I recently spent some time with Redpine Signals, a San Jose, Ca.-based company that focuses on ultra-low power and high-performance products for next-generation wireless applications, aka the IoT. We talked about how they are adding the smarts needed to connect to the IoT to products that previously were not connected. The perfect example is a smart sprinkler controller. Redpine teamed with Orbit to develop the B-Hive, that lets you control your sprinklers via a mobile phone.
Another product that Venkat Mattela, Redpine’s CEO, was anxious to talk about was its latest multi-protocol wireless solution for the connected car. Called the WaveCombo, the technology is generally known as vehicle-to-vehicle communication, or V2X. It can operate with its integrated 802.11p, 802.11n, Bluetooth, and 802.15.4 networks for V2V, V2I, and intra-vehicle applications. And by developing with a pre-configured module that contains most of the electronics, integration time and total cost of development can be reduced, substantially in some cases. Its low power even allows it to function in non-vehicular applications, like bicycles, helmets, and smart phones for rider and pedestrian safety.
It’s interesting how the different protocols are used for different functions. For example, an emergency vehicle approaching warning would use 802.11p and BT, a roadside alert would use 802.11p and BT, smart cones for worker safety use 802.11p and 802.15.4, and a and passenger hot spot would use 802.11p in motion and 802.11n when parked. That’s all handled by the WaveCombo, in a compact 20- by 23.9-mm module.
The solution includes a chipset, modules, an IEEE 1609 software stack, a stand-alone OBU, an OBDII-based OBU, and an RSU. It can operate either in 802.11p mode or 802.11n/Bluetooth/802.15.4 mode and operates in an extended temperature range of -40°C to +105°C. A software development kit (SDK) is available that includes two boards for end-to-end testing, as well as all the necessary APIs for application development.