Semtech develops disposable LoRa IoT nano-tag
Semtech develops disposable LoRa IoT nano-tag

Semtech develops disposable LoRa IoT nano-tag

Semiconductor specialist Semtech extends its product and services reach further into IoT networking technologies with a new disposable LoRa-enabled Nano-tag for IoT.

Already known to Internet of Business for its work at the Port of Cork in Ireland, Semtech has now developed a new breed of high performance analog and mixed-signal semiconductors with ‘disposable’ characteristics.

LoRaWAN (standing for long range, wide area networking) is a protocol specification that uses unlicensed radio spectrum in the industrial, scientific and medical (ISM) bands, in order to enable communication between remote sensors and gateways connected to a network.

Semtech’s latest nano-tag reference design is a disposable, ultra-thin and low-cost device that can be integrated into disposable systems or attached to assets to communicate a specific event trigger.

Read more: Ireland set to benefit from Semtech’s LoRa IoT Network

Smart decision-making

According to the company, Semtech’s LoRa-based nano-tag is suited to deployment across numerous IoT verticals that utilize event data for ‘smart’ decision-making.

The nano-tag is equipped with an ultra-thin printed battery and is designed to be integrated into products or systems that send messages to cloud datacenters when a ‘simple’ event is detected. The LoRa-enabled reference design is said to be capable of working with existing LoRaWAN networks.

Semtech has grand designs (or at least big ambitions) for this technology; the company claims that this could enable the proliferation of completely new types of IoT applications. These would be new apps that require real-time feedback, in logistics and shipping, healthcare and pharmaceutical, asset tracking and general-purpose compliance applications, for example.

MachineQ, a Comcast Industrial IoT service, is the first company to pilot the LoRa-enabled nano-tag with interested third parties on its IoT network in Philadelphia.

“By offering lower cost, disposable LoRa-enabled tags, we can expand the current landscape of use cases for Semtech’s LoRa devices and wireless radio frequency technology and allow companies to integrate the technology to drive many more diverse IoT use cases,” said Marc Pegulu, vice president and general manager for Semtech’s Wireless and Sensing Products Group.

“We believe the number of use cases should expand rapidly as our connectivity and cloud partners start to leverage the disruptive nature of the LoRa-enabled tag,” he added.

These disposable LoRa-enabled tags will be commercially available in both flexible tape and paper substrate formats in 2018 and are currently being trialled by a number of LoRa Alliance members.

Read more: Actility launches LoRaWAN networks in Saudi Arabia and Tunisia

Disposable computing

Disposable computing is indeed now ‘a thing’ then, both in terms of hardware and software. RFID-enabled passes, name badges and other forms of identification have been around for most of the current decade if not longer.

And it is now reasonable to think in terms of short-term software functions being released as ‘disposable apps’ (an app for a special event or conference for example), especially now that it’s possible to install and delete these pieces of software so rapidly and ubiquitously on our smartphones.

Disposability in terms of both hardware and software could be a key trend for the IoT in 2018. There’s a throwaway statement for you if ever there was one.

Read more: Thin film batteries set for solid (state) growth