Proving the Business Case for the Internet of Things

Semtech building blocks aid LoRa development

Steve Rogerson
May 15, 2019

Semtech has released software building blocks to help speed up the development process for LoRa applications. Called LoRa Basics, they will be available on the California company’s LoRa Developer Portal as open source.
The impetus behind LoRa Basics is to take the common LoRaWan functions that all developers of end devices, gateways or LoRaWan-based services must implement and provide a free, supported set of open-source software that is specification compliant.
“To get LoRa-based solutions to market faster, developers can leverage Semtech’s free, supported and easy-to-use set of LoRa Basics,” said Steven Hegenderfer, senior director in Semtech’s wireless sensing and products group. “LoRa Basics is fully compliant with LoRa Alliance and allows developers as well as enterprises to rapidly develop their applications.”
The building blocks represent best practices for the implementation of LoRaWan-based technologies. Developers can then focus on developing their software, while getting their applications to market faster with less cost.
“There is a real need in the IoT market to simplify the development of IoT and speed up deployments,” said Robin Duke-Woolley, CEO of IoT analyst firm Beecham Research. “LoRa Basics is a welcome addition to the market that we believe will help to achieve this and assist developers in focusing more on new value adding opportunities.”
The first basic software building block, LoRa Basics Station, was announced earlier this year and simultaneously released on GitHub. LoRa Basics Station is a LoRaWan-based gateway packet forwarder with secure and robust data communications and remote gateway management protocols, which are equally suitable to Linux-based gateways as well as resource-constrained embedded gateways.
LoRa Basics Mac, the second basic building block, provides the firmware an end-device developer needs to get LoRaWan-based radios up and running. In addition to a fully LoRaWan-compliant protocol stack, it provides an event-driven run time with power management, timer handling and a flexible simulation environment with logical time to facilitate debugging and regression testing.
Future areas of focus for the LoRa Basics suite include firmware updates over the air, both on the end device and on the backend server, as well as data science notebooks for offline performance analytics.
“As a long-time ASIC and electronics design-service provider and a leading manufacturer of wireless IoT products and systems, Miromico has long been looking for even better tools and methods to develop new products faster, easier and more reliably,” said Marcel Wappler, head of IoT at Miromico. “Semtech's new LoRa Basics suite brings extensive improvements and much sought after functionality in one significant leap to LoRa-based nodes and gateways. LoRa Basics Mac is a very well engineered state-of-the-art generation 2.0 open source LoRaWan stack with many advantages over previous stacks.”
These, he said, included greatly improved software quality and portability, significantly reduced memory footprint, separation of bootloader and application, and new tools for simulation and automatic testing of functionality and compliance.
“This enables Miromico to bring new innovative IoT products to market faster, easier, more reliably and more cost effectively,” Wappler said.
To make accessing these tools easier, all the LoRa Basics elements will be available on the LoRa Developer Portal, which will also provide access to a suite of developer training, documentation, technical resources and community tools.