Silver Spring Networks, Inc. has extended its Internet of Things technology platform with performance enhancements to Gen5 – its fifth generation critical infrastructure networking platform. Silver Spring announced it is doubling the maximum speed of its Gen5 network to up to 2.4 Mbps, increasing computational performance by 10x, supporting simultaneous mesh communication on both 900 MHz and 2.4 GHz frequencies, integrating 4G LTE communications, and delivering simplified modularity for easier device integration. These Gen5 platform enhancements, coupled with Silver Spring’s existing multi-application, range, latency, scale, distributed intelligence, and power optimization capabilities, further enable utilities, cities and other Internet of Things (IOT) device and application providers to deliver multiple applications on a single, unified network without compromising reliability, speed, security, or cost.
Utilities, cities, and other IOT device and application providers need the performance, security, flexibility, and scalability to connect millions of devices across vast and diverse geographies with near-real time data collection and distributed intelligence at the edge.
- Throughput speeds up to 2.4 Mbps, a 2X increase in speed from previous Gen5 technology: Enables near real-time data streaming to deploy and support new applications, such as sub-one second SCADA polling, remote substation security, near real-time advanced metering, demand response telemetry, peer-to-peer and edge enhancements for distributed energy resources, distributed control, and advanced lighting.
- Over 480 Million Instructions Per Second (MIPS), a 10X increase in processing power and up to 8X more memory from Silver Spring Gen4 technology: With dual core ARM9™ and ARM7™ processors, Gen5 offers high performance connectivity for critical infrastructure IOT devices and edge intelligence applications such as distributed control for localized Conservation Voltage Reduction (CVR). Gen5 also includes a Digital Signal Processor (DSP) to help future-proof devices as the open IEEE 802.15.4g wireless interoperability standard (Wi-SUN) and other emerging IOT wireless protocols are expected to evolve.
- Increased reliability and capacity through dual-band mesh capability: Gen5 increases the reliability and capacity of the network by opening up the 2.4 GHz band. Endpoints have the flexibility to choose either 2.4 GHz or 900 MHz frequency bands on which to communicate on a link-by-link basis. Each endpoint can simultaneously use both bands.
- MicroAP 5 with 4G LTE capability: Unlike other point-to-point cellular devices, the Silver Spring MicroAP 5 can leverage cellular communications for backhaul connectivity and can use the RF mesh communications to connect with other nearby Silver Spring devices, making it ideal for dense urban environments. MicroAP 5 now includes 4G LTE capability and can be embedded in a variety of devices including meters.
- SocketAP 5: Ideal for high-rise buildings or for remote towns, the Silver Spring SocketAP 5 enables modular deployment of an IPv6 smart grid network canopy. SocketAP 5 supports ringed and ringless sockets for easy installation and line-side power use with the most common ANSI certified meter forms, creating flexibility in the installation process and use with any Silver Spring mesh-enabled electricity meter. The SocketAP 5 provides 4G LTE cellular backhaul and MicroMesh capabilities for additional coverage and performance.
Starfish – An International IPv6 Network for the Internet of Things
Silver Spring also recently announced Starfish, an international wireless IPv6 network service for the IOT. Building on Silver Spring’s global network footprint, Starfish will enable commercial enterprises, cities, utilities, and developers to access a reliable, secure, and scalable IOT network service with service level agreements (SLAs) that meet their needs.
Leveraging Gen5 technology and the 802.15.4g standard, Starfish sets a new standard for IoT networks by delivering up to 2.4 Mbps in speed, 10 millisecond latency, up to 50 miles in point-to-point range, nearly limitless mesh range, multiple network transports, and industrial-grade security, reliability, and scalability. Starfish will also provide world-class device and application management and control functions, an IoT-scale data platform, and access to one of the industry’s largest open partner ecosystems.
While many other IoT network offerings suffer from extremely limited bandwidth, are based on proprietary technology, face severe reliability and scalability challenges, and offer virtually no modern security, Starfish combines a globally proven Internet of Things networking platform with full Service Level Agreements and brings industrial-grade security to every device. As part of Starfish’s larger set of tiered service offerings, Silver Spring also introduced the Haiku™ service plan, which will deliver 5000 messages x 16 bytes per month for free, ideal for users with smaller data needs who wish to access a proven IoT service.