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M2.Com aims to set the standard for IoT sensor deployment

Steve Rogerson
March 1, 2016
 
An IoT sensor standard was revealed at Emebdded World last week by a consortium of five companies. Advantech, ARM, Bosch Sensortec, Sensiron and Texas Instruments collaborated to create the M2.Com standard.
 
The open platform for sensor and module makers aims to make IoT development more efficient.
 
“We need a new business model to enable the IoT,” said Miller Chang, vice president of Taiwan-based Advantech, which also announced the first module that complies with the standard. “But you can’t do everything alone; you need partnerships.”
 
The Wise-1520 module is based around an ARM Cortex-M4 processor made by Texas Instruments and is compatible with existing Wifi infrastructure.
 
The M2.Com sensor platform is based on a simple module design and combines general wireless connectivity with additional built-in computing power. It supports the necessary software stacks to build up IoT sensor devices.
 
“M2.Com is an IoT sensor node building block,” said Advantech’s Bernd Hacker at the launch. “You want to standardise and integrate to allow very fast deployment. It is an open platform that sensor manufacturers can connect to.”
 
There is support for multiple IoT communications protocols such as LWM2M, OSGI, AllJoyn and MQTT. Data can be acquired quickly and transformed into a suitable format defined by the cloud service providers.
 
“We want to make M2.Com a major platform for the IoT,” said Omar Elrhal from Bosch Sensortec.
 
The standard uses the type 2230 M.2 form factor with a 75-poition host interface connector. It measures 30 by 22mm and height ranges from 2.25 to 4.2mm. The pin-out includes USB, PWM, SDIO, I2C, I2S, Uart, GPIO, SPI and ADC.
 
“A standards-based industrial computing and sensor format is key to fulfil the changing demands of the IoT market,” said Zach Shelby, vice president of marketing at ARM.
 
Applications include indoor and outdoor wireless sensors and sensor nodes, wireless measuring instruments such as CO2 and PH meters, and intelligent wireless controllers that allow remote management of lighting, traffic signs and so on.
 
“Collecting data and creating wonderfully smart systems and devices will only move the IoT forward if those things are able to interoperate or communicate with one another,” said Pascal Gerner, director of product management at Sensiron. “Therefore we are proud and convinced that we are doing the right thing by defining a standard – M2.Com – to simplify the integration of sensors for IoT development.”
 
Olivier Monnier, marketing director at Texas Instruments, added: “To accelerate the change and new business opportunities created by the IoT, it’s important to have a platform that saves development time and cost with a standardised sensor interface such as M2.Com where developers can connect anything, anywhere.”