Proving the Business Case for the Internet of Things

STM and Paradox take smart city technology to Tokyo show

Steve Rogerson
June 9, 2015
Swiss companies ST Microelectronics and Paradox Engineering demonstrated wireless mesh network technologies for smart cities at last month’s Techno-Frontier show in Tokyo. Paradox designs and develops IoT-ready wireless sensor networks.
A domestic, urban or industrial environment can only be smart when devices and sensors installed in various locations or objects are part of a network that is managed coherently and cohesively. In a smart city, data coming from the various urban nodes can be used to develop services for efficient energy management, reduced environmental footprint, and improved maintenance for public infrastructure and buildings.
At the show, visitors learned how an integrated wireless sensor network platform enables monitoring, control and delivery of smart city services using Paradox Engineering's PE.Ami smart city platform and PE.Stone IoT module, connected with STM's STM32 Nucleo development boards, various X-Nucleo extension boards for motion and environmental sensing, and proximity sensor boards.
Paradox has expertise and market experience in radio and ultra-low-power design, as well as network design, set-up and management. PE.Ami is a multi-application platform for hybrid wireless, PLC narrowband and broadband full mesh networks, offering multiple off-the-shelf vertical applications for smart lighting, smart parking, smart metering, smart waste and EV-charger management. It supports IP cameras for video surveillance, traffic monitoring, public Wifi and other urban applications.
"At Techno-Frontier, Paradox Engineering and STM showcased how technology can really enable smart environments and allow integrated advanced services to be managed and delivered, connecting and controlling the objects of today and tomorrow," said Gianni Minetti, president and CEO of Paradox Engineering. "We found STM technologies to be the perfect match for our pioneering approach: our innovative technologies represent an accelerated path to make smart cities and IoT solutions come true for the benefit of everyday life of people and communities and to reduce the risk of long development cycles in a fast moving market."
PE.Stone is an integrated hardware and software module for developing high-performance and cost-effective IoT applications. It enables projects for smart cities, smart grid, energy management and wireless sensor networks for any M2M, HAN (home area network), HUMS (health usage monitoring service) and industrial-control systems. PE.Stone forms the basis of the PE.Ami platform.
Both the IPv6/6LoWPan-compliant off-the-shelf platform and module have a self-recovery function and enable robust and scalable mesh networks. They use STM's low-power 32bit microcontroller and Spirit 1, a sub-GHz wireless transceiver IC that provides high receiver sensitivity and low current consumption. The PE.Ami wireless lighting control board also contains STM's energy-metering IC for monitoring power consumption.
The Nucleo board that powered the smart city demonstration was equipped with the STM32F401 MCU, which has an optimal balance between power consumption and performance during operation, facilitating quick software and hardware development of embedded systems. STM provides the sensing and computing functions required by wireless sensor nodes by combining the Nucleo boards with an X-Nucleo extension board equipped with a MEMS accelerometer and pressure, temperature and humidity sensors, or a time-of-flight based proximity sensor board. The Nucleo and X-Nucleo boards have a ready-to-use ecosystem to enable fast development of IoT products.
"The Techno-Frontier demonstrations clearly show how STM is enabling the creation of convenient, environmentally-friendly smart city systems, capable of using and analysing huge amounts of data, in combination with Paradox Engineering's advanced wireless-communication technologies," said Marco Cassis, executive vice president and president of Japan and Korea regions for ST Microelectronics. "To make it easy for our customers to develop various types of wireless sensor nodes more quickly, STM is continuously expanding its IoT development arsenal, encompassing MCUs, sensors, communications ICs and power ICs, with both hardware and software offerings."