Semtech extends smart metering reach with WMBus over LoRa

April 10, 2015 // By Graham Prophet
Semtech now has a complete Wireless M-Bus (WMBus) over its LoRa RF software stack, tha it has sourced from Stackforce (Germany). This will simplify smart metering developments and significantly extend the range of metering deployments, which is a major challenge facing the industry today, the company has found.

Wireless M-Bus is a widely adopted European standard for the remote reading of water, gas, electricity and heat meters. The WMBus 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 WMBus protocol with LoRa technology addresses the demand for standards-based communication and improved smart meter network performance.

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

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

"We see this extension as an interesting option to increase the range for Wireless M-Bus installations without changing the well-proven higher layers,” said David Rahusen, managing director of Stackforce GmbH. “We very much appreciate the cooperation with a semiconductor supplier like Semtech to combine advanced silicon technologies with leading-edge firmware solutions. "

Stackforce GmbH is a German specialist in embedded connectivity solutions that offers services and solutions for efficient and modular, safe and secure, wireless and wired communication based on Embedded Systems. Cornerstones of the activities are embedded solutions for Wireless M-Bus Stack (EN13757-4, OMS, DSMR), 6LoWPAN and TLS1.2.