Radiocrafts, Wavecom Team on Wireless M-Bus, ZigBee GSM/GPRS/EDGE Gateway

Radiocrafts AS and Wavecom SA announced the launch of a new GSM/GPRS/EDGE gateway for smart metering which embeds Wireless M-Bus and ZigBee, all in a very compact form factor. The Wireless M-Bus standard (EN 13757-4:2005) specifies the communication between water, gas, heat and electricity meters and concentrators, whereas ZigBee is a standard for monitoring and control applications using low power radio networking.

The unique new solution is based on Wavecom’s Fastrack Supreme, a programmable application processor with GSM/GPRS/EDGE modem capabilities. The Fastrack Supreme comes with an open-standard interface which allows developers to add supplementary I/O connectivity and features in the form of expansion cards. Radiocrafts has developed a unique expansion card for smart metering which adds Wireless M-Bus or ZigBee to the GSM/GPRS/EDGE communications function.

The solution reflects Radiocrafts’ successful business model, which is to propose size and pin compatible modules of the smallest possible size. The expansion card created with Fastrack Supreme embeds Wireless M-Bus (868 MHz) or ZigBee (2.4 GHz, including high power) on interchangeable PCBs. Both versions of the card connect via a UART serial interface to the RTOS driven host controller in the Fastrack Supreme. The gateway will enable manufacturers of smart metering solutions to develop devices operating on various RF networks with minimum design effort.

Customers can either purchase a ready-to-use expansion card from Radiocrafts, or buy only the Wireless M-Bus or ZigBee module and create their own card. All documentation required to manufacture a customized expansion card is made available by Radiocrafts. Source code for the demonstration software is available from Radiocrafts and their partner Asvito (Drammen, Norway).

The Fastrack Supreme features a powerful central processing unit with an ARM9 32 bit, 26-104 MHz core, programmable via any combination of AT commands, C and Lua. It supports Wavecom’s Intelligent Device Services which enable the remote monitoring and upgrade of meters in the field.

Hallvard Moholdt, Technical Solutions Manager at Radiocrafts, commented: “We have thoroughly enjoyed designing with the Fastrack Supreme – the concept perfectly matches our business which is all about making RF easy for our customers. The resulting product provides a very flexible and cost-effective solution for smart metering, and indeed for control and monitoring in general.”

Philippe Guillemette, Chief Technology Officer and VP Marketing at Wavecom, added: “This is exactly the kind of innovative design that the Fastrack Supreme with its open interface was created to support. We are very excited about Radiocrafts’ product, which combines our GSM/GPRS/EDGE solution with two other very successful RF technologies, and we are convinced that it will be very well received by the smart metering community.”

To find out more, visit us at Metering Europe in Amsterdam, The Netherlands from 22 to 24 September (Radiocrafts at stand no C02, Wavecom at stand no H3), or at Metering India in Mumbai, India from 14 to 16 October (Radiocrafts at stand no 303, Wavecom at stand no501).

Radiocrafts is a leading RF module design and manufacturing company. Radiocrafts’ standard RF modules provide compact, easy-to-use, low cost, low power and high performance RF solutions for a large number of wireless applications using license-free ISM bands. Using modules OEM manufacturers without RF design knowledge can easily add wireless technology into their design, reducing time-to-market, cost of design, test and compliance approvals. Radiocrafts also offers custom and application specific product development, supporting customers from initial project ideas to volume product delivery.

Wavecom is a leading provider of embedded wireless technology for M2M (machine-to-machine) communication. We provide a range of GSM/GPRS, CDMA, EDGE and 3G Wireless CPUs; programmable processors which also act as wireless modules or wireless modems. These are backed by a C and Lua-based cellular wireless software suite which includes a real-time operating system (RTOS), a software development environment based on Eclipse[tm], and several Plug-Ins (GPS, TCP/IP, security, Bluetooth[tm], Lua script and more). We also offer a wide range of professional and operated services. Our solutions are used for automotive telematics, smart metering, fleet management, GSM/GPS/satellite tracking, wireless alarms, wireless POS (point of sales), WLL (fixed voice), remote monitoring and many other M2M applications. Founded in 1993 and headquartered in Issy-les-Moulineaux (France) near Paris, Wavecom has subsidiaries in Hong Kong (PRC), Research Triangle Park, NC (USA), Farnborough (UK), Munich (Germany) and Sao Paolo (Brazil). Wavecom is publicly traded on Euronext Paris (Eurolist) in France and on the NASDAQ (WVCM) exchange in the U.S.

Asvito Communication develops advanced software solutions for embedded and industrial markets, like GSM/GPRS/EDGE gateways and custom Open AT software for the Fastrack Supreme modems, USB drivers and general software for embedded controllers.