STMicro Joins MIOTY Alliance, Unveils MIOTY Stack For Flagship Multi-mode STM32 SoC


By James Blackman

Semiconductor firm STMicroelectronics (STMicro) has joined the burgeoning MIOTY Alliance, to promote the novel telegram-splitting ultra-narrowband (TS-UNB) technology, commercialized as MIOTY, as an alternative to low-power wide-area (LPWA) protocols like LoRaWAN, Sigfox, and NB-IoT in the industrial IoT and smart cities markets.

MIOTY (a portmanteau of MY IOT) uses the recent TS-UNB specification from the European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI), developed to replace the Wireless Meter Bus (M-Bus) standard that has underpinned smart metering in Europe, as well as in certain markets in Asia and Latin America. ST Micro has unveiled a MIOTY protocol stack for its STM32WL system-on-chip (SoC), which already supports LoRaWAN, Sigfox, and wireless M-Bus.

The MIOTY Alliance was formed a year ago by the Fraunhofer Institute for Integrated Circuits (IIS), which originally developed and helped to standardize TS-UNB. STMicro is joined by US chip vendor Texas Instruments, German technology firm Diehl, German industrial automation company ifm, Austrian oil-and-gas technology provider Ragsol, German embedded connectivity provider STACKFORCE, and UK-based industrial sensor maker WIKA.

Toronto-based industrial IoT connectivity provider BehrTech, which already licenses the technology, and has built a MYTHINGS family of hardware and software solutions around it, is also involved.

STMicro has announced availability of a protocol stack from fellow alliance member Stackforce, separately accredited as an ‘authorized partner’ by ST Micro. The new protocol stack allows customers to create MIOTY devices using its STM32WL SoC. It is available as a library for direct application integration or firmware, ready to be flashed directly onto the SoC for modem-like use.

STMicro pointed to new IoT applications that will be enabled by the wide range and high performance of MIOTY. The alliance claims data packets can travel several kilometers in built-up areas and more than 15 kilometres with line of sight, allowing just a few base stations to cover large industrial sites or outdoor areas; MIOTY devices can communicate while moving at up to 120 kilometres per hour without signal-fading issues, serving applications such as fleet management, asset tracking, and theft detection.

Wireless marketing director at STMicro, Hakim Jaafar said: “MIOTY promises to make exciting new massive IoT applications possible, for instance, to cover large geographical areas. The MIOTY stack further strengthens the ecosystem around our STM32WL SoC, which supports common sub-GHz LPWA technologies such as LoRaWAN, Sigfox, and wireless M-Bus, and delivers a unique level of integration that saves space, power, and time to market.”

Managing director at Stackforce, David Rahusen said: “The STM32WL has already proved to be a very powerful platform, especially regarding support for multi-protocol stacks. We’re thrilled to add MIOTY, a promising new LPWA network technology, to the interesting portfolio of multi-protocol stacks for STM32WL.”

STMicro was busy at the end of last year, following up the summer purchases of France-based ultra-wideband (UWB) specialist BeSpoon and Canada-based cellular IoT connectivity firm Riot Micro with a deal for cellular IoT and 5G chipmaker SOMOS Semiconductor.

The Franco-Italian firm said at the time the SOMOS acquisition strengthens its product portfolio, intellectual property, and in-house know-how around front-end modules (FEMs) for the IoT and 5G markets. The deal will help it to develop and offer new stand-alone solutions, as well as to augment its existing STM32-based portfolio, with a first NB-IoT / LTE-M based product undergoing qualification, and a new line of FEM products for IoT and 5G to be available in due course.

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