June 25, 2018
Strengthening Bluetooth for Industrial IoT
The Industrial Internet of Things continues to expand. However, progress can be hampered by data transmission and connectivity. A new device, from u-blox, aims to improve Bluetooth connectivity.
The new device is the NINA-B2 dual-mode Bluetooth 4.2, and it comes from the Swiss company u-blox. The Bluetooth device is a stand-alone module developed for Industrial Internet of Things devices.
Industrial IoT focuses on the optimization of operational efficiency and rationalization, automation and maintenance. Developments include the connected context of machines, cyber-physical systems, advanced analytics, artificial intelligence, human-machine interfaces, cloud computing, and edge computing. The device comes with a built-in secure boot and it can operate across a wide range of temperature, making it suitable for supply chains where cold storage is required. In terms of connectivity, the NINA-B2 works with various other IoT technologies like Beacon, GATT client, and GATT server. The device is small in size, measuring 10- x 10.6- x 2.2-mm and it has a low energy demand. The compact nature is designed to work with machine control devices, industrial terminals and products for remote control. The device is intended to be used by non-specialists, and there is no requirement to have a detailed understanding of Bluetooth protocols. This 'usability' is designed to reduce implementation times and costs. The device also meets security requirements. The NINA-B2 device has a built-in secure boot that authenticated software. The device has an in-built indicator, should it ever be tampered with. Security is an important consideration given that a survey by Gartner indicated that cybersecurity concerns were the main barriers to a successful adoption of Industrial IoT and the digital transformation economy in general. Speaking with EE Europe, the Senior Product Marketing Manager from u-blox, Stefan Berggren sates: "As the IoT progresses and Bluetooth is a key wireless technology, security and backwards-compatibility remain key challenges." He expands on the functionality of the new device: "NINA-B2 provides top-grade security through its unique secure boot operating environment. As it is equipped with dual-mode Bluetooth capability, it can simultaneously manage Bluetooth low energy and Bluetooth BR/EDR connections, making it ideal to connect to legacy devices."