White Papers

    Why IP

    The emerging application space for smart objects requires scalable and interoperable communication mechanisms that support future innovation as the application space grows. IP has proven itself a long-lived, stable, and highly scalable communication technology that supports both a wide range of applications, devices, and underlying communication technologies. The IP stack is lightweight and runs on tiny, battery operated embedded devices. IP therefore has all the qualities to make “The Internet of Things” a reality, connecting billions of communicating devices.

    Lightweight OS

    Historically, smart objects have used a plethora of communication technologies, both at the physical and medium access control layers, and at upper layers. The upper layers of the communication stack remain either proprietary or specified by exclusive alliances. This plethora of solutions renders interoperability between different sensor networks difficult. It also makes the seamless integration of sensor networks with existing IP networks impossible. IP is an ideal solution to this end-to-end interoperability issue. However, the adoption of IP as the Layer-3 protocol to connect wireless or wired smart objects has been impaired by the common belief that IP is not well-suited for the memory and energy constraints of such devices. In this white paper we give insights on key implementation aspects, based on the experience of three interoperable IPv6 stacks.


    IP for Smart Objects seeks to extend the use of IP networking into resource-constrained devices over a wide range of low-power link technologies – IEEE 802.15.4 represents one such link. Extending IP to low-power, wireless personal area networks (LoWPANs) was once considered impractical because these networks are highly constrained and must operate unattended for multiyear lifetimes on modest batteries. Many vendors embraced proprietary protocols, assuming that IP was too resource-intensive to be scaled down to operate on the microcontrollers and low-power wireless links used in LoWPAN settings. However, 6LoWPAN radically alters the calculation by introducing an adaptation layer that enables efficient IPv6 communication over IEEE 802.15.4 LoWPAN links.

    Security Introduction

    Security is as important in smart object networks as it is in traditional comput er networks, if not more so. By leveraging well-established security mechanisms and networking standards, and adapting them appropriately for resource-constrain ed environments, we can enhance the security of smart objects, their data and the networks in which they participate. In this white paper we discuss smart objec t applications and relevant threats, evaluate various approaches to securing aga inst specific threats, offer some practical guidelines for building security int o smart object networks, and finally tackle some common misconceptions about sec uring these devices.

    Low Power Link Layer

    One of the fundamental properties of IP is to be based on a layered architecture, which means that each layer can evolve independently without compromising the architectural model. The aim of this paper is to provide a technical overview of several of low power wired and wireless technologies: IEEE 802.15.4, IEEE 802.15.4e, Low Power Wi-Fi, a low power Powerline Communication (PLC) technology known as WPC and the newly specified Homeplug green PHY. Several other low power link layer technologies will be covered in further revision of this paper. Note that some technical aspects described in this document are related to a specific implementation: still it was worth providing some details to show how low energy could be achievable on specific media. Furthermore, some technologies are still proprietary (this is explicitly indicated in this case) and on the path to standardization.

    IP in Commercial Buildings

    First, voice data became a packet on IP networks (Voice over IP). Now, video is being packetized through the Triple-play (voice, internet and video/TV). Furthermore, companies like Google are adding mobile device connectivity to make it a quadruple-play. This paper intends to show that the commercial building is joining this convergence trend. Very soon, consumers will be connected not only to their friends and family but to their buildings, houses, and cars. We highlighted the three key business and technology enablers as cost savings from OPEX1, CAPEX2 and reduced number of gateways, real-time IP technology readiness and the new IP developments for small constrained devices. This paper also provides an introduction to today’s building systems and tomorrow’s converged IP platform.


    RPL is the new IP routing protocol developed by the IETF in the ROLL (Routing Over Low power)
    Working Group (http://datatracker.ietf.org/wg/roll/charter/). RPL is a distance vector routing protocol
    designed to interconnect IP Smart Objects over low-speed and potentially lossy links, including wireless
    and PLC (Power Line Communication) in support of a myriad of applications such as home/building
    automation, smart grid including smart metering and industrial automation. RPL has been approved
    as an international standard by the IETF in April 2011. This white paper provides a high level overview
    of the protocol and its mode of operation.

    Benefits of IP in Commercial Buildings

    The motivation for using the Internet Protocol (IP) in buildings relates to general convergence trends in both the
    information technology and building sectors. In this white paper, we focus on the technical implementation of
    building automation systems, and illustrate the benefits of the widespread use of IP, enabling interoperability
    between diverse building automation systems. We will illustrate in which areas IP will simplify creation of
    building automation systems and where additional effort is required for these systems to become reality.