsu Laboratories verified that temperature and humidity data could be transmitted once every ten minutes, over seven days directly to a base station about 7 km away, in an environment with illumination of 4,000 lux. Fujitsu Laboratories also verified that the data could be visualized through the Fujitsu Cloud Service K5 IoT Platform, Fujitsu Limited’s IoT data utilization platform service, which has received Sigfox Ready Program for IoT PaaS certification as an IoT platform that connects to the Sigfox cloud.

This means that sensor data can easily be acquired in the cloud just by setting sensor devices, even in places where it is difficult to secure power or install power cables. This will enable maintenance-free installation and management of IoT systems, accelerating the process of digitalization in the field.

Future Plans

Fujitsu Laboratories will continue to conduct field trials aimed at the real-world use of these sensor devices, incorporating this technology into the Fujitsu Cloud Service K5 IoT Platform and Fujitsu Frontech Limited’s sensor solutions as connected devices, with the goal of commercialization in fiscal 2018. Furthermore, we will continue to develop technologies to miniaturize sensor devices.

Comment from Yoshihito Kurose, President, KYOCERA Communication Systems Co., Ltd. (KCCS):

“As the utilization of IoT is expected to continually increase, KCCS predicts that solutions utilizing the low power consumption feature of the Sigfox network will be developed in a variety of industries.”

“KCCS believes that Fujitsu Laboratories Ltd.’s development of a sensor device, which does not require battery charging by way that device operation is enabled by a solar battery, will promote the use of Sigfox not only in Japan but around the world.”

“As the Sigfox Operator in Japan, KCCS is working with Fujitsu Laboratories Ltd. and other partners to enable everything to be connected to the Sigfox network and is contributing to the creation of a safe and pleasant society.”

[1] Developed power control technology Fujitsu Develops Industry’s First Flexible IoT-Supporting Beacon That Needs No Battery Replacement (press release, March 25, 2015)
[2] Sigfox A global IoT network using LPWA provided by Sigfox, a company established in France in 2009. KYOCERA Communication Systems Co., Ltd. is the sole network service provider in Japan.

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MultiTech Launches Industry’s Smallest LTE Cat M1 System on Module

MultiTech Launches Industry’s Smallest LTE Cat M1 System on Module

MultiTech Launches Industry’s Smallest LTE Cat M1 System on Module

Developers Now Have Access to an Arm® Mbed™ OS Programmable Cellular Computing Platform Within a Nano Compact, All-in-One Design.

Multi-Tech Systems, Inc., today introduced the industry’s smallest form factor system on module natively supporting Arm Mbed OS.

Mbed OS is an IoT embedded operating system designed for rapid prototyping, development and deployment, complete with drivers for cloud connectivity, sensors and I/O devices. These ready-to-integrate LTE Cat M1 modules offer developers the functionality of a programmable computing platform with the convenience of an onboard cellular radio all in one very compact Nano design.

Daniel Quant, Vice President of Product Management and Strategic Marketing at MultiTech, said:

“With the new Dragonfly Nano, decision making and control is distributed to the edge, enabling data to be more actionable without the heavy lift required to implement complex standards-based IoT middleware and security protocols, needed to deploy a low touch install that can scale.”

“We are pleased to offer a new smaller Mbed supported LPWA cellular SoM with same interfaces as the existing Dragonfly module family listed on that are all industry certified and deployment ready.”

With its integrated Arm Cortex®-M4 processor, developers can host their application and have access to a full suite of interfaces for connecting sensors or other remote assets. The Dragonfly Nano is over 50% smaller, maintains plug-in compatibility and uses the same 40-pin board-to-board connector found in the standard sized Dragonfly family of SoM’s providing a full range of connectivity and carrier options.

“To keep mission-critical applications running, local intelligence and management at the IoT edge is essential for quick recovery from failure,” said Simon Ford, Senior Director of Mbed OS, IoT Services Group, Arm. “Through their LPWA technology innovation, small form factor designs and integration of Mbed technology into their portfolio of intelligent connectivity devices, MultiTech is helping the developer community to quickly and easily integrate communications into IoT devices.”

The new LTE Cat M1 devices are 3GPP Release 13 compliant and NB-IoT ready, optimized for ultra-low power IoT applications while offering improved range and in-building penetration. Example use cases include battery-operated sensors, asset trackers, solar powered parking meters and many more IoT applications that require low power and/or low data rate connectivity.

Design in or Retrofit

The MultiConnect Dragonfly Nano can be used as an embedded cellular SoM providing the maximum in design and application flexibility or it can be used as an embedded cellular modem controlled through AT commands requiring little or no modification to a design. Connecting to the Dragonfly Nano gives users access to all the programmable I/O interfaces. Users can also connect to the Dragonfly Nano using the industry-standard micro USB port, affording the quickest time to market when the application only requires basic cellular connectivity.

Power Saving Modes

Extended Discontinuous Reception (eDRX) mode increases the length of time the end device can sleep before it has to check in with the network which saves power. Power Saving Mode (PSM) allows the device to notify the network that it is going to sleep or dormant indefinitely only waking up based on user defined timer. Once the device wakes up and transmits it will stay awake for a few frames of time in case the network needs to reach that device. A device using PSM transmitting a small amount of data once per day could last many years using 2 AA batteries.


  • 3GPP Release 13 Extended Discontinuous Reception (eDRX)
  • 3GPP Release 13 Extended Coverage
  • 3GPP Release 12 Power Saving Mode (PSM)
  • Arm Mbed OS enabled
  • Multiple I/O interfaces for connecting almost any “Thing”


  • Low power modes extend life of battery powered devices
  • Extended coverage means assets deep inside buildings are now reachable
  • Long solution lifecycle reduces redesign time and cost
  • Family of cellular options including several 4G, 3G and 2G models

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Smallest Licensing Solution For IoT Device Software Monetization

Smallest Licensing Solution For IoT Device Software Monetization

Gemalto has launched a secure licensing solution claimed to have the industry’s smallest footprint, for embedded software and Internet of Things (IoT) devices. The new solution allows vendors to customize and reduce licensing footprint to as little as 6.5KB Flash and 1.5KB RAM.

Called Sentinel Fit, the solution offers a complete licensing and entitlement management solution to maximize monetization of software-based products, for even the smallest of IoT devices and intelligent machines.

“The solution features a modular architecture that allows vendors to customize and reduce the licensing footprint to as little as 6.5KB Flash and 1.5KB RAM, small enough to run on a Cortex-M processor, making it the smallest commercially licensing solution available today”, according to the firm.

“Equipment manufacturers with embedded software are aligning with trends like cloud, virtualization and the IoT and are in need of solutions to support their transition from hardware based business models to software based services and create new revenue streams,” says Shlomo Weiss, Senior Vice President, Software Monetization at Gemalto. “In addition to our existing range of commercial licensing solutions, Sentinel Fit, as the industry’s smallest secure commercial licensing solution, can support this transition and provide the flexibility to control software at the feature level, while providing the best monetization platform available today.”

For further details, click here.

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Internet Of Things | IoT India

World’s smallest IoT project!!

World’s smallest IoT project!!

IoT has been trending since long in the field of electronics and communications. Many projects, products are daily made under IoT. In this project we push the limits of how the IoT project can be shrinked in size without compromising it’s ability to work. There may be products which are way more smaller than. This is the simplest IoT project, IoT button with rechargeable battery having dimension of 4 x 2 x 1 cm.

So let’s see how to make this.

Things required

  1. ESP8266 01 module
  2. 200 mAh LiPo battery
  3. TP4056 battery charging module

After downloading the required packages, now you are ready to program your ESP-01. For that, you need to have an USB to TTL converter module or you can even use your Arduino board to program your little wifi module. A USB to TTL converter has been used to program this. It’s connection will be something like this,


You need to install drivers for this USB to TTL dongle. Click here and download the drivers according to your system configurations. Now lets move towards the code.


Using deepSleep() function, the code has been changed to consume only around 10 uA of current. after publishing the message to the topic, the module goes into deep sleep to increase the battery time to 3 days.

The code has been uploaded, in which the module will request API from a channel of IFTTT called MAKER. And whenever this link is requested from anywhere, we can perform our required task.

All the components along with the battery and it’s charging module were soldered into place. The circuit looked like this,


Changes in the code are made in such a manner that you don’t need to reprogram it. You can change the application of the button, you can even change the WiFi access point name and password in case you have to change the router or its password. So just program it once and forget about it.

Some of the applications of this smallest IoT project.

  1. Amazon Dash Button
  2. Controlling Appliances
  3. Sending emergency SMS on any number
  4. Playing music on your phone
  5. opening your garage door

and many such one button application you can think of.

A tutorial video for this project covering every aspect of this project is below.

You can download Arduino Code for this IoT project from here.

You can download ESPConnect Android Application from here.

Feel interested? Check out other IoT projects.

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Internet Of Things | IoT India

u-blox Certifies World’s Smallest Quad-Band LTE-M Module for AT&T’s Networks

u-blox Certifies World's Smallest Quad-Band LTE-M Module for AT&T's Networks

u-blox today announced certification of its SARA-R410M module on AT&T’s LTE-M network to support a broad spectrum of IoT applications, such as utility meters, telematics, asset & vehicle tracking, security systems, building automation, as well as smart lighting solutions and parking sensors.

Quad-band configuration for cross-border deployment

SARA-R410M is among the first cellular modules certified to support AT&T’s LTE-M network. With a quad-band configuration (B2/B4/B5/B12), it is the only certified module capable of operating on both AT&T’s US LTE-M network and their Mexico network, which is expected to launch by the end of 2017.

Cameron Coursey, vice president, product development, AT&T IoT Solutions, said:

“u-blox’s SARA-R410M module will enable businesses to use the same hardware in both the United States and Mexico. This way, AT&T will be positioned to facilitate important use cases, such as cross-border tracking of vehicles and assets.”

Future-proof upgrade path

Measuring only 16 x 26 mm, SARA-R410M is the world’s smallest quad-band LTE-M module available in market today, a distinction that enables designers to keep device sizes to a minimum. At the same time, it allows for form factor compatibility and easy technology transition from u-blox’s existing 2G and 3G modules.

Patty Felts, Product Manager Cellular at u-blox stressed: “Future firmware updates can also be supported over-the-air with u-blox’s uFOTA client/server solution that uses LWM2M, a light and compact protocol that is ideal for IoT applications. This ensures longevity of customer platforms for many years to come.”

Low power consumption and robust design

With IoT and M2M devices required to operate for long periods of time on a small battery, the u-blox SARA-R410M includes power-save mode (PSM) and extended discontinuous reception (eDRX) that together deliver battery life of up to 10 years. And with manufacturing in ISO/TS 16949-certified production sites and an extended operating temperature range of -40°C to +85°C, it is ideal for industrial applications.

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