Dust Networks’ low power wireless sensor network technology extends Linear’s product portfolio into key growth areas such as industrial process control, data acquisition and energy harvesting. The company’s ultralow power wireless systems complements Linear’s analogue and digital sensor interface ICs, and energy harvesting power management products in applications where measurement of physical parameters has traditionally been impractical or impossible.
Erik Soule, Vice President of Signal Conditioning and High Frequency products for Linear Technology, said of the acquisition, “Dust Networks offers the lowest power radio technology and most complete networking software for building industrial-grade wireless sensor networks. Combined with Linear’s precision low-power sensor interface products and battery-free energy harvesting technology, we can now offer the industry’s highest performance remote monitoring solutions.”
With the growing importance of machine-to-machine communications to enable remote data acquisition, low power wireless sensing is an emerging solution for many end-markets, including industrial process control, building automation and data center energy management.
“Smart Dust” was first conceived by Dr. Kris Pister, founder and chief technologist of Dust Networks, as a simple way to deploy intelligent wireless sensors. Dust Networks pioneered SmartMesh networks that comprise a self-forming mesh of nodes, or “motes,” which collect and relay data, and a network manager that monitors and manages network performance and sends data to the host application. This technology is now the basis for a number of seminal networking standards. The hallmark of Dust Networks’ technology is that it combines low power, standards-based radio technology, time diversity, frequency diversity, and physical diversity—to assure reliability, scalability, wire-free power source flexibility, and ease-of-use. All motes in a SmartMesh network—even the routing nodes—are designed to run on batteries for years, allowing the ultimate flexibility in placing sensors exactly where they need to go with low cost “peel and stick” installations.
Customers range from the world’s largest industrial process automation and control providers such as GE and Emerson, to innovative, green companies such as Vigilent and Streetline Networks. Dust Networks’ technology can be found in a variety of monitoring and control solutions, including data center energy management, renewable energy, remote monitoring, and transportation.