embeNET Node library

Networking stack for deeply embedded devices

The embeNET networking stack implements Low-Power and Lossy Network (LLN) communication that runs on various resource constrained devices. We support 2.4 GHz and subGHz bands. Appropriate operating band can be chosen depending on your requirements. The usage of popular modulation schemes within PHY layers makes it possible to use popular and low-cost radio transceivers which significantly reduces the overall product cost. The whole process of joining nodes to the network, routing and topology reconfiguration takes place automatically. The highest stack layer which is designed to cooperate with your application is based on the well-known UDP transport layer. As a result communication between applications takes place via addressable sockets which is a mature and well-regarded technology.

MAC and PHY layers in the embeNET stack are implemented in conformance with IEEE802.15.4e-TSCH standard. It is a proven technology dedicated for industrial deployments, giving high quality and robust connectivity even in harsh environmental conditions. Furthermore, networked devices can run for years being battery powered.

Overview of applied techniques:

  • Time Slotted – devices work in a synchronous way. Each device follows a common time domain, which allows massive and synchronized triggering of application activities. Every device has own time-frequency slots to communicate with its neighbors, which minimizes channel congestion and makes the radio devices active only for a short period of time. Low duty cycle and scheduled transmission allows to achieve high energy effectivity and scalability within the wireless network.
  • Channel Hopping – our network exploits a wide frequency range distributed into a large number of channels. For every communication event channels are chosen by a pseudo-random algorithm. Channel diversity provides robustness against multipath fading and narrow-band interferences.

TSCH resource allocation can be resolved either during network planning in quasi-static deployment or on the run through heuristic algorithm. Both solutions allow to achieve different results. You can optimize towards various aspects of network operation, for example the speed of the network forming, reliability, throughput or energy consumption.

embeNET Border Router software

Software running on gateway devices

The embeNET router software implements the functionality of a border router – a gateway to the wireless network. We provide complete packages for the MS Windows and Linux operating systems. These packages manage the radio hardware and connect the LLN to the Internet infrastructure through a virtual network interface. This virtual interface also acts as a filter, that suppresses packets that are addressed to inexistent nodes, limiting the unnecessary traffic within the LLN.

Our network incorporates 6LoWPAN compression layer, so it natively supports IPv6 internet protocol. Datagrams traves unchanged between the network devices and the Internet because services running on the top of UDP transport layer require no special translation gateways. Native support of Internet protocols gives the simplest way to extend the network via different media connections.

  • Nodes can dynamically join a multicast groups. That enables simultaneous data transmission and event triggering within the network. Every node may share a couple of multicast groups which diversifies their application roles. That makes massive communication even simpler and effective. Border router works as a registrar for multicast groups performing multicast traffic filtering, so messages for nonexistent groups won’t be passed to LLN.

  • Encryption and authentication scheme implemented in conformance with IEEE802.15.4-TSCH standard guarantees link layer security and constrained network join. Secure network key distribution lets the devices to join the network and operate on encryption keys that are arranged on the run. Border router works as a Join Registrar Centre and decides whether associating node should join or not. On top of this mechanism a custom joining scheme may be implemented.

    During normal network operation encryption key is systematically altered by border router. Thanks to synchronous network operation the key transposition happens in the background without connection deranging. An additional end-to-end application data encryption is also supported by AES-128 algorithm (or AES-256).

embeNET Portal

Web application

The embeNET communication stack implements also its own management service. All current and historical data concerning the network operation is available to you in our web application. It is a place where devices can be identified, grouped and managed. Our web interface is a user friendly tool that can help you with various deployment and maintenance activities.

Applications running on your devices may be logically divided into task-oriented groups. Some of them may be environmental sensing devices, another can contribute to the safety and surveillance system or they can operate as actuators. Our web interface allows to check their availability and monitor their state.

Applications running on the nodes can be remotely updated and reprogrammed by the client. The web server provides adequate tools, so the firmware update process is user-friendly and easy to manage. Moreover, the network nodes may be remotely updated in parallel which shortens the time required for such action.