Platform simplifies smart metering & extends range

9th April 2015
Posted By : Nat Bowers

Semtech has introduced a complete Wireless M-Bus (WMBus) and WMBus over its LoRa RF software stack developed by STACKFORCE. The solution will simplify smart metering developments and significantly extend the range of metering deployments, which is a major challenge facing the industry today.

WMBus  is a widely adopted European standard for the remote reading of water, gas, electricity and heat meters which is also utilised in other regions around the world. The communications protocol has very little overhead and has been designed to enable very long battery lifetime. Using the WMBus protocol over the long range, low power LoRa technology significantly reduces the infrastructure cost, simplifies installation and increases the reliability of smart metering deployments. Combining the widely accepted WMBus protocol with the significant advantages of the LoRa technology solves the demand for standards-based communication and improved smart meter network performance.

The WMBus software is available in binary/object code format for Semtech’s SX1276 transceiver and ARM-based STM32 MCU. It supports the S, T, C modes (868MHz) and N mode (169MHz) from the physical layer to the application layer. Source code and other MCU core options are available through a separate license agreement.

STACKFORCE developed the sub-GHz protocol stack, which conforms to the current WMBus specification (EN13757-4), the WMBus application layer (EN13757-3) and the application layer of the Open Metering System Group. The stack has proven interoperability with other modules from leading manufacturers across different protocol layers and is optimised for MCU efficiency and scalability.

David Rahusen, Managing Director, STACKFORCE, commented: "We see this extension as an interesting option to increase the range for WMBus installations without changing the well-proven higher layers. We very much appreciate the cooperation with a semiconductor supplier like Semtech to combine advanced silicon technologies with leading-edge firmware solutions. We are looking forward to many interesting customer projects, adapting the solution to special needs."

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