Nanotron Technologies (www.nanotron.com) goes hand in hand with a location silicon provider Decawave (www.decawave.com) to shorten time to revenue for micro-location solutions by facilitating the interoperability of tags from different vendors and leveraging field-proven location infrastructure.

Nanotron micro-location solutions
Nanotron micro-location solutions

Nanotron has put more than 500 micro-location systems into service over the past 3 years with up to 5,000 tags per deployment – most of them running 24/7 in mission-critical applications such as livestock health for dairy farms, and mine safety and productivity in underground mines worldwide.

Highly competitive location readers, also known as ‘Edge Anchors’, bring ease of deployment and scalability to location infrastructure build-outs. Edge Anchors synchronize wirelessly and function based on nanotron’s patented ‘Sea of Anchor’ time difference of arrival (TDOA) technology, thus eliminating system overhead costs normally associated with existing solutions.

Nanotron’s Edge Anchors using Decawave’s Ultra Wide Band (UWB) transceiver chips are now open for use with any tag device based on the same silicon, thanks to a new communication protocol named ‘Blink’. A sample implementation of ‘Blink’ on one of Decawave’s key products, the DWM1001 module, is publicly available at the Decawave Developer Forum and at nanotron’s website.

Thanks to ‘Blink’, customers no longer need to deal with the complexity of location infrastructure themselves, yet still retain the ability to build their own optimized tag solution. They now directly benefit from ease of deployment and scalability by being able to build their own solutions with nanotron-provided location infrastructure resulting in lower overall cost and significantly accelerated time to revenue.

Nanotron and Decawave signed an IP License and Co-operation Agreement in July 2018, targeting development of next-generation micro-location technologies. Both companies are expanding their cooperation by jointly promoting system scalability and interoperability between tags from different vendors with nanotron-provided location infrastructure utilizing the ‘Blink’ protocol. The initiative is aimed at accelerating the adoption of micro-location solutions and significantly increasing the sales volumes of tags and Edge Anchors.

Nanotron CEO Dr. Jens Albers said: “By combining any vendor’s tags with nanotron’s Edge Anchors, customers can easily rapidly deploy large systems consisting of thousands of tags. We expect to see these efforts generating significant incremental revenue.”

Decawave CEO Ciaran Connell said: “Decawave and nanotron now make it very simple for customers to scale up their systems whilst still retaining their own tag designs. Nanotron’s infrastructure has been widely-deployed and proven in the field over many years and now, as the baseline software applied to Decawave’s silicon, significantly improves ease of implementation and cuts time to market.”

Micro-location is a rapidly growing, multi-billion-dollar market, covering applications in such diverse industrial markets as manufacturing, healthcare, logistics and security. According to research firm MarketsandMarkets, the micro-location market will grow from US$14.1 billion in 2019 to US$34.1 billion by 2024 at a compound annual growth rate of more than 19%. Factors driving this high growth rate include, amongst others, inefficiency of GPS solutions in shielded indoor environments and the increasing importance of asset management across various industries.

Hordon Kim, hordon@icnweb.co.kr

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