Alternative for LoRaWAN. Yes, it exists.

Introduction. What is Symphony Link

Symphony Link is a wireless LPWA (Low Power Wide Area) system developed by Link Labs to overcome limitations of the LoRaWAN system, such as limited capacity. As the number of devices on the network increases, the network's performance may suffer, also not be enough level of security for some types of applications. 

 It is built on LoRa CSS physical layer technology. It is based on a patented technology called Symphony Link Spread Spectrum (SLSS), which is optimized for IoT applications.

Following are the features of Symphony Link technology:

  • It is the standard protocol developed by Link Labs targeted to meet the LoRa range with higher performance;
  • Protocol used is Synchronous, unlike ALOHA;
  • It uses a channel size of 125 kHz;
  • It offers a high sensitivity of about -137 dBm;
  • It uses both unlicensed and licensed frequency spectrum from 902-928 MHz in the US, and 863-870 MHz in Europe;
  • It operates without the network server. The devices communicate using a low-power, wide-area network (LPWAN) protocol. Unlike traditional network server-based communication protocols, Symphony Link devices do not rely on a centralized server to communicate with each other;

Symphony Link devices use a technique called Direct Sequence Spread Spectrum (DSSS) to establish communication. DSSS is a technique that allows multiple devices to share the same frequency channel by spreading the signal over a wide range of frequencies. Each device in the network has a unique "chirp" pattern that allows it to communicate with other devices in the network without interfering with other signals.

  • Symphony Link gateway is an 8 channel sub-GHz base station;
  • The platform also includes features such as over-the-air (OTA) firmware updates, remote device management, and support for multiple application protocols.

Symphony Link is designed to support a wide range of IoT applications, including industrial automation, smart cities, agriculture, asset tracking, and environmental monitoring. The platform is highly scalable and can support networks with thousands or even millions of devices, making it a popular choice for large-scale IoT deployments. 

Let’s have a look at the main advantages this protocol has.

Advantages of Symphony Link:

  • Long-range connectivity: Symphony Link is optimized for long-range communication and can provide connectivity over several kilometers, even in harsh environments;
  • Low-power consumption: Symphony Link uses a low-power wireless technology that enables IoT devices to operate on battery power for several years, reducing maintenance costs and enabling remote and mobile deployments;
  • High reliability: Symphony Link uses a robust and reliable communication protocol that can withstand interference, noise, and other sources of signal degradation, ensuring high data transmission rates and low packet loss;
  • Secure communication: Symphony Link uses advanced encryption and authentication mechanisms to secure communication between devices and gateways, protecting sensitive data and ensuring compliance with privacy and security regulations;
  • Scalability: Symphony Link uses a unique MAC layer protocol, called the Symphony Link Protocol (SLP), that enables highly scalable networks by dynamically managing each device's bandwidth and time-slot allocation. This allows Symphony Link to support thousands of devices on a single network without compromising network performance; 
  • Flexibility: Symphony Link supports multiple application protocols, including MQTT, CoAP, and HTTP, allowing developers to choose the protocol that best suits their needs.

As it was mentioned above, the Symphony link was created to overcome the limitations of the LoRaWAN system. Let’s compare these two protocols to be sure the target was achieved.


Comparison Symphony Link and LoRaWAN

  • Symphony Link and LoRaWAN are wireless communication protocols designed for Internet of Things (IoT) applications requiring long-range, low-power, and reliable connectivity. While they share many similarities, let’s have a look at the differences.
  • High-density environments: Symphony Link is designed to work in high-density environments where multiple devices compete for wireless connectivity. It uses a protocol that can handle a higher volume of data and connections, making it more suitable for applications with many IoT devices in a small area.

LoRaWAN is also a low-power, wide-area network (LPWAN) protocol that can operate in high-density environments with multiple devices competing for wireless connectivity. However, LoRaWAN uses a form of Chirp Spread Spectrum (CSS). 

Both modulation techniques are designed to allow multiple devices to share the same frequency channel, but they use different methods to achieve this.

Security: Symphony Link provides advanced security features, including end-to-end encryption, authentication, and access control, which make it more secure than LoRaWAN (LoRaWAN uses AES encryption). It is suitable for applications that require high levels of security, such as financial transactions or healthcare applications. 

  • Scalability: Symphony Link is designed to support networks with thousands or even millions of devices, making it a good choice for large-scale IoT deployments. In contrast, LoRaWAN is typically used in smaller-scale networks.
  • Integration: Symphony Link supports a range of application protocols, including MQTT, CoAP, and HTTP, making it easier to integrate with existing systems and platforms. LoRaWAN has a more limited range of application protocols.

In summary, Symphony Link may be preferred over LoRaWAN in applications that require high-density connectivity, advanced security features, scalability, interference reduction, or integration with existing systems and platforms. However, the choice of the protocol will ultimately depend on the specific requirements of the application and the available resources.

For an unbiased opinion, it is impossible not to mention the weakness.


The followings are the drawbacks or disadvantages of Symphony Link:

  • It requires LoRa chipsets and symphony link software which adds dependency. If a system is designed to use the Symphony Link protocol, it will depend on the Symphony Link software and hardware components. Because the devices used in the system will need to be compatible with the Symphony Link protocol and will require the Symphony Link software to operate.

Meanwhile, LoRaWAN devices can communicate with LoRaWAN gateways from different manufacturers, providing a high degree of interoperability and flexibility.

  • It is being used by a small community of users.

In general, Symphony Link as the LoRaWAN competitor, is worthy; however, it is less popular than LoRaWAN.

LoRaWAN is an open standard maintained by the LoRa Alliance. This means that LoRaWAN has a larger ecosystem of devices and vendors that support the protocol, while Symphony Link is more tightly controlled by a single vendor (Link Labs).

LoRaWAN has been available for several years and has achieved a high level of market penetration in many countries. In contrast, Symphony Link is a relatively new technology and has yet to be as widely adopted. This can make it more difficult for developers and businesses to find components and devices that are compatible with Symphony Link, which can limit its popularity.

LoRaWAN has a well-established ecosystem, a larger community of developers, and is more widely adopted, making it a popular choice for many IoT applications.

Overall, Symphony Link has its strengths and advantages, but its popularity and adoption are still growing, and it may take time for it to become as widely adopted as LoRaWAN.

Inmost eager  to check all advantages of Symphony Link in practice and make our contribution to the popularity of this promising protocol.


LoRaWAN leading technology in the LPWA space

Last week IoT Solutions World Congress was held in Barcelona, and the booth with the most quantity of IoT devices was the stand with LoRaWAN devices. It's imposing. Let's know why LoRaWAN is so famous for IoT.


IoT Glossary Definition

LoRaWAN is an abbreviation for Long Range Wide Area Network. It's a type of Low Power Wide Area Network (LPWAN) that uses open-source technology and transmits over unlicensed frequency bands. LoRaWAN was designed for the Internet of Things (IoT) technology and provided a far more extended range than Wi-Fi or Bluetooth connections. It works well indoors and is especially valuable for applications in remote areas where cellular networks have poor coverage.


The difference between LoRa and LoRaWAN

It's not uncommon to hear LoRa and LoRaWAN used interchangeably, but they're two different things.

LoRa (Long Range) is an LPWAN protocol that defines the physical layer of a network. It's a proprietary technology owned by Semtech (a chip manufacturer) that uses Chirp Spread Spectrum to convert Radio Frequencies into bits so they can be transported through a network. LoRa is one of the technologies that make LoRaWAN possible, but it's not limited to LoRaWAN, and it's not the same thing.

LoRaWAN (Long Range Wide Area Network) is an upper-layer protocol that defines the network's communication and architecture. More specifically, it's a Medium Access Control (MAC) layer protocol with some Network Layer components. It uses LoRa, explicitly referring to the network and how data transmissions travel through it.


The main characteristics

LoRaWAN has two key characteristics that make the technology particularly suitable for specific IoT markets. 

Firstly, it is an LPWA technology meaning that LoRaWAN-connected devices can be battery-powered with battery lives of potentially several years. Also, LoRaWAN networks have the potential to be deployed as wide-area public networks, much as cellular networks are currently deployed today. 

Secondly, LoRaWAN operates in the licence-exempt spectrum, meaning that an end-user or network provider does not need to procure radio spectrum before deploying a network. These characteristics make for cheap and easy network deployment to provide connectivity for battery-powered sensing or actuating devices that can potentially operate for years with minimal maintenance requirements. The trade-off for this flexibility lies in LoRaWAN's limited data rates, which are much lower than today's cellular technologies but are often perfectly adequate for IoT devices. 


LoRaWAN Classes A, B, & C

LoRaWAN has three classes that operate simultaneously. 

Class A is purely asynchronous, which we call a pure ALOHA system. This means the end nodes don't wait for a particular time to speak to the gateway—they simply transmit whenever they need to and lie dormant until then. If you have a perfectly coordinated system over eight channels, you could fill every time slot with a message. As soon as one node completes its transmission, another starts immediately. Without any communication gaps, the theoretical maximum capacity of a pure aloha network is about 18.4% of this maximum. This capacity is due to collisions. Two nodes will collide if they transmit at the same frequency channel with the same radio settings.

Class B systems work with battery-powered nodes. Every 128 seconds, the gateway transmits a beacon. (See the time slots across the top of the diagram.) All LoRaWAN base stations simultaneously transmit beacon messages at one pulse-per-second (1PPS). Every GPS satellite in orbit transmits a message at the beginning of every second, allowing time to be synchronized worldwide. All Class B nodes are assigned a time slot within the 128-second cycle and are told when to listen. You can, for instance, tell a node to listen to every tenth-time slot, and when this comes up, it allows for a downlink message to be transmitted (see above diagram).

Class C allows nodes to listen constantly and send downlink messages anytime. This system is used primarily for AC-powered applications because it takes a lot of energy to keep a node actively running.


Where to use

LoRaWAN networks have been deployed as wide-area private networks, notably to support applications such as smart metering and public space lighting, including street lighting. Deployment of networks for street lighting, in particular, can unlock new opportunities for smart streets.

Some companies have ambitious plans to deploy LoRaWAN as a wide-area public network technology that is rapidly gaining momentum. In this context, it is worth calling out three companies: Everynet, Helium, and Senet. Recently, Everynet has pursued a strategy to roll out such networks, starting in Brazil and following with the USA and Indonesia. The company's networks cover more than 50% of the population of Brazil and more than 40% of the population of the USA, and Everynet will enhance this baseline coverage according to customer demand. The following priorities include several larger European countries.

Meanwhile, Helium claims to offer the largest LoRaWAN network in the world. Hotspots or access points can be deployed by any individual or business and offer coverage as part of the Helium network in return for payment, enabled and administered using distributed ledger - Blockchain - technology. Currently, the Helium network is comprised of around 850,000 LoRaWAN hotspots. Senet positions itself as a carrier-grade network provider and has a two-way roaming agreement with Helium. Senet itself, in September 2022, announced that it had expanded the build-out of its public LoRaWAN network across all five boroughs of New York City.


Forecast for LoRaWAN applying

According to the forecast, by 2030, there will be 6.9 billion wide-area wireless IoT connections, of which 36% will be traditional cellular technologies, while 4.4 billion will be LPWA technologies.

Utilizing the power of LoRaWAN can solve a mix of connectivity challenges for things such as sensors and metering across industries, including smart cities, fleets, automotive, agriculture and industrial.

LoRaWAN is ideally suited for deployment as a campus area network in agricultural contexts, in support of devices ranging from soil-moisture sensors to temperature sensors in greenhouses and from storage tank level monitoring to enabling remotely controlled irrigation systems. In other enterprise contexts, the technology is well-suited to monitor various assets' location and condition, enabling building automation solutions and many other applications.

One of the key scenarios includes deploying networks to support inventory management and monitoring, including stock level monitoring and warehouse management systems which can reduce the load on warehouse employees, freeing them up for other higher-skilled tasks. 

Significant benefits can be gained from monitoring chillers and refrigerators in retail, hospitality, medical and warehouse contexts. In all these cases, a simple LoRaWAN temperature sensor connected to a private network can provide regular temperature readings and help ensure that refrigeration units are maintaining correct temperatures, reducing spoilage and waste.



LoRaWAN is fine if you want to build on carrier-owned and operated public networks. Service providers like to compete in this space, so many choices exist. And for simple applications, where you don't have a lot of nodes and don't need a lot of acknowledgement, LoRaWAN works. But if your needs are more complex, you will inevitably hit serious roadblocks. Many LoRaWAN users have not experienced those roadblocks because their networks are still relatively small. Try using LoRaWAN to operate a public network with thousands of users doing different things, and the difficulties will most certainly skyrocket.

Also, developing and deploying a system around LoRaWAN is a complex process. It is an excellent misapprehension to think that LoRaWAN "works out of the box" like some Wi-Fi or cellular modems might. You will want to be sure you understand all the architecture and have a good grasp of how the system works before you decide it's the best route for you.



Symphony Link is an alternative LoRa protocol stack developed by Link Labs. To address the limitations of LoRaWAN and provide the advanced functionality that most organizations need, we built our software on top of Semtech's chips.

Let's discuss it next time.


Does it really Matter?

The Matter is the communication standard for Smart Home.



Initially, it was named Project Connected Home over IP (CHIP).  

Announced on 18 December 2019, Chip aims to reduce fragmentation across different vendors, and achieve interoperability among smart home devices and Internet of things (IoT) platforms from various providers. 

In May 2021, the Zigbee Alliance changed its name to the Connectivity Standards Alliance and rebranded Project Chip to Matter. 

It had been promoted past several years due to considerable ecosystem players, including Apple, Google, Samsung, IKEA, Signify, and more.


What іs the reason of finding a single standard?  

The reason is a mishmash of incompatible brands and devices. Hubs, communication protocols, and smart assistants operate only within their unique ecosystems. This "walled garden" limitation forces consumers to surround themselves with devices that work only within a singular ecosystem or face compatibility issues.



The standard is based on Internet Protocol (IP) and works through one or several compatible border routers, which avoids using multiple proprietary hubs. 

Matter makes it easier for device manufacturers to build devices that are compatible with smart home and voice services such as Amazon’s Alexa, Apple’s Siri, Google’s Assistant, and others. The first specification release of the Matter protocol will run on Wi-Fi and Thread network layers and use Bluetooth Low Energy for commissioning.



Most smart home brands have promised support for Matter. The list includes Amazon, Apple, Aqara (Lumi), Arlo Technologies, Belkin Wemo, Comcast, Eve Systems, Ikea, GE Lighting, Google, Infineon, Leedarson, LG Electronics, Mui Lab, Nanoleaf, Nordic Semiconductor, NXP Semiconductors, Philips Hue, Qorvo, Samsung SmartThings, Schlage (Allegion), Sengled, Texas Instruments, Tuya Smart, Universal Electronics, and Veea.

Samsung has also been active in bringing Matter to life. They launched Matter functionality via its SmartThings hubs and Android app. Matter devices are managed by one app instead of multiple apps from different device manufacturers.

Philips Hue announced that its Hue Bridge, a smart lighting hub, is Matter certified. The company has promised to make all but two of its new and existing smart lights and accessories compatible with Matter via a software update to the Hue Bridge in the first quarter of 2023. The two exceptions are the Hue Play HDMI sync box and the dial of the Hue Tap Dial Switch, both are not supported by the current version of Matter.


What CSA ( Connectivity Standards alliance) brings:

For consumers:

  • Simple process of selecting smart home devices;
  • No need to worry about compatibility even if devices are from disparate ecosystems;
  • More choice and a much more comprehensive selection to build a perfect smart home.

For retailers:

  • No need to seek out products from only individual ecosystems;
  • As a result, more potential customers and more profit.

For manufacturers:

  • Matter promises more innovation and less time to market;
  • The open-source nature of the standard's internet protocol focuses on streamlining the development of products. As a result, more compatible devices.


Forecast for Matter

Matter is still in development. It is also difficult to speculate on the impact of the standard in the future.

Therefore for now all above mentioned can be considered as predictions.

However, as such Big Fishes as Apple, Google, and Amazon are in the game, the probability that it can come true is rather high.


Everything you want to know about Z-Wave

When it comes to wireless technology, you’ve probably known all about Bluetooth and Wi-Fi, but what about Z-Wave?

History of Z-Wave

Z-wave was first founded by the two Danish engineers of a start-up company named, Zensys. Their actual motive was to build something to automate homes, but this later turned out to be a protocol implemented by many companies all over the world.

Later in 2008, it was acquired by Sigma Designs. After seeing the potential of this technology, many other companies also joined the alliance, which is formerly known as Z-Wave Alliance.

What is Z Wave ?

Z-Wave is the leading wireless technology behind many of the secure, trusted brands that are working to make everyone’s home smarter and safer. This technology is used to power sensors, modules, plugs, remotes, and many more smart devices. With Z-Wave, smart home products can communicate with each other no matter what brand or platform they are built on using a central smart hub.

Z-Wave briefly

  • Wireless tech designed for home automation;
  • Popular alternative to Zigbee, Matter, Wi-Fi & Bluetooth;
  • Uses European (868 Mhz), North American (908 Mhz), India (865.2 Mhz), China (868.4 Mhz);
  • Standardized wireless protocol, devices from various manufacturers can talk to each other;
  • Uses mesh networking, providing a self-healing connection;
  • Long-range, especially combined with the mesh network;
  • Extra layer of security with encryption;
  • Low power usage & long battery life;
  • Premium technology at a premium price;
  • Requires a Z-Wave hub.


Communication protocol

Z-Wave is a close standard protocol used on mesh networks for wireless communication between intelligent devices at home, offices, and other places. 

This protocol supports communication between devices in a closed network. This means that one cannot access the governing code of Z-Wave publicly. It prevents the code from being altered by anyone. It also implies that every Z-Wave device has a unique ID that gives it access to any Z-Wave remote. This closed structure is the core of the Z-Wave protocol as it assures effective interoperability and security.

The Z-Wave protocol uses a radio-wave frequency or signal communication between appliances. Specifically, the protocol supports communication with at most 232 devices using 908.2MHz frequency. Communication between devices can be successful within 50m of distance. These features make Z-Wave a compelling option for Internet of Things (IoT) home automation applications. Meanwhile, for hospitals, malls, offices and any other buildings with large areas, it is better to use Zigbee.


Security plays a vital role in determining what network structure to use.

Z-Wave uses the same protocol as Zigbee - the AES128 standard of encryption for information security and has made it a mandatory benchmark for certification. AES128 is a trusted security standard that online banks and government agencies use. However, the Z-Wave protocol has an extra layer of security. Security 2 (S2) layer is also tagged as mandatory for every device that needs Z-Wave certification. This layer protects smart devices from being used in a DDOS attack.

Z-Wave Plus

So what’s the difference between the Plus and non-Plus versions of Z-Wave? The addition of ‘Plus’ means the device contains a newer generation of the technology - 500 series chip that takes advantage of the Z-Wave hardware platform, also known as Next Gen or Gen5. Z-Wave Plus certified products feature a high level of compatibility and security that enhance your experience with extended features, faster and easier installation and setup. Z-Wave Plus products have longer battery life, operate faster, an increased wireless range and improved noise immunity. The Plus range can also pair with each other with an extra layer of security, making it even harder for people to snoop in on your sensors and switches. 

The regular Z-Wave devices and the Plus ones can seamlessly work together, so you never have to worry about that.

What is Z-Wave compatible with

Samsung SmartThings, Fibaro smart sensors, GE Appliances, LG SmartThinq, and many others. It cannot connect a massive number of devices altogether. The number of devices that can be connected is limited and the hops as well. The Z-Wave protocols and their devices are much slower when compared with the Zigbee protocol and its devices.


Z-Wave is a powerful, energy-efficient and premium smart home technology. It has significant advantages over Bluetooth and it offers better battery life than Wi-Fi-based devices.

At the same time, Z-Wave is not a one-size-fits-all solution. It’s low-power, and thus not suitable for high-bandwidth appliances like wireless speakers. At the moment, the technology leads the market when it comes to sensors, whereas smart lights are more likely to support Zigbee or Wi-Fi, or the upcoming Matter technology (we will speak about Matter next time). It is ideal for users with basic understanding of technology.



According to Statista the quantity of IoT devices is about 43 billion now.

And by 2025, 75 billion IoT devices are predicted to be online and Statista predicts that rather a lot of those devices will be in areas that lack a standard connection.

The future of IoT will be built through open networks and collaboration. Until the future has not come, let's discuss the variants of connection for nowadays.

I think there is no need to mention BLE, Wi-Fi, or 5G. There is no competition between these networks – rather, they are complementary.

Let’s speak about Zigbee. What is this technology different from above mentioned?

Zigbee and "what it is eaten with"

Zigbee is a standards-based wireless technology developed as an open global market connectivity standard to address the unique needs of low-cost, low-power wireless IoT data networks. The Zigbee connectivity standard operates on the IEEE 802.15.4 physical board radio specification and operates in unlicensed radio bands including 2.4 GHz, 900 MHz and 868 MHz.

Specifications of Zigbee

The Zigbee specifications, which are maintained and updated by the Zigbee Alliance, boost the IEEE 802.15.4 standard by adding network and security layers in addition to an application framework.
In theory, it enables the mixing of implementations from different manufacturers, but in practice, Zigbee products have been extended and customized by vendors and, thus, plagued by interoperability issues. In contrast to Wi-Fi networks used to connect endpoints to high-speed networks, Zigbee supports much lower data rates and uses a mesh networking protocol to avoid hub devices and create a self-healing architecture.

There are three Zigbee specifications: Zigbee PRO, Zigbee RF4CE and Zigbee IP.

Zigbee PRO aims to provide the foundation for IoT with features to support low-cost, highly reliable networks for device-to-device communication. Zigbee PRO also offers Green Power, a new feature that supports energy harvesting or self-powered devices that don't require batteries or AC power supply.

Zigbee RF4CE is designed for simple, two-way device-to-device control applications that don't need the full-featured mesh networking functionalities offered by the Zigbee specification.

Zigbee IP optimizes the standard for IPv6-based full wireless mesh networks, offering internet connections to control low-power, low-cost devices.

Mesh network

Mesh networks are decentralized in nature. It’s flexible, reliable and expandable - End Node, Router or Coordinator, where nodes can communicate peer-to-peer for high speed direct communication, or node to Gateway.

Zigbee and Z-wave are two well-known mesh networking technologies. In a mesh network, nodes are interconnected with other nodes so that multiple pathways connect each node. Connections between nodes are dynamically updated and optimized through sophisticated, built-in mesh routing tables.


Zigbee is inherently secure. It provides options for authentication and data encryption. Zigbee uses 128-bit AES encryption keys, similarly to its primary competitor, Z-Wave (all pros and cons of Z-wave will be considered in the next article).
This plus short-range signals make Zigbee secure. However, most home automation protocols have similar levels of security when you configure them properly. 

Power consumption

Power consumption for Zigbee is comparable with BLE. However, the proven, routed mesh mechanism adopted in Zigbee makes it slightly more power efficient.

What Is Zigbee Compatible With?

The devices are controlled by Samsung SmartThings and Zigbee. Amazon Echo Dot,  Philips Hue, IKEA Tradfri. Hive Active Heating is a device that uses natural gas and has accessories. Honeywell manufactures a variety of thermostat products.

Conclusion. Why choose Zigbee?

Comparing Zigbee with existing variants of connections, it’s obvious that Zigbee offers multiple advantages over Bluetooth.

For example, BLE works best for smaller size packets (i.e. less than 12 bytes). For smaller size (less than 12 bytes), its comparable to Zigbee but as packets size starts increasing BLE higher layers do the fragmentation and cause latency to increase.

However, BLE has a cost advantage over Zigbee. BLE mesh has a bigger eco system and uses the same BLE chipset used in other applications, therefore high scale production of BLE chipsets pulls down the cost of IC compared to Zigbee.

Need of gateway device for Zigbee further increases the cost of the overall system. BLE based systems can provide limited functionality (everything except full-fledged internet connectivity) without a gateway as well. In addition, licensing of Zigbee is more expensive and complex than BLE.

Meanwhile, Zigbee is more cost-effective and uses significantly less energy than Wi-Fi, resulting in better battery life. To speak about another “rival” LoRaWAN, it’s significantly cheaper than Zigbee and  they are close by some characteristics.

And if you are looking for a cheap and  long battery life sensing project, where no real-time, control or automation requirements are anticipated and slower poll-rates are suitable, then LoRaWAN is a good contender and is a good choice for many entry-level sensing applications.
But, if it is necessary to control automation or faster poll rates, it’s better to step up to Zigbee. As it was mentioned Z-Wave will be considered next time.

Where to use?

The Zigbee wireless communication system is used by homes, businesses, and other locations to communicate.
Zigbee can transmit data over a long distance, which is sufficient for most applications. Zigbee is a clear winner for industrial applications that require reliability, real-time monitoring, control or automation and this protocol is highly under-rated for low power sensing.



NVIDIA chipsets for IoT

We have already discussed the chipsets we worked with in one of our projects with static IoT devices. Now time is coming to know more about chipsets for moving IoT devices.  So, NVIDIA chipsets why the Customer gave his heart to it. 

NVIDIA boards became famous and got a reputation among gamers and graphics designers (GeForce series) a time ago, and now NVIDIA has Jetson series.

The first board was the TX1 released in November, 2015.  Now NVIDIA has released the more powerful and power-efficient Jetson TX2 board.

The Jetson boards are siblings to NVIDIA’s Drive PX boards for autonomous driving and the TX2 shares the same Tegra “Parker” silicon as the Drive PX2.

There are many synergies between the two families as both can be used to add local machine learning to transportation. The Drive PX boards are designed for automotive with extended temperature ranges and high reliability requirements. The Jetson boards are optimized for compact enclosures and battery power for smaller, portable equipment.

With devices such as robots, drones, 360 cameras, medical, etc., Jetson can be used for “edge” machine learning.  The ability to process data locally and with limited power is useful when connectivity bandwidth is limited or spotty (like in remote locations), latency is critical (real-time control), or where privacy and security is a concern.

Another innovative solution from NVIDIA - Jetson Nano.

Jetson Nano development board is also a powerful small artificial smart computer, which only needs to insert a MicroSD card with a system image to start, built-in SOC system-level chip, can have a parallel hand, such as Tensorflow, Pytorch, Caffe / Caffe2, Keras, MXNET and other neural networks that can be used to achieve functionality such as image class, target detection, speech segmentation, and intelligent analysis. Usually used to build autonomous robots and complex artificial intelligence systems.

The Customer had chosen this chip for his moving device, because it was extremely important to detect obstacles and define direction. All the tasks were covered by the chipset functionality rather successfully.

You may ask why not to choose Raspberry Pi  all the more reasonably priced by the way.

Raspberry was considered as an alternative. In fact, they are actually very similar in primary functions, and all can develop some special functions, such as ARM processors, 4GB RAM, and a series of peripherals.

As for video-out: the Nano has both HDMI 2.0 and DisplayPort available, which can be used at the same time. The Pi is limited to either its HDMI port or its proprietary display interface, which as far as we at Inmost know cannot be used simultaneously.

They both have multiple ways of interfacing, including I2C, I2S, serial, and GPIO, but we also appreciate that the Nano has USB3.0 and Gigabit Ethernet.

However the biggest difference is that the Raspberry Pi has a low power VideoCore multimedia processor, and Jetson Nona contains higher performance, more powerful GPUs (graphics processors), which makes it support some functions that Raspberry Pi Can't do. Then Jeston Nona makes some more depth developments possible and has more potential in development.

For our customer's project, fast processing of video from the camera is the number one task, so it was clearly decided to use Jetson Nano to solve this problem.

The NVIDIA Jetson system is high performance and power-efficient, making it one of the best and most popular platforms for building machines based on AI on the edge (Edge Machine Learning).

ESP32 Overview

IoT hardware is at the heart of every connected project. 

However, choosing the IoT hardware exact for your project can be overwhelming due to the sheer number of development boards and modules in the space. 

In our practice we ruled by the Customer choice. 

However doubtlessly, it is useful to know more about the board's specifications and possibilities. 

The one of the chipset we worked with in our projects is ESP32 by Espressif Systems.

Espressif is a fabless semiconductor company that develops Wi-Fi and Bluetooth low-power IoT hardware solutions. 

They are most well-known for their ESP8266 and ESP32 series of chips, modules, and development boards. 

In fact, many development boards across the industry run on Espressif chips (like Sparkfun’s development kits).

Espressif development boards are designed for simple prototyping and interfacing but can be used as a simple proof of concept or enterprise solution. Espressif also offers several software solutions designed to help you manage devices around your home and integrate wireless connectivity into products. Some of the IoT development boards they offer are:

2.4 GHz Wi-Fi & BT/BLE Development Boards  —  These boards provide PC connectivity, 5V/GND header pins, or 3V3/GND header pins ESP-IDF source code and example applications. These boards support everything from image transmission, voice recognition and come with a variety of possible features, such as onboard LCD, JTAG, camera header, RGB LEDs, etc.

2.4 GHz Wi-Fi Development Boards  —  Standard set of development boards that integrate the commonly-used peripherals.

As was mentioned you can surely use ESP32 for prototyping/establishing Proof of Concept (PoC). If you need to use several devices, ESP32 is perfect for your app.

One of the major advantages of ESP32 is the presence of inbuilt WiFi and Bluetooth stacks and hardware. 

Therefore, ESP32 will be your choice of microcontroller in a static application where good WiFi connectivity is guaranteed, say an heating equipment monitoring application in, say, a static appliance. The presence of WiFi stack on the module itself means you will have saved money on an additional networking module. 

However, if you use ESP32 in an asset tracking application, where it keeps moving around, you will have to rely on a GSM or LTE module for connectivity to the server (because you will not be guaranteed WiFi availability). In such a scenario, ESP32 loses the competitive advantage. We will discuss a more suitable board for moving devices next time.

To recap, ESP32 has specs that are good enough to accommodate most of your applications. When scaling up production, you need to just make sure that the specs are not too much for you.

In other words, if you can get the desired output with modest specs, you may be better off using a cheaper microcontroller and save money. These savings become significant when your production numbers increase by orders of magnitude.

However, production aside, ESP32 is definitely the ideal microcontroller for prototyping and establishing the PoC. That was the reason, why our customer preferred this board for his prototype.



Tips for successful development process for IoT team

Many sources describe the challenges and failures dealt with by the companies launching IoT projects. 

In this article, I would like to look into this aspect from the perspective of IoT app developers. 

According to the surveys taken by our IoT team that participated in IoT solutions development, we have faced the following issues that we will definitely take into account in the upcoming projects and that may be helpful to other developers:


Communication is the main factor of our teamwork. In the case of IoT project, it implies not only communication between teammates but communication and correct connection between IoT device and application.

It means that in the process of development, it’s extremely important for the development team to have an IoT device on hand. The IoT device is a must-have for the development team.


No other projects demand collaboration between various teams with a specific expertise. It's an absolutely reasonable approach because it’s impossible to have a satisfying level of expertise in each demanded technology. So, managing IoT project requires virtuoso communication and a clear understanding of which division is responsible for what, as well as a clear understanding of the tasks for each stage and each link in the chain with a clearly defined result of the work.

Project Business Goals

Thus, even in the MVP stage it is extremely important to understand business goals of your project. The main goal of the Internet of Things is to solve a business problem, but not to surprise techno geeks with a cool idea. You just need to concentrate on the problem, and the technology will follow. A clear idea will enable the whole team to find better solutions and build development processes.

Apps for Clients

And one of the most important points for the app development team - the Customer often thinks more about connected devices than about the application itself.

However, it is the application and data that create demand for connected devices, but not vice versa. It’s important to remember that even a tiny IoT project can unveil significant business opportunities. 

But one of the strongest indicators of IoT maturity is the use of analytics. Adding analytics revolutionizes the project. When you analyze IoT data, you get information that can be used to achieve business goals and objectives. So, don't miss out on opportunities on your way.

The issue of security is so obvious to everyone that it’s not even worth being mentioned.

So, let’s make IoT development processes a happy way for incredible results.