Indoor and outdoor IoT positioning platform delivers huge operational cost savings in logistics, construction, and manufacturing industries

June 14, 2019 Nordic Semiconductor
Oslo,Norway - June 13, 2019 - Nordic Semiconductor today announces that its nRF9160 System-in-Package (SiP) LTE-M/NB-IoT cellular IoT modules and nRF52840 Bluetooth® 5/BluetoothLow Energy (Bluetooth LE)Systems-on-Chip (SoCs) are being used in the turnkey 'GEPS®' indoor and outdoor IoT positioning platform developed by Swedish industrial IoT startup, H&D Wireless.
GEPS is a turnkey, 'application-as-a-service' solution that is designed to bridge the information gap between physical assets and business systems. It requires no upfront investment in hardware or software, and instead employs small 59 x 52 x 23mm battery-powered, industrial-grade IoT tags embedded with either a Nordic nRF9160 SiP or nRF52840 SoC to track key assets and equipment via cellular, GPS, or Bluetooth wireless technology in real-time.
Each tag (depending on application) can be configured with a rechargeable or AA-size battery, and achieve a minimum one year and maximum 10-year battery life.
Operating either standalone or in conjunction with leading business and AI systems, the ultimate aim is to boost key operational metrics such as efficiency, safety, security, throughput, responsiveness, and ultimately profits. All this data is displayed via cloud-based visual dashboards accessible from desktop PCs, tablets, or smartphones.
According to H&D Wireless, the potential cost savings can completely dwarf the service rental fees for employing its GEPS platform. "In asset management applications, for example, we are finding that our customers are saving between 20-40% in operational costs due to a combination of better utilization of their assets and the ability to get rid of 30% of the assets previously required to perform the same job," comments Pär Bergsten, CEO of H&D Wireless.
"And in manufacturing, while the typical percentage margins are much lower at around 2 or 3% in terms of raw material savings, for larger companies that can translate into cost savings of billions of dollars a year."
Key target industries for the GEPS platform include logistics (e.g. asset and fleet management), construction (e.g. tools, people, and equipment), and manufacturing industries (e.g. sub-assemblies).
At just 10 x 16 x 1mm in size, the nRF9160 includes everything a cellular connection and IoT application needs beyond requiring just an external battery, SIM, and antenna. To achieve this ultra-high integration Nordic partnered with Qorvoto make a 'System-in-Package' (SiP) that more closely resembles an integrated chip than a module. The SiP includes a powerful application processor (Arm Cortex M-33), GPS support, standard microcontroller peripherals, and enough chip-integrated memory to execute IoT applications with edge computing.Yet this is not achieved by sacrificing on-air performance: the nRF91 is capable of delivering class-leading output power (+23 dBm) and sensitivity - vital for its GPS functionality
Nordic's nRF52840 multiprotocol SoC is Nordic's most advanced ultra low power wireless solution. The SoC supports complex Bluetooth LE and other low-power wireless applications that were previously not possible with a single-chip solution. The nRF52840 is Bluetooth 5-, Thread 1.1-, and Zigbee PRO (R21) and Green Power proxy specification-certified and its Dynamic Multiprotocol feature uniquely supports concurrent wireless connectivity of the protocols. The SoC combines the Arm processor with a 2.4GHz multiprotocol radio.The chip supports all the features of Bluetooth 5 (including 4x the range or 2x the raw data bandwidth (2Mbps) compared with Bluetooth 4.2). Designed to address the inherent security challenges brought by the IoT, the nRF52840 SoC incorporates the Arm CryptoCell-310 cryptographic accelerator, offering best-in-class security.
"Industrial IoT-or IIoT-is still in its infancy," comments Geir Langeland, Nordic Semiconductor's Director of Sales & Marketing. "But what we are seeing now is real IIoT solutions that are capable of solving real problems by boosting operational efficiencies and driving down costs. That's a pretty compelling combination and one that we expect to see more and more companies in the industrial sector adopt."

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