Dust Networks Technology

Dust Networks®, a pioneer in the field of wireless sensor networking, is defining the way to connect smart devices. Dust Networks delivers reliable, resilient and scalable wireless products with advanced network management and comprehensive security features. Combine this with Eterna™ ultra-low power IEEE 802.15.4 SoCs and you get wireless sensor networks that can be deployed anywhere data can be gleaned.

The undisputed leader in supplying low power wireless mesh networks for demanding industrial process automation applications, Dust Networks customers also include Fortune 500 organizations that provide solutions for building automation, data center energy management, renewable energy, and much more. Thousands of Dust-enabled networks have been deployed around the globe, securely connecting a wide variety of smart devices to applications that are delivering on the promise of a smarter, greener, more efficient planet.

Dust Networks provides complete embedded wireless systems, including the worlds lowest power IEEE 802.15.4 mote modules, mote-on-chips and network and security management software and hardware. Customers have developed some of the most innovative sensing applications, enabled by the unique no-wires attributes of Dust’s ultra-low power products. Moreover, developers using Dust products get access to our powerful built-in network and security management features via simple APIs, accelerating their time to market.

Network Intelligence

Advanced mesh networking algorithms and comprehensive security management enable uniquely resilient, reliable, scalable networks.

Ultra Low Power SoC

Breakthrough Eterna™ technology dramatically lowers SoC power consumption, extending battery life to years and many times that of competing products. Eterna also enables battery-free energy harvesting.

Security

Network security is comprehensive and multilayered. It includes end-to-end encryption, message integrity checking, and device authentication.

Standards and Industry Alliances

Dust is committed to standards-based wireless sensor networking and participates in a variety of relevant standards organizations and alliances.

For more information on Wireless Sensor Network products, visit our SmarthMesh IP and SmartMesh WirelessHART product portfolios

Network Intelligence

The hallmark of SmartMesh networks is that they use a "triple-play" of wireless mesh technologies—time diversity, frequency diversity, and physical diversity—to assure reliability, resiliency, scalability, power source flexibility, and ease-of-use. At the core of Dust Networks SmartMesh technology is an intelligent mesh network with advanced algorithms and power saving technologies that enable powerful features not available from other WSN providers including:

  • Ultra low power consumption
  • Deterministic power management and optimization
  • Auto-forming mesh technology for a self-healing and self-sustaining network
  • Dynamic bandwidth support, load balancing and optimization
  • Network management and configuration
  • Zero collision low power packet exchange
  • Scalability to large, dense, deep networks

SmartMesh Network Intelligence

A SmartMesh network consists of a network manager that monitors and manages network performance and relays data to the host application, and network nodes, called "motes", that relay data to and from each other and the manager.

The SmartMesh network architecture is based on Dust Networks’ pioneering work on Time Synchronized Mesh Protocol (TSMP). TSMP is a full networking stack that is compatible with the IEEE 2.4 GHz 802.15.4 2006 radio standard. TSMP is a foundational building block of the IEC 62591 (WirelessHART) international wireless standard as well as the ISA100.11a standard from the International Society of Automation.

The TSMP includes a Time Slotted Channel Hopping (TSCH) media access layer (MAC). TSCH works by dividing time into ‘slots’, and providing a mechanism to map timeslots to channels with a pre-assigned hopping sequence.

The built-in SmartMesh intelligence utilizes TSMP and TSCH to ensure:

  • Motes know precisely when to talk, listen, or sleep
  • Packet exchanges are synchronized
  • No packets collide on the network
  • Every packet is scheduled and synchronized for energy efficiency with no extra preamble (Tx side) or guard interval time (Rx side)

Network synchronization also enables pair-wise channel hopping – also known as frequency diversity - that provides important benefits throughout the network:

  • Multiple transmissions can occur simultaneously, increasing network bandwidth
  • Automatically changes channels to avoid inevitable
  • RF interference Allows networks to be dense and scale without creating debilitating RF interferences

Path Diversity

In a SmartMesh network, every mote is a router capable of communicating with any other mote within its range. The intelligent network dynamically identifies mesh hop paths based on constant surveillance of the network and the RF environment.

  • Creates redundant routes through the mesh
  • Maintains multiple paths for each mote
  • Detects and reroutes around broken paths immediately

Ultra Low Power SoC

Eterna is the breakthrough technology ingredient that makes all of Dust Networks IEEE 802.15.4 motes and modules ultra low power. Eterna SoCs incorporate innovative, patented design techniques to minimize power consumption in every phase of a motes life within a network.

  • Up to 8x lower power consumption than competitive offerings
  • Battery powered devices built on Eterna enabled SoCs last up to 8 times longer
  • Eterna devices are 8 times “greener” even if line powered.

Battery-Free Energy Harvesting

Eterna’s low power innovation also enables high performance battery-free energy harvesting. With competing SoCs, energy harvesting is often impractical or requires undesirable feature tradeoffs. By comparison, Eterna technology enables fully-featured energy harvested devices without compromise. Eterna SoCs are Direct Sequence Spread Spectrum radios compliant to the IEEE 802.15.4 standard in the 2.4 GHz band (2400-2483.5 MHz).

For more information, view our energy harvesting product portfolio.

Secure Mesh with 128 Bit Encryption

SmartMesh networks are among the most secure mesh networks available. All traffic in a SmartMesh network is protected by end-to-end encryption, message integrity checking, and device authentication. Additionally, the SmartMesh network manager contains applications that enable the secure joining of the network, key establishment, and key exchange. These security features provide:

Feature Benefit

Device Authentication

Choose from three increasingly strong levels of device authentication

Encryption 128 bit AES-based encryption with multiple keys ensures privacy and confidentiality of the data

Message integrity check (MIC)

Data transmitted is protected by message authentication codes to ensure that it has not been tampered with

Synchronized key changeovers

The entire network changes over to a new encryption key automatically

Customized key rotation

 The customer decides how often the network should change keys, trading off extra security with additional network traffic

Standards and Industry Alliances

Dust is committed to standards-based Wireless Sensor Networks and participates in a variety of standards organizations and alliances to promote the development and use of standards-based WSN. Dust supports IEEE, IETF, IEC, WirelessHART and IPSO.