Hitachi Plant Technologies Launches WiFi Sensor

TOKYO and LOS GATOS, CA /PRNewswire/ -- Hitachi Plant Technologies Ltd. unveiled a wireless sensor designed for use in broad range of commercial and industrial applications that uses ubiquitous, installed Wi-Fi infrastructure. This solution is based upon low-power Wi-Fi semiconductor and software provided by GainSpan allowing easy integration and deployment of Wi-Fi sensor network within an enterprise.

"We chose to use the highly optimized Wi-Fi SoC from Gainspan as it enables a long battery life while using existing Wireless LAN (WLAN) access points (AP) and IP (Internet Protocol) networking. This allows our sensors and tags to be used in the field for many years while simplifying deployment and integration with the enterprise networks," commented Tsutomu Ito, Senior Manager, Hitachi Plant Technologies Ltd.

The new sensor module named, "ZigNET-TAGMO" is designed to support multiple sensors enabling a broad range of applications. For example, use in food management industry where logistical traceability of food substances is paramount. When sensor enters an area covered by WLAN AP, it transmits the data back to a food company's servers for analysis, where information that can highlight potentially serious issues, such as refrigerator malfunctions, can be diagnosed early.

"Through the use of widely available Wi-Fi networks, the deployment of these sensor networks can be achieved on a world-wide level quicker and at a lower cost than through any other technology currently available on the market," commented Vijay, Parmer, GainSpan President and CEO.

In asset tracking and logistics applications, when the ZigNET-TAGMO is installed on the target object, information about the environment during transportation such as temperature and humidity can be measured and transmitted via WLAN. If WLAN AP is not available, the obtained information is stored in built-in memory.

When the object enters the area covered by a WLAN AP again, the accumulated data is transmitted at once. The device can also issue an alarm signal if the value measured by sensor exceeds the predetermined value. For example, if temperature in the refrigerator becomes abnormally high during food delivery, the temperature sensor detects it and the alarm signal is sent via WLAN.

With the adoption of GainSpan's ultra low-power technology, Zignet-TAGMO achieves a battery life of up to five years, in spite of using a small battery.

Complete system solutions including various sensor options and application software will become available within next several months.

About Hitachi Plant Technologies
We, Hitachi Plant Technologies, will consolidate our "engineering capabilities," "monozukuri (manufacturing) capabilities" and "project expertise" to offer total solutions in the fields of social and industrial infrastructures including water treatment systems and equipment, industrial machinery, hydropower and transformer equipment, electronics manufacturing equipment and material handling systems, cranes, chemical, pharmaceutical, and food plants, environmental preservation systems, air conditioning systems, power plants, and others.

About GainSpan
GainSpan is an embedded Wi-Fi semiconductor company providing a low power single-chip solution. Whether companies are developing sensor networks or entering new markets enabled by low-power Wi-Fi, GainSpan provides the most cost-effective, energy-efficient approach. Founded from within Intel in 2006, GainSpan is the first company to develop a complete system-on-a-chip that runs reliably for up to 10 years on a single AA battery.

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