Low power asset tag brings five-year battery life to industrial asset management

23-09-2021 | ON Semiconductor | Test & Measurement

Onsemi has released a new system solution that overcomes the principal challenges linked with developing asset tracking tags. Battery life has been a significant obstacle to asset tag adoption, especially within industrial sectors where decreasing maintenance efforts and associated costs are a prime concern. The RSL10 Asset Tag provides an unprecedented, industry-leading battery life of up to five years.

This game-changing battery life is made possible by the low power consumption of the RSL10 Bluetooth 5 radio SoC and improvements at the firmware level. Alongside the device, the platform provides a three-axis accelerometer and environmental sensors (motion, pressure and temperature) to offer valuable data and insights into an asset’s environment, condition and orientation. Each sensor is powered through a dedicated MOSFET load switch, controlled by the device. This design allows the overall system power consumption to be controlled on a per sensor basis, which reduces the total power used. Further characteristics of the platform incorporate a low-cost antenna, matching circuit optimised for BLE transmissions, a multi-purpose dome switch and a 10-pin debugger that can be removed depending on the requirements of the application.

The device was recently selected for use in an indoor localisation beacon created to track and monitor hospital equipment and offer actionable insight to healthcare providers. Blyott, an IoT solution provider, and Tatwah, a market leader in Bluetooth LE tags and beacons, developed the device. Blyott selected Tatwah’s RSL10-based beacons as their small form-factor, ultra-low-power capabilities and the capacity of the IP67 tags to satisfy the stringent sterilisation demands.

“Onsemi provided us with an ideal hardware platform to develop Bluetooth-based RTLS solutions,” said Gery Pollett, CEO and co-founder of Blyott, “The RSL10 allowed us to meet the challenging needs of the healthcare industry. We were particularly impressed by the energy efficiency of the RSL10 radio.”

The Asset Tag is offered with a comprehensive suite of development tools that include multi-protocol wireless support for BLE connectivity and the Quuppa Intelligent Locating System RTLS Intelligent Locating System RTLS. Within the CMSIS-Pack, incorporated with the evaluation board, the company has produced a custom application that exhibits the ultra-low-power features and abilities of the platform in an asset tracking use-case.

"The next generation of RSL10-powered Bluetooth LE tags will allow Quuppa partners to leverage highly accurate, sensor-enriched positioning data with unprecedented battery lifetime. This enables use-cases that haven’t been possible before due to the high cost of ownership,” said Santtu Pulli, senior customer manager at Quuppa. “Real-time asset visibility and related productivity optimisation will become a key competitive advantage for companies in manufacturing, warehousing and logistics domains. This is just the beginning - the possibilities are endless!"

By Natasha Shek