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A disruptive wireless transceiver chip to transform the Internet of Things (IoT) by delivering excellent range, ultra-low power, high security, high reliability and cost-effective connectivity.

Periodic Reporting for period 3 - SMARTRange (A disruptive wireless transceiver chip to transform the Internet of Things (IoT) by delivering excellent range, ultra-low power, high security, high reliability and cost-effective connectivity.)

Reporting period: 2021-12-01 to 2022-05-31

Part of the 4th Industrial Revolution, the Internet of Things (IoT) represents a global growth opportunity. In particular, tremendous socio-economic and environmental benefits through the improved automation and energy efficiency of Homes, Buildings and Industrial Plants. Most IoT applications demand devices provide the range of WiFi. In addition, devices must be standards-based, secure, globally interoperable, reliable, ultra-low power and low cost.

However, existing IoT technology is failing to meet these needs. Current 2.4GHz radios have limited range and sub-GHz radios do not give security or global interoperability. There are two ways to increase the range of radio devices: 1) increase transmit power or 2) improve the radio’s receive sensitivity. However, legislation in Europe limits transmit power to 10mW, meaning the only practical way to increase range is to improve sensitivity.

Cascoda has developed a disruptive 2.4GHz wireless transceiver based on a patent-protected radio architecture, which improves receive sensitivity, effectively doubling the range without using any external power amplifiers. This delivers the range of WiFi to provide whole-house coverage, reduces power consumption by a factor of 6 enabling years of operation from batteries, provides high security, reliability and reduces equipment costs by a factor 5. Extensive R&D and market feasibility studies including a Eureka Eurostars and a H2020 Phase 1 project, have taken us this far. This Phase 2 project will allow us to optimise, refine and certify our products under industry standards and demonstrate our systems under real-world conditions. This project enables us to enter a market worth >€3B.
After completing the Design Refinement phase, an evaluation kit for the Chili2 module incorporating Cascoda’s existing device, the CA-8211, was developed. The associated software for the module was developed, exhaustively tested and has been integrated into Cascoda’s Software Development Kit (SDK) and the module was certified for FCC/IC/EU as well as the Thread 1.1 network layer.
The ZigBee network layer and application layer compatible with the ZigBee standard was developed tested and certified. Meanwhile the OCF Application Layer was adapted and developed to run over the Thread network layer. It was comprehensively tested and is achieved OCF certification.

The development of a new device for Smart Buildings & Smart Industrial Applications, the CA-8212, was completed, manufactured and tested. This included features of the IEEE 802.15.4 2015 and Thread 1.2 specifications as well as additional power saving features. The successful manufacture of this device allowed Cascoda to generate the required datasheet and product brief, to attract customer interest. Certification of the CA-8212 to the Thread 1.2 standard was not feasible, due to delays to the Thread 1.2 standard, caused by the effect of the covid-19 pandemic on the semiconductor supply-chain.

Multiple customer instalments were made, including street lighting in a University Campus in Taipei, Taiwan, and a warehouse lighting installation in the UK. The Taiwan customer has since designed Cascoda’s Chilli module into smart parking meters, which are being used in Hong Kong, Macau and Japan.

A patent was filed relating to the use of Cascoda’s technology in sensing applications, which will bring the opportunity to use Cascoda’s technology in combination with electro-mechanical sensors.

Despite the covid-19 pandemic, the project has been a complete success, and the company is already exceeding its revenue targets by a significant margin.
The products that Cascoda has developed in this project go beyond the state of the art in that they combine highly secure, reliable and scalable technology, based on the universally supported internet protocol (IPv6). The company has achieved this by developing its SMARTRange technology and driving IoT standards, namely:

* Thread for the IP-based mesh network-layer
* Open Connectivity Foundation (OCF) for the application-layer

The combination is called OCF-over-Thread, and Cascoda is the only company in the world to have achieved this milestone. OCF-over-Thread allows for device-device and device-cloud connectivity, with Public Key Infrastructure (PKI) security for secure end-to-end connectivity. This level of security is required by the forthcoming baseline IoT security standards from the US, EU and UK. OCF has been benchmarked against these security standards and has been formally accepted as compliant. No other solution in the world supports such baseline standards.

Standards are important because adoption of IoT technology in building automation systems (BAS) demands such standards. The social economic impact are significant, since according to a recent report by Carbon Intelligence, buildings in Central London still used over 80% of their nominal energy consumption, despite being completely empty during the corona virus lock down in April and May 2020. Cascoda's technology can provide automation of such systems, and therefore significantly reduce carbon emissions, environmental pollution and work conditions.

SMARTRange has been demonstrated in a commercial environment, through an installation of 3.6km of street lights in National Taipei University in Taiwan. Further installations include smart warehouse lighting in the UK.
Chili2S PiHAT Image
Chili2 Lamp Demonstration