An IIoT Wireless IP Mesh Network in a Module
Developed for you to easily create your own industrial grade access network with direct IP connectivity
RIIM™ (Radiocrafts Industrial IP Mesh) is an embedded RF system designed to be an all-inclusive, easy to use mesh, with direct IP addressing. The RF protocol is the IEEE802.15.4 g/e standard. RIIM™ includes an Intelligent C-programmable I/O (ICI), which makes it possible to directly interface to any sensor or actuator, and, it supports Mist Computing. RIIM™ does not require any license or subscription fee.
Radiocrafts’ commitment to making connectivity easy for network designers working across a variety of radio frequency networks was the driving motivation for developing RIIM™ additions to the IEEE802.15.4 g/e standard.
The RIIM™ system consists of the following parts:
Visit Radiocrafts’ GitHub page to explore sample codes for RIIM applications and features.
Short Development Time - Everything is included in the module
RIIM™ is based on the IPM module, fully RF tested during production. It includes all the critical components for a complete wireless IP mesh. No license or subscription fee is needed. It is ready to go when you get the module. You pick the sensor chips and units to control, design the child node box mechanics, design the ICI application in 100 lines of high level C-code or less, and finally, connect the network to the internet.
CoAP(s) interface to the cloud
CoAP is supported in the RIIM™ IPM module. It provides simplified integration with the web to make RIIM™ internet ready.
Each network node has an IP address and a CoAP client/server which means you can get direct addressing to and from the cloud application.
Additionally, the RIIM™ network has a low complexity border router, unlike a gateway, you do not need to do data reconfiguration or address translations. A border router is also much cheaper than a gateway.
CoAPs also includes DTLS end to end security.
Low overhead and simplicity are key features of CoAP, which is developed to support Internet of Things (IoT) and Machine-to-Machine(M2M) devices.
RIIM is designed to have direct cloud connection using protocols such as IPv6, UDP, CoAP and DTLS. This eliminates the need for a dedicated gateway and offers direct end-to-end IP packet communication with end-to-end security. In addition, RIIM can operate in a local mode where no internet connection is used.
A third use case that is common is to extend RIIM with an edge gateway and then have external cloud connection from the gateway device. This is useful when the user intends to implement some edge-computational functions, thus decreasing latency. It can also be useful in case connection to the cloud is lost.
You can read more about connecting RIIM with an edge gateway in our application note below!
You can also visit Radiocrafts’ GitHub page for a sample code on how to connect a RIIM network to an edge computer.
Direct IP Communication
The RIIM™ Network uses 6LoWPAN packets in the RF network to enable IPv6 communication to each individual sensor/controller. The border router provides IPv4 to IPv6 transition to communicate on IPv4 to the outside world. This makes RIIM™ directly compatible and accessible to most cloud services.
Additionally, we have added SLIP to the Border Router which enables IPv6 packets over UART to an external processor. This is typical a linux based system where routing rules and packet forwarding easily can be set up.
You can read more about this in our application note below.
Visit Radiocrafts’ GitHub page for a sample code on how to connect an edge computer to a RIIM network.
To improve the UART capability in TSCH mode, the UART is re-written to be non-blocking. This gives better code execution and less conflicts between UART and the frequency hopping system. In addition, the UART is enhanced with more options for timeout, intra character timeout, dynamic length on UART packets and wakeup on UART.
Automatic network set-up – Self-forming/Self-healing
A key benefit of a mesh network is the ability to self-form and self-heal.
The network identifies the nodes that share the same network ID and automatically creates a network structure that connects all nodes directly or indirectly to the border router. This process is fully automatic, the user does not manage this process. The algorithm that manages this process is called RPL (pronounced as ripple), which is standardized in RFC6550. Once the network is established, then the connectivity is constantly monitored for changes. If a node disappears or a new node appears, then the network will re-route itself to accommodate the change. This also takes place without user interactions; it is fully automatic.
You can monitor the quality of the links via the RIIM™ Network Dashboard.
Long Range and Coverage
RIIM™ is based on the IEEE802.15.4g/e standard which is a robust long-range network sufficient for most industrial applications.
We have measured the range between the RIIM™ network nodes and have summarized the impressive results in the table below:
You can also read about RIIM range tests performed by Radiocrafts in our Application Note below!
|Range LOS||Range Urban Environment||Range Semi Open Rural Environment|
|RIIM IPM Module (regular)||5 km||200 m||400 m|
|RIIM IPM Module (High-Power)||20 km||700 m||1400 m|
RIIM™ supports up to 28 mesh hops and 2-way symmetric communication which means that the network can cover an area of up to 40km x 40 km squared for the high-power module and an area of 12km x 12 km squared for the regular module in an urban environment. In a semi open rural environment the range is approximately twice that of an urban environment.
In addition, the RIIM Mesh Router can handle down to 118uA @ 3.3v average power consumption enabling all battery devices in the network to further extend the network coverage.
Universal sensor/controller interfaces
Radiocrafts’ ICI Framework allows the user to access the hardware interface and manipulate the data on the module before sending it on to the next stage. This means that any sensor/control unit can be interfaced to directly to the IPM module. One major benefit is that the sensor interfaces can be updated in the field using Over the Air (OTA) updates, creating a future proof solution with room for new or updated sensors and control units.
Low current TX/Rx/Sleep
- TX 26 mA@ 14 dBm
- RX 6.2 mA
- Idle 4.7uA average
RIIM™ has a number of features that reduce power consumption, including:
- The chosen electronic components inside are low power to start with.
- The network leaf nodes can be put in “Sleepy” mode, reducing the current consumption to a minimum (4.7 uA).
- The output power of the module is configurable, not to consume more power than needed during transmit.
- The TSCH, Time Synchronized Channel hopping, allows for the Mesh routers to go to sleep when there is no time slot for incoming or outgoing RF data packages.
- The RIIM Mesh Router can handle down to 118uA @ 3.3v average power consumption enabling all battery devices in the network to further extend the network coverage. For mesh routers in TSCH the battery lifetime is increased with more than 50%. This is accomplished by optimizing the sleeping pattern.
- The data processing that can be done by the customer in ICI can save substantial power. RIIM™ supports cloud computing which means that instead of sending all raw sensor reading data to the Cloud, the user can just send the interesting data, such as an alarm when a threshold is met.
You can read more about the low power capabilities in RIIM from our Application Note below!
A RIIM™ node can last 10 years on a CR2772 (870 mAh capacity coin cell battery) while sending 12 bytes every hour, 24 hours per day.
Future-proof with Over-the-Air updates
Your product will be future-proofed by RIIM™’s over-the-air updates. OTA updates are possible because of RIIM™’s two-way communication channel and the module’s internal flash memory.
You can upgrade your RIIM™ nodes in the field when the network is already deployed and full operational by upgrading their ICI applications. This means that you can create new sensor/actuator interfaces, new signal processing algorithms, and updated security patches. You can also keep the underlying RF system firmware current using RIIM™ Over-the-Air updates.
TSCH - Time Slotted Channel Hopping
We have added a new PHY/MAC layer to RIIM which is a frequency hopping mode.
TSCH was designed to make a mesh with less packet collision and higher reliability. A TSCH network has proven to have a reliability of up to 99.99%.
With TCSH setup for 50 channels, the system fulfills the FCC requirement for frequency hopping outlined in §15.247. This enable RIIM nodes to send up to 1W output power and thereby creating a sub-1 GHz mesh with huge coverage.
Frequency hopping omit challenges with narrowband interference. A packet lost between two devices will be re-sent on a different channel in next available time slot. If you have a narrow noise, this will make increase the probability of the retransmission to succeed and thus reduce packet loss seen from the application.
Additionally, TSCH enables battery operated mesh routers. The radios can be shut down in a period where there is no packet to send and no incoming packet expected.
Time Synchronous Events
All nodes in the network are synchronized in time with < 1ms accuracy. A new API has been created to allow users to make synchronous events based on the timing.
What are the benefits of time-synchronization?
- Time-synchronization allows for a common understanding of time in RIIM’s mesh network.
When all nodes are aware of time, synchronizing events becomes possible. For example, in a street lighting application, the user can choose to automatically turn the lights on at 17:00, then off again at 07:00 at the same time.
- Time-Synchronization creates awareness of each node’s time in relation to others.
For example, the user can now turn on a certain group of light bulbs as soon as another group is dimmed.
- Time-Synchronization allows timestamping of certain events.
For example, a certain sensor reading can be time stamped by adding the real time information into the sensor reading packet. This way, important events can be tied to certain times, to allow for better data analytics.
Read more about Time-Synchronization in our application note below!
Industrial Grade Quality
Since the foundation of Radiocrafts, the company has been focused on industrial applications with high quality. Example of proven solutions in RIIM are:
The performance is also adapted to meet the reliability standards of industrial applications. Frequency hopping with TSCH helps to find the noiseless channels and the 700m range in urban environments translates to coverage in large industrial sites with good margins. In addition, we have added support for RS485 in RIIM meaning the radio module can more easily support protocols such as Modbus.
Network-Wide and Local Multicast
With multicast you can optimize your remote configuration management by enabling software updates over-the-air and the ability to mass distribute messages to all nodes in the network at once to reduce on-air communication time. This eases situations where you want to send the same message to a lot of nodes at once. This is useful if you want to turn off all lights in an area at once or to update a parameter in the whole network at once.
In addition, in a large network of many hundreds or thousands of nodes, Multicast makes it possible for you to create virtual dynamic groups of nodes, allowing you to update a certain parameter for those specific node groups all at the same time, for example, turning on/off streetlights in a specific area of the city, adjusting the colour of the lights, adjusting the dimness, and more. This makes maintenance and management of the network much simpler.
Multicast also offers stronger resistance to interferences. Since messages are propagated simultaneously along multiple paths, the messages should be able to reach their recipients even if several paths in the network break.
one-hop multicast or local multicast is similar to normal multicast except a node only sends data to it’s neighbor nodes without flooding the entire network with packets. This is important in e.g. adaptive streetlighting where one light pole wants to share some data with the nearby light poles.
High-Throughput Networking via Adaptive Frequency Agility
Radiocrafts has implemented a new ground-breaking feature in RIIM called Adaptive Frequency Agility which allows for high-throughput networking by taking the allowed duty cycle in Europe from 1% to around 40%!
As an example, you can now go from 1 packet reaching the Border Router every 4 seconds to 40 packets every 4 seconds!
RIIM uses a combination of channel hopping, Listen-Before-Talk and Adaptive Frequency Agility to achieve this.
Listen-Before-Talk is a technique where the radio scans the channel which was assigned to it by the TSCH algorithm before transmitting on it. If the channel is found to be noisy, the radio waits and does not transmit on it, dramatically increasing the radio’s resilience to noise.
Adaptive Frequency Agility works by scanning all channels and marking the ones which are often found to be noisy, then it drops those channels from the hopping list which ensures that the radio only uses the best channels with the least noise.
In addition, the Border Router can now listen for incoming packets all the time, thereby increasing the max throughput into the Border Router up to 20 times, depending on the which TSCH mode is used.
You can read more about this in our application note below.
RIIM includes low level encryption by default. Your wireless network is protected by encryption using a pre-shared key. This encryption works on the link layer, and will therefore protect against eavesdropping, rouge nodes joining an existing network and fake packets.
The pre-shared keys are programmed during installation or production. All nodes have the same pre-shared key.
Global Support - 868 / 915 MHz
RIIM™ is compliant to EN 300 220, the 868 MHz band in Europe, is pre-certified for FCC CFR47 Part 15.249, the 915 MHz band in the Americas, and supports a frequency hopping mode on 20 channels which are used in the 915 -928 MHz band intended for use in Australia/New Zealand. RIIM also supports one frequency hopping band for Vietnam at 918.8-921.8 MHz (hopping on 16 channels) and India at 865-867 MHz (hopping on 9 channels).
The IPM module is software configurable and the remaining hardware can typically cover both 868 MHz and 915 MHz. This allows a RIIM™ network to operate in the orange and grey regions on the map.
The 915 MHz frequency is allowed in most of North and Latin America, and half of South America. Brazil, for example, follows other regulations. Those regulations are technically possible to support with RIIM™, but are not implemented in the standard offering. Contact Radiocrafts for support. The 868 MHz is allowed in Europe and many countries in Asia and Africa.
High node count
The RIIM™ network is designed for large node counts with it’s short transit pulses and 6TiSCH (time synchronized channel hopping). This minimizes packet collisions which is the largest problem for high node count networks. A RIIM™ network will support up to one thousand nodes.
Mist Computing Platform
Mist computing is important as it reduces the required bandwidth in the network. This is important as a typical wireless network node will spend 5x the power on communication vs computing. The compute resource is a low power MCU on the radio chip, whereas the communication power is used by high power amplifiers that need power to operate.
Typical algorithms used in mist computing are.
- Data aggregation
- Pre-conditioning of data
- Pattern recognition
- And many more
You can learn more about ICI here.
Tailor Made Solutions Through Radiocrafts’ Design Services
A benefit with working with RIIM™ and Radiocrafts is that the standard solution can be modified to fit individual customer requirements that are not covered with the standard solution. Radiocrafts has extensive experience in RF design and turnkey solutions. A special case is if the modifications required can be done in ICI, then the effort and costs will be minimal, compared to a traditional turn key contract design. Please contact Radiocrafts to discuss the specific case.
DATA SHEETS AND USER MANUALS
|File type:||File name:||File description:|
|RC1882CEF-IPM Datasheet||This document covers the relevant information for the RC1882CEF-IPM module. You will find a description of the RIIM™ overview, firmware structure, the ICI programming concept, pin assignment and description, regulatory compliance information, mechanical drawings, PCB layout recommendations, and more.|
|RC18x2HPCF-IPM Datasheet||This document covers the relevant information for the RC18x2HPCF-IPM modules. You will find a description of the RIIM™ overview, firmware structure, the ICI programming concept, pin assignment and description, regulatory compliance information, mechanical drawings, PCB layout recommendations, and more.|
|RIIM User Manual||The User Manual for RIIM™ modules is a step by step introduction on how to use our module. The document describes an overview of RIIM™, Mesh network topology, network data packets, the bootloader, configuring and programming the module, connecting peripherals, over-the-air downloads, border router functions, COAP resources and more.|
|RIIM Border Router Datasheet||This document covers the relevant information for the RIIM™ Border Router. You will find a description of the RIIM™ overview, Ethernet Interface, how it is powered, channel mapping, local USB interface, firmware upgrades, connectors, LEDS, buttons, regulatory compliance information. and more.|
|RIIM Dashboard User Manual||The RIIM™ Network Dashboard is a tool to check the network topology and status of the links between the nodes in the RIIM™ network. It provides the RSSI value and time-stamp for each connection in the network.|
|File type:||File name:||File description:|
|AN048: Border Router Redundancy in RIIM||In this document, one of the methods to achieving Border Router redundancy is explained. In addition, the ICI example application needed is presented.|
|AN047: Setting up an IPv6 Router for RIIM||RIIM has been natively designed to enable cloud connection using IPv6 addressing. There are several ways to connect to the cloud, each with their own pros and cons. For an overview of solutions and how to select one suitable, see Radiocrafts Application Note AN046. For end to end IPv6 connection between end devices/sensors and the cloud SLIP must be use and this application note goes into detail on how to setup and use the SLIP solution.|
|AN046: Connecting RIIM to the Internet||In an era with plenty of connectivity options, the user might be left with an important question, what is the best way to connect my RIIM network to the internet. Whether it is a server, a cloud application, or another network, there is always more than one way to achieve the connection, and each way brings its own strength points and weaknesses. This document aims to briefly break down 4 of the most commonly used connectivity options, presenting each option’s building blocks, in addition to its pros and cons.|
|AN045: Wireless Connectivity Technologies Selection Guide||Different applications and different use-cases will need different wireless connectivity technologies. Therefore, selecting the right wireless technology is a critical design decision. Based on radio performance requirements and other criteria, this selection guide will point out the differences between the technologies to help selecting the right one.|
|AN044: RF Modules For New Zealand||This is a short Application Note on the use of license free RF modules in New Zealand, and in particular which modules from Radiocrafts will meet the local radio regulations.|
|AN042: Battery Operated Mesh – Theory, Benefits, and Performance Results||This application note aims to show how RIIM with its Time-Synchronized Channel Hopping (TSCH) enables battery-operated Mesh Routers. The document is organized as follows; Firstly, key benefits of using battery operated Mesh Routers are presented. Then, TSCH is explained, along with how it enables Sleep Mode in Mesh Routers, thus allowing for battery-operated Mesh Routers. Later, some of the important design guidelines are presented to help users tune key parameters in their RIIM™ network to suit their specific use-case. Lastly, performance results of battery-operated Mesh Routers are demonstrated.|
|AN040: UART Transparent Mode Using RIIM||This application note examines the operation of RIIM™ as a wireless transparent UART channel. RIIM™ is an IP based mesh supporting up to 1000 nodes in a network. The transparent mode of the network is enabled by uploading a specific ICI application (customer application) to the module. The “Transparent Mode Application” is available to download as part of the RIIM SDK (software development kit). The Transparent Mode Application is distributed as open source, and hence making adjustments and enhancements is very easy.|
|AN039: Measuring the Power Consumption of RIIM Leaf Nodes Operating in Sleep Mode||This application note demonstrates how to perform the measurements needed to verify the power consumption of RIIM Leaf Nodes operating in Sleep mode. Sleep mode allows the Leaf Node to cease all radio communications and go into deep sleep mode, to reduce power consumption. RIIM Leaf Nodes can reach very low power consumption levels when operating in Sleep mode. In average, 4.7µA can be observed when measuring current used by the module.|
|AN038: Performance of RIIM in Street Lighting Networks – Simulation Results||This application note demonstrates how Radiocrafts’ Industrial IP Mesh (RIIM™ ) is perfectly suited for street lighting applications. At the beginning of this application note, a short introduction about street lighting and an in-depth examination of one of the possible application scenarios is presented. Then, after a quick re-cap about RIIM™ , simulation results are presented which clarify how RIIM™ behaves in the use-case under examination and how such a network is expected to perform.|
|AN036: RIIM with Edge Gateways||The RIIM Network can be extended with an edge gateway and then have external cloud connection from the gateway device. In this application note, we will discuss what an edge gateway is and how to it can be implemented in the RIIM network.|
|AN035: RIIM Real Building Deployment||Lab tests of wireless networks are important, but testing a real-life large-scale system to measure and analyse how it works is even more important. In a real-life test, considerations like wall material and thickness, background noise and varying distances between devices will create a network that cannot easily be reproduced in the lab or in a simulator. To investigate the performance of RIIM in a real building, 15 nodes were distributed and deployed in the Radiocrafts office building, which is 6-story tall, 100-meter long concrete building in Oslo. This application note presents the network setup and the results measured from such a network.|
|AN034: RIIM Range – Basics and Measurement Results||Learn everything you need to know about understanding range from LoS to antenna design and more. Also read about the impressive RIIM™ range measurements conducted by Radiocrafts both in urban and LoS areas.|
|AN033: Set-up RIIM Sensors to the Cloud||This application note demonstrates how to setup a RIIM™ network and how to integrate it with an easy-to-use IoT cloud service provider. The RIIM network used in this example will consist of a sensor board and a border router board.|
|AN029: C-Programming of ICI||This application note demonstrates how easy it is to create your own application using Radiocrafts’ ICI (intelligent C-programmable I/O).|
|AN026: One Common Footprint For Many Technologies||There are many different wireless standards and technologies available to enable the internet of things (IoT). The different technologies have different pro’s and con’s depending on the use case and the end customer. Trying to keep up with the latest wireless trends can drain a company of all its resources and take attention from its core business. The solution recommended by Radiocrafts is to use a modular approach and a common RF module footprint that enables all the technologies offered by Radiocrafts without modifications to the PCB.|
|AN021: RF Module Range Calculation and Test||When selecting the right radio technology, the achievable communication range is an important factor. This document reviews how to analyse radio range based on parameters provided in the datasheets for the different module families. Some measurement results from practical range testing are also shown.|
The RIIM™ development kit is designed to make it easy for the user to evaluate the RIIM network and to run preloaded ICI application or to make a user specific ICI application with minimal time and effort.
It includes all hardware needed to run a small RIIM™ network from a PC. This allows the customer to test the network capabilities with minimum development resources needed. This is ideal for a first range test in a customer environment.
The RIIM™ development kit includes three boards with antennas, power supplies, as well as a USB cable for connection to a PC:
- A RIIM Border Router Board, a development board with an IPM module
- A RIIM Development Board (Mesh Router Board), a development board with an IPM module.
- A RIIM Sensor Board, a board with an IPM module and 7 industrial sensors.
The Development Kits come in 3 versions:
- RC1882-RIIM-DK, for regular power networks (868/915 MHz)
- RC1882HP-RIIM-DK, for high power 868 MHz networks
- RC1892HP-RIIM-DK, for high power 915 MHz networks
SOFTWARE TOOLS AND REFERENCE DESIGNS
|File type:||File name:||File description:|
|RIIM SDK||RIIM SDK, the software development kit to build custom applications on IPM modules.|
|RIIM Dashboard||RIIM SDK, the software development kit to build custom applications on IPM modules.|
|Sensor Board Reference Design v2.0||This is the second revision of the Sensor Board. Schematic and PCB documentation used for our development kits. This board is recommended to use as a reference design.|
|Development Board Reference Design||Schematic and PCB documentation used for the development board. This board is recommended to use as a reference design.|
|Border Router Board Reference Design||Schematic and PCB documentation used for our development kits. This board is recommended to use as a reference design.|
DEVELOPMENT KIT AND SOFTWARE TOOLS DOCUMENTATION
|File type:||File name:||File description:|
|RIIM-DK user Manual||This User Manual describes how to use the Development Kit for RIIM modules.|
|RIIM SDK Quick Start||RIIM Quick start guide to help the reader through installation and setup of the RIIM SDK and through the process of compiling and downloading a pre-made application in the SDK.|
|RIIM SDK User Manual||This User Manual shows you how to use the RIIM™ software development kit with application frameworks and tools for creating and uploading end applications to the RC1882CEF-IPM and RC18x2HPCF-IPM modules.|
|RIIM RIIM SDK Examples||This document describes various application examples you can actualize using the RIIM SDK.|