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Machine to Machine (M2M) Communications

 

Wireless Machine to Machine Communication ( Wireless M2M )

Today, the specific algorithms at the radio level use specific protocols such as LTE and GSM/GPRS. As a result the model for Machine to Machine (M2M) has evolved into a wireless sensor network connected via a gateway to a cloud based applications and control environment. This type of system is often referred to today as an M2M system.

These systems do not necessarily have to use a wide area network modem to be called a Wireless M2M system. Many systems of this type will run WiFi, Bluetooth, 6loWPAN or Zigbee on the front end sensor network. The connection to the cloud is often wireline but can also be a wide area network modem. They are all called M2M systems.

Typical processing for wireless M2M requires extensive networking protocols including NAT, HTTP, Telnet, USB, DHCP, PPP, WIFI, Zigbee, Bluetooth and more. Using SoC processors along with industry standard APIs and off the shelf ultra tiny operating systems, OEMs can reach the market quickly with low risk. It often includes wireline elements as well, allowing the cloud based control and applications environments to communicate over the Internet while sensor based communication happens over other radio networks and/or cell modems.

 

Machine to Machine System Architecture

M2M Architecture

The diagram shows the specific application of the UNISON Operating System for sensor networks and gateway applications in the M2M world while the cloud based control/billing and applications environments link the sensors to the rest of the world.

Note that the system is completely integrated and includes the most modern security support even though it runs on tiny microcontrollers for the most part. The key features to secure these systems are discuss elsewhere; however, all key components are there including:

  • ● TLS for secure Machine to Machine application connections
  • ● IPSec for VPNs
  • ● Secure email
  • ● SNMPv3 for secure management
  • ● HTTPs for secure web pages
  • ● Secure boot to eliminate someone loading a compromised image

Machine to Machine (M2M) communications is an old and yet a new way to see the application of technologies related to communication between computers. The application has been going on for many years thus is relatively old. The new aspect is that there is a big push towards wireless connections of various types which are creating both new approaches and completely new products to deal with this shift.

Secure Sensors and Sensor Platforms

Secure Sensors

Sensors require security and the full range of security is essential for a secure system in most cases. This includes: TLS, IPSec, SSH, SFTP, Secure Boot and an encrypted file system. Along with this instant connectivity is required via Internet protocols, USB, various file transfer mechanisms like tFTP, wireless capabilities and remote field service. Zero boot time or instant on features created using efficient fast boot protocols and a user defined boot sequence are highly desirable as well. And by making this all run in a native POSIX environment means development is fast and simple and the system is easily understood.

The Unson RTOS provides all the necessary security, instant connectivity, native POSIX capabilities and zero boot time. It is off the shelf and runs in 10 minutes out of the box on standard microcontroller, microprocessor and FPGAs. Stanard development boards are supported. Management infrasturcture is also included as part of the extensive infrastructure.

 

Secure Management Infrastructure and Applications

Secure Management

Having the right infrastructure to build applications quickly and easily is very important to be able to field systems. On the server side, Secure Management Infrastructure and Applications are supported by:

  • ● Standard APIs
  • ● Secure Access
  • ● And the ability to build Custom Interfaces quickly and easily

In terms of standard protocols and APIs, the Machine to Machine (M2M) architecture offers SNMP v1, v2c and v3 along with HTTPS, HTML5/Javascript, Secure sockets, IPSec, and Secure email. Of course many of these protocols dual as security mechanisms. This includes SNMPv3, HTTPS, TLS, SSH, SFTP, IPSec (for VPNs), Remote Secure Boot (for remote field service) and the same Secure email. All of this supports the rapid customization of applications and interfaces using HTML5/Javascript for Management Billing, Application Billing, Custom Management Applications and application integration.

RoweBots focus is on delivering Machine to Machine (M2M) solutions using microcontroller and smaller microprocessor hardware, supported with either the UNISON or DSPnano Operating Systems. By providing a rich set of communications modules and supporting components off the shelf, RoweBots enables OEM developers to come up to speed quickly and eliminate delays in time to market and minimize total cost of ownership to develop lines of OEM products.

The M2M solutions offered by RoweBots include services which extend into the cloud. These services or backend cloud applications can provide the necessary links to enable the OEM products to do a variety of things including:

  • ● provide automatic updates for the field units, either automatically or under user control
  • ● provide billable servces to generate new revenue streams
  • ● stay in touch with customers, providing tips, updates and new product announcements

TTo offer an effective Machine to Machine platform, RoweBots has focused on offering a broad set of connectivity options along with ancillary components which will allow products to be delivered quickly and easily:

  • ● a mixed TCP/UDP/Ipv4/Ipv6 stack which can be optimized for specific features and size
  • ● advanced Internet protocols to provide remote communications extensions for various applications
  • ● a power safe file system as well as other file system options
  • ● system sercurity modules for remote access, secure communications and secure file transfer
  • ● other advanced modules to reduce overall system costs by combining features on a single MCU/MPU
  • ● wireless communications modules to connect to other machines and the cloud
      • GPRS
      • LTE
      • UHF
      • 802.15.4
      • 6loWPAN
      • Zigbee
      • WiFi
      • Bluetooth and Bluetooth Smart
      • GPS

By providing these off the shelf solutions which run in 10 minutes out of the box, OEM developers can minimize time to market and total cost of ownership while substantially reducing project risks. Machine to machine design has never been easier.


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RoweBots was founded in May 1987 by a group of Univer­sity researchers. From the outset, RoweBots had its roots in real-time multiprocessor software and has broadened into an embedded signal processing systems company today.

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