Mesh

A mesh is a network of nodes, where messages are propagated through the net to the dedicated receiver. A mesh refers to a multiple connection between devices or nodes: the nodes/devices connect directly, dynamically and non-hierarchically to as many other nodes as possible and cooperate with one another to efficiently route data. They differ from conventional network topologies, which are based on the hierarchical connection between a small subset of nodes.

Conventional Network Topologys

Point to Point

Star

Mesh Network Topology

What are the main parameters and characteristics of a mesh network?

  • Speed
  • Current consumption
  • Throughput
  • Maximum number of nodes
  • Installation effort
  • Robustness

Mesh Technologies

Mesh network topologies can be distinguished in Flooding Mesh and Routing Mesh and also in Asynchronous Mesh and Synchronous Mesh.

Flooding Mesh

Each node just forwards the message. We differentiate between synchronous and asynchronous flooding mesh.

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Advantages:

  • Easy to use
    • No network organization (installation, change)
  • Size does not matter

Disadvantages:

  • Increased traffic
    • Duty cycle problems

Routing Mesh

The network master or each node knows the path.

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Advantages:

  • Shortest/Cheapest path

Disadvantages:

  • Extra network organization traffic
  • Size limitations (master handled)
  • Less robust on network changes
    • Master has to know when adding/removing a node

Asynchronous Mesh

Messages can be transmitted at any time

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Advantages:

  • Fast
  • No installation effort
  • No size limitations

Disadvantages:

  • Energy consuming (~100% RX)
  • High probability for radio packet collision

The WE-ProWare Asynchronous Flooding Mesh is integrated into following products

  • Thyone-I
  • Tarvos-III
  • Thebe-II
  • Thelesto-III
  • Themisto-I

Synchronous Mesh

All nodes are synchronized and transmit/receive at determined time slots.

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Advantages:

  • Energy efficient (sleeping mostly)
  • Time and frequency hopping possible

Disadvantages:

  • Synchronization effort (master needed)
  • Size limitation
  • Low throughput/High latency

Which Mesh solutions can we offer you today?

Asynchronous flooding mesh capability is integrated into our proprietary firmware for the modules Thyone-I, Tarvos-III, Thebe-II, Telesto-III & Themisto-I.

Asynchronous and synchronous routing mesh capability is integrated into our Wirepas module Thetis-I.

WE-ProWare Mesh Solutions

In this mesh network all radio messages are relayed until they reach the destination. So it‘s a real mesh where each node may transmit data to all nodes in range.

How can I start the mesh?

The mesh feature can be enabled by a simple UART command. As soon as the feature is enabled, the radio modules build an asynchronous flooding mesh without any further user effort.

What is the strength of this mesh?

The mesh allows an easy and fast setup and distribution of radio data through the network, with minimal user effort.

How can I build a prototype network?

Take several radio modules on evaluation boards or their USB sticks variants, that support this feature. Power them up and enable the mesh. That‘s it!

Exploring a new field of applications with Wirepas Mesh

What is Wirepas?

Wirepas is an international company with headquarters in Tampere, Finland.

Wirepas is specialized in IoT topics and offers the Wirepas Mesh stack (firmware only) and support to high volume customers. Würth Elektronik is in cooperation with Wirepas to integrate the Wirepas mesh stack into radio chips as well as offering service to our customers to develop Wirepas mesh radio modules based on the existing Nordic Semiconductor nRF platform.

Würth Elektronik is licensed to develop, support and sell standard and custom Wirepas mesh radio modules.

What is Wirepas Mesh?

Wirepas Mesh is a connectivity protocol for radio modules, optimized for large scale and energy efficient wireless mesh networks in the frequency 2.4 GHz. This innovative technology can be used to create large IoT networks, for example using battery-powered sensors, in which each node also functions as a router.

On a single MCU solution, the application runs on the device itself. On a dual MCU solution, the application runs on a host microcontroller.

What are the strengths of Wirepas Mesh protocol?

Traditional mesh networks suffer in large scale from complex networking tables, congestion and bandwidth issues. Wirepas overcomes these issues by removing network‘s infrastructures and decentralizing network‘s intelligence on the nodes. All networking decisions are done locally by the nodes. Every node:

  • scans automatically the neighborhood and choose the best path to the sink
  • adapts transmit power to neighbor proximity
  • can act as sink, routing or non-routing node
  • can work in low power or low latency mode
  • chooses the best frequency to use locally
  • has a high configurability, interference-tolerance, ultra-low energy consumption: Wirepas mesh software is ideal for large scale and battery-operated networks.

How can I start building up my Wirepas prototype network?

For Thetis-I we offer a specific Evaluation kit, which consists of:

  • 1 Mini Evaluation Board
  • 1 USB Stick
  • 3 battery driven sensor nodes

Their specific functions are showed in the picture below.

In case you need a larger test network, you can simply extend your starter kit by purchasing additional pieces of any of the three hardware components ( mini evaluation board, USB stick, sensor node).

Together with our proprietary software tool Wirepas Commander, you can setup and test your Wirepas network in few easy step.

You need help?

You need further consultation, to understand which solution you need for your network? Get advice now from our engineers and contact us via e-mail: wireless-sales@we-online.com

For more information please contact wireless-sales@we-online.com or directly send an inquiry to our technical support or take a look at our FAQs.

You can now find everything about radio and sensor technology in our Product Guide.