IoT

Modular IoT gateway solution for smart cities and smart industries

9th November 2016
Enaie Azambuja

NXP Semiconductors unveiled a Modular IoT Gateway Solution for large node networks (LNNs) with pre-integrated, tested and RF certified support for a wide array of wireless communications protocols including Thread, ZigBee and Wi-Fi. This range of capability allows developers to easily build out gateways based on this solution, using their choice of wireless protocols for end-to-end wireless communications in LNN configurations with supporting cloud options such as Amazon Web Services (AWS).

Operators of smart commercial buildings and smart industrial environments deploying massive mesh networks need to be able to commission, control and monitor thousands of end nodes. Built on a fully-supported, open source Linux platform running on the latest i.MX processors, the robust Modular IoT Gateway addresses this demand by connecting Thread and ZigBee-based end node devices securely with the cloud through Wi-Fi or Ethernet. In addition, local intelligence enables time critical responses and operation even when cloud connectivity is not available.

“With over 15 years of experience working with demanding wireless industrial as well as automatic meter reading and automatic meter infrastructure large node network applications, we learned that network security, flexibility, interoperability, scaling and robustness are critical to LNN commercial success,” says Robert Assimiti, Co-Founder and CTO of Centero. “Consequently, for Centero's emerging innovations using Thread for LNN applications such as lighting, we are basing designs on the NXP Modular IoT Gateway Solution.”

The Modular IoT Gateway Solution addresses stringent network security requirements to protect user and system data through encrypted wireless communications which prevents unauthorised access, as well as interception, man-in-the-middle and replay attacks.

Thread-based devices are authenticated to the network through the EC-JPAKE DTLS protocol which prevents passphrases from being leaked or reverse engineered. Thread and ZigBee messages use AES encryption for base level security at their respective mesh network layers, while offering flexible support for applications to add additional end-to-end security layers.

The Modular IoT Gateway also provides access to the advanced security capabilities of the i.MX application processor, including high assurance boot (HAB), secure key storage, secure JTAG, external tamper detection for passive and active events, and internal tamper detection for voltage, glitch and differential power analysis protection. Encryption software including OpenSSL is accelerated via the Cryptographic Acceleration and Assurance Module (CAAM). Trusted Execution Environment (TEE) support is available as an NXP Professional Services Product.

Commercial installations with thousands of nodes can leverage the built-in secure NFC tap-and-connect capabilities through the gateway. Using a smart phone application, end nodes can be quickly and securely commissioned to the network, even when the device that is being installed is not powered, which is common in smart buildings and industrial, as well as smart connected cities, oil and gas fields and agriculture installations. 

NXP’s complete Modular IoT Gateway reference design includes critical building blocks for quick customisation and application deployment including production ready hardware, schematics, bill of materials and fully documented software. Designers can evaluate, develop, prototype, iterate, field test, install and maintain LNNs for commercial settings starting with the Modular IoT Gateway Solutions platform.

“The IoT revolution is driving new requirements for our customers, and pushes the limits of their design teams,” said Denis Cabrol, director of global marketing for NXP’s microcontroller business line. “With NXP’s Modular IoT Gateway, it’s possible to develop secure and connected applications within months, without the need to hire a team of connectivity and security experts.”

NXP will be demonstrating the Modular IoT Gateway with an animated ZigBee and Thread controlled Lighting Grid emulating an industrial environment at Electronica in Munich, Germany at the NXP booth located in Hall A6-107, November 8th – 11th. Featured capabilities will include: 

• LNN lighting array highlighting simultaneous real-time multicast control of ZigBee and Thread edge nodes based on NXP wireless microcontrollers
• Smart App used to control and commission LNN through the gateway
• NFC No Power network commissioning of edge nodes via Smart App and Gateway
• Modular design leveraging common radios across Gateway and Edge Nodes
• Speech recognition control through Amazon Tap to AWS cloud

NXP’s Modular IoT Gateway is available now along with supporting documentation and quick start materials. As an extension to customer development efforts, NXP offers professional support and services along with support from Volansys, NXP’s expert connectivity partner.

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