Altair Selects Rohde & Schwarz as Strategic Test Equipment Partner for New IoT Chipsets

Altair Selects Rohde & Schwarz as Strategic Test Equipment Partner for New IoT Chipsets

Altair Selects Rohde & Schwarz as Strategic Test Equipment Partner for New IoT Chipsets

World’s Smallest Modules Featuring Altair’s ALT1250 CAT-M1/NB1 Chipset will be Demonstrated at Mobile World Congress.

Altair Semiconductor today announced that it has selected Rohde & Schwarz as its strategic partner for test equipment for its dual-mode CAT-M1/NB1 IOT chipset ALT1250 as well as next-generation IOT chipsets.

This test equipment will be used for protocol testing as well as RF, RRM performance and carrier tests. Rohde & Schwarz is a leading global manufacturer of wireless communications and EMC test and measurement equipment and plans to develop new testing protocols for Altair’s next generations of cellular IoT chipsets.

“Our ALT1250 chipset is already forming the foundation for multiple current and emerging IoT applications,” said Ilan Reingold, VP of Business Development and Marketing for Altair. “The choice of Rohde & Schwarz is part of our commitment to the highest quality of advanced validation and performance testing for our game-changing products.”

The ALT1250 is the market’s most highly integrated dual-mode CAT-M1/NB-IoT chipset. Modules with ALT1250 inside are the world’s smallest, and may be as small as 100mm2 in area. The ALT1250 includes GNSS location positioning, a wideband RF front-end supporting all commercial LTE bands within a single hardware design, a multi-layered and hardware-based security framework, an internal application subsystem and packaging that enables standard, low-cost PCB manufacturing.

The Rohde & Schwarz R&S CMW500 is the industry’s leading test platform, offering the most validated CAT-M1/NB-IoT protocol conformance tests. It allows manufacturers and test houses to use a single instrument to verify that chipsets, modules and devices comply with GCF and PTCRB standards, and specific network operator requirements.

“This announcement confirms the commitment of Rohde & Schwarz to the wireless industry to provide innovative test tools and solutions that allow the testing and certification of cellular IoT devices,” said Anton Messmer, Vice President Mobile Radio Testers for Rohde & Schwarz.

“We are pleased to have been selected by Altair and are looking forward to supporting them in the development of highly integrated chipsets in conformance with 3GPP Release-13 standards for CAT-M1 and NB-IoT, and beyond.”

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Presto Protects IoT Chips With Secure Manufacturing & Test

Supporting the growing need for IC security in IoT applications, Presto Engineering is offering a comprehensive manufacturing and test service that is tailored to ensure IoT chips are made to high standards of security.

Presto says it can manage the entire chip manufacturing and testing process to make chips with levels of security right up to that needed for banking standards.

IoT devices’ connection to the Internet provides a potentially vulnerable route for hackers. Presto notes that an IoT chip connected to the internet should have two levels of security built into the design of the ASIC itself to stop unauthorized access.

The first is Cryptography to protect communication and maintain the confidentiality and integrity of data as it moves across the network. The second is Authentication to verify that only authorized computers or people have access.

Turning the design into a chip requires a highly secure manufacturing supply chain. Presto claims “it can manage the entire chip manufacturing and testing process to make chips with levels of security right up to that needed for banking standards, including the secure provisioning of the cryptographic keys. The latter ensures that processors will only execute code and updates identified with the correct secret keys.”

Handling these securely in the manufacturing supply chain is vital to an effective security strategy and is covered by the Common Criteria for Information Technology Security Evaluation standards. These range from the basic Evaluation Assurance Level 1 to Level 7 for government and military, with Level 5 being typical for banks, payment systems, and other highly demanding commercial application.

More information: https://presto-eng.com/

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Nokia and EDF join forces to test Internet of Things technology for industries

Nokia and EDF join forces to test Internet of Things technology for industries

Nokia and EDF join forces to test Internet of Things technology for industries

Project led by R&D division of EDF, will explore low power, wide area (LPWA) wireless technologies to support safe and secure connections with potentially millions of sensors and other devices. Joint effort incorporating Nokia TestHub services is among the industry’s most comprehensive testing to date using IoT devices for industries. Represents key step in EDF’s move towards the use of IoT; highlights Nokia’s role as a key partner for the deployment of networks for industries.

Nokia has been selected by French power utility EDF’s R&D unit to test the performance of LPWA wireless networking technologies – key emerging standards for Internet of Things (IoT) device connectivity – to support critical operations for industries.

The two companies will engage in a comprehensive testing regime, among the first of its kind in the industry, exploring the capabilities of LPWA technologies to support real-world industrial applications. Nokia is EDF R&D’s exclusive partner for this effort.

EDF R&D will utilize Nokia TestHub Services in Nokia’s Device Testing Lab in France – which gives customers access to state-of-the-art, carrier-grade wireless infrastructure – when testing IoT/M2M objects, chipsets, modules and user devices across all wireless technologies and frequencies. This enables devices to be tested on real network infrastructure rather than a simulated network, which reduces guesswork in testing and analysis and minimizes risks in advance of widespread commercial introduction.

The testing will compare IoT technologies recently standardized by the 3G Partnership Project (3GPP) – including NarrowBand-IoT (NB-IoT) and LTE-Machine (LTE-M) (also known as enhanced Machine-Type Communications or eMTC) – with other emerging, largely unlicensed IoT technologies.

This agreement builds on Nokia’s strong track-record providing mission-critical networks toindustries, and highlights the company’s strong position in the emerging market for IoT connectivity. It also highlights the progress of Nokia’s strategy of expanding its customer base outside of the traditional telecommunications sphere, a key focus of the company’s diversification efforts.

Stéphane Tanguy, head of IT Systems, EDF R&D, said:
“The Internet of Things offers tremendous opportunities for our group. Many use cases can be enabled by IOT technologies in various businesses from power generation to marketing. As the R&D engine of the EDF Group, it is our responsibility to characterize the objects, their connectivity, their integration into IoT platforms and the related end-to end cybersecurity properties. Among the connectivity solutions, it is essential that we understand the performance, the maturity and the adequacy of each technology for our different use cases by an objective and agnostic approach. The cellular IOT technologies (LTE-M and NB-IOT) are two major technologies that we have decided to test with Nokia, which provides us with a very interesting test environment and valuable expertise to carry out these evaluations.”

Matthieu Bourguignon, head of Global Enterprise and Public Sector, Europe, for Nokia, said:

“The use of IoT devices in industrial networks is in its infancy, but given the expected huge numbers of devices that will be deployed in the future, it is critical that our customers can evaluate now the various technologies before making substantial investments. Nokia’s Device Testing Lab, staffed by some of the most experienced wireless networking experts in the industry, will make it much easier for EDF to evaluate the performance of LPWA against other emerging technologies and reduce the risk of future deployments.”

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Ocado to test SecondHands collaborative robot

secondhands robot collaborates with ocado technology

Ocado Technology is ready to put the SecondHands robot through its paces on the warehouse floor. The Horizon 2020-funded project is aiming to develop collaborative robots (cobots) that can assist technicians with maintenance and repairs. 

In the not-too-distant future, technologists envisage a working world in which robots and humans collaborate on a daily basis. To begin with, that working relationship will probably revolve around practical tasks such as maintenance and repairs.

Today a prototype robot from SecondHands – funded by the EU’s Horizon 2020 project – has been presented to Ocado Technology. The prototype will act as a platform to test and develop applications related to the maintenance and repair of automated equipment in Ocado warehouses.

Read more: European Parliament pushes on IoT device security and interoperability

SecondHands’ ARMAR-6 meets Ocado

The SecondHands prototype, ARMAR-6, was developed at Germany’s Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) by Tamim Asfour and his team at the High Performance Humanoid Technologies Lab (H²T).

The video below shows ARMAR-6 interacting with its testing environment for the first time after assembly:

Ocado’s fulfilment centres are already highly automated, leading the way with regards to robotics in retail and logistics.

The Ocado team has introduced IoT warehouse solutions, robotic arms and explored the potential of automated deliveries in recent times.

Developing a team of robots to keep things running smoothly seems like the next logical step.

Read more: Exotec Solutions unveils robotic retail order system

Teams around the world working on industrial use cases

The SecondHands project is a collaborative operation involving researchers from all over Europe. The aim is to deliver real-world industrial use cases with a focus on:

  • the design of a new robotic assistant
  • a knowledge base to facilitate proactive help
  • a high degree of human-robot interaction
  • advanced perception skills to function in a highly dynamic industrial environment

Ocado Technology has been working alongside research teams from École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL), Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), Sapienza Università di Roma and University College London (UCL). From natural language dialogue to perception and planning, each team is contributing to a different aspect of the project.

Ocado Technology’s role is to integrate all of that functionality and evaluate the robot in real-world scenarios. It’s on the warehouse floor that the online grocer will demonstrate how versatile and productive (or not) human-robot collaboration can truly be.

Read more: LG set to unveil new line-up of commercial robots at CES

The growth of collaborative robotics

Collaborative robotics represents a rapidly-growing part of the industrial robots market. The International Federation of Robotics (IFR) released the World Robotics Report in September 2017. It suggested that collaborative robot installations are expected to grow by 15% in 2018.

SecondHands’ goal is an ambitious one. Arguably it’s attempting to find the solution to one of the biggest challenges facing robotics: working out how robots can safely, intelligently and productively interact with humans. 

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Vodafone, Ericsson and KCL claim first successful UK 5G test

Vodafone and Ericsson claim first successful 5G test in UK

British telecommunications company Vodafone and Swedish networking vendor Ericsson have collaborated with King’s College London (KCL) to perform what they claim is the first successful 5G test in the UK that works independently of existing 4G technology.

The three organisations used a prototype device in a central London 3.5 GHz spectrum field trial, as well as other technologies such as Massive MIMO, which uses multiple antennae to send and receive data with the aim of boosting capacity when a vast number of people try to connect to the network at the same time. Vodafone has already deployed this technology in its network as it believes MIMO will be crucial for the introduction of 5G.

Read more: 5G connections to reach 1.4 billion by 2025, says Juniper Research

Different bands

The project also involves the combination of different bands of mobile spectrums across the UK in a bid to increase capacity and boost data speeds. Vodafone said that combining four bands of spectrum has enabled the latest smartphones to achieve data speeds in excess of 500 megabits per second.

“These fast and ultra-reliable technologies are becoming essential for data-hungry video applications and as the Internet of Things (IoT) expands into people’s homes, vehicles and the workplace,” Vodafone said in a statement.

According to Ericsson’s annual Mobility Report, 5G will be able to transmit data about 10 times faster than 4G. In the report, the Swedish company said it expected 5G to first be deployed in metropolitan areas, and therefore IoT applications in smart cities such as smart streetlights would be some of the first use cases. Thereafter, the technology could be used as a more reliable connection for self-driving cars which would require a constant connection to the internet for safety reasons.

Read more: Wait for 5G? The IoT needn’t hold its breath

Still work to do

But while Vodafone, King’s College London and Ericsson were keen to notify the industry of their claim to a first standalone 5G test in the field, Kye Prigg, Vodafone UK head of networks emphasized that building a 5G network would take time.

“Right now, we’re also modernising our network by making smarter use of mobile technology to keep ahead of consumption demands and provide the mobile coverage our customers deserve,” he said.

5G also requires the use of fibre optic cables, and Vodafone’s next step will be to work with digital infrastructure provider CityFibre to install the necessary backhaul connection requirements.

Read more: UK government explains next steps towards 5G future

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