Using wireless communication technology as a fulcrum to pry the industrial Internet market

Industrial Internet is a hot topic nowadays, and both technical personnel and investment institutions are rushing to it. The author is engaged in the chip industry, so I hope to talk about the wireless communication technology and future development opportunities related to the Industrial Internet from the perspective of chips.Industrial Internet and communication connection technology, industrial Internet is one of the seven sectors of the “new infrastructure”, and is also the core strategic deployment of the country in the new period, and also an important direction of transformation from traditional consumer Internet (To C side) to industrial Internet (To B side). The concept of Industrial Internet is very simple, essentially it is the use of advanced information technology to transform and upgrade traditional industries (not only industry) with a view to achieving efficiency and competitiveness improvement.

Industrial Internet of Things is to realize the connection of all elements of industrial production (people, machines, materials, rules, environment) through IoT connection technology, and then store and calculate data through big data and cloud computing technology to deeply explore the value of data and optimize the production process, so as to achieve efficiency and productivity improvement, cost reduction and profit growth.

Due to the different environments and application scenarios of industrial sites, multiple communication standards are needed to cover different business needs.

Industrial Internet connection technologies include wired connection and wireless communication, among which wireless communication technologies are widely used in industrial Internet because of simple deployment, powerful function, convenient use, flexible networking and large coverage area, especially the technical changes caused by the introduction of new technologies such as 5G and LoRa are the focus of this paper.

Different scenarios have different requirements for communication methods: the autonomous driving field requires low latency, so the uRLLC method of 5G is suitable; telemedicine requires large bandwidth, so the eMBB of 5G has its advantages; low-rate, high-capacity, long-distance scenarios are more suitable using various LPWAN standards, including LoRa, NB-IOT, Chirp-IoT and other technologies; for MESH networking BLE/Zigbee and other technologies can be used for higher requirements.

Let’s look at an example of a smart factory in the industrial Internet era. The following is a case study of an AGV (Automatic Guided Vehicle) cart management:

When the AGV trolley is indoors, both the AGV trolley and the shelf tag can communicate with the base station through Bluetooth AOA (Angle of Arrive) positioning technology, and the base station can calculate the specific location, and then transmit the real-time location information to the backend server. On the one hand, it can realize the positioning of the AGV trolley. On the other hand, the electronic shelf label ESL is used to display the information of specific goods, and combined with the AOA positioning technology, it can realize the unified management and positioning of materials.

The process of AGV trolley from indoor to outdoor, using 125K low frequency triggering technology, the trigger chip located inside the AGV trolley will receive the signal that triggers the activation of the base station, thus the AGV trolley will switch from Bluetooth AOA positioning to GPS positioning.

When the AGV cart is outdoors, the GPS module communicates with the satellite to obtain specific latitude and longitude information. Because the GPS module consumes high power, the gyroscope module is used to determine the movement status of the cart outdoors, and the GPS is turned off to save power when it is stationary, and the location information obtained by the GPS is turned on when it is in motion, and then the GPS is used to locate the cart through low-power long-distance communication technologies (e.g. LoRa, Chirp-IoT, etc.) to the base station.

The location information is transmitted to the base station when the AGV is indoors or outdoors, and the base station transmits it to the backend server via wired or wireless Ethernet through the router, and the backend server records the collected location information and finally presents the location information and movement trajectory of each AGV to the user.

In this case, Bluetooth AOA positioning technology, electronic shelf tag ESL, GPS positioning technology, low-power long-distance communication technology and other means are used respectively to complete the tracking and reporting of the indoor and outdoor trajectories of the target object, and the background is used to effectively manage and control the target through the cloud management software to achieve the whole process control of the industrial environment.

The application scenario determines the choice of communication methods. In this paper, we will select several classic underlying technology scenarios of industrial Internet to illustrate the requirements of communication standard. Industrial Internet and Indoor Positioning Technology.

Indoor positioning refers to the location of objects or people in indoor environments. More than 50% of future information is related to location data. According to survey data from Market&Markets, the global market for indoor positioning will grow at a compound annual growth rate of 42.0% in the coming years, and the market size is expected to expand from $7.11 billion in 2017 to $40.99 billion in 2022. Especially after the introduction of high-precision positioning system into the cell phone ecosystem by cell phone companies represented by Apple, the original TO B business model will quickly overtake to the TO C market, which will surely cause a new round of rapid market growth.

With the development of wireless communication technology, the performance indicators of positioning technology have also made great progress, and the corresponding market based on positioning technology is gradually opening. With the improvement of indoor positioning technology accuracy, indoor positioning provides very accurate location information data for retail, manufacturing, medical, robotics and other industries, becoming an important foundation for the Internet of Things era. It is undeniable that in the era of Industrial Internet, indoor positioning technology, as one of the underlying basic technologies of industrial IoT sensing network, can naturally gain greater market opportunities.

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