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Exegin and Wi-SUN Alliance Members Demonstrate FAN Interoperability at DistribuTECH 2020

DistribuTECH Network

By Leslie Mulder, President, Exegin.

Historically Exegin has been one of the leaders in industrial grade IPv6 mesh networking technology, having engaged in some of the industry’s early efforts to use IEEE 802.15.4 radios to create IPv6 based mesh networks. In conjunction with Japan’s drive to introduce wireless communications systems for the utility industry the Wi-SUN Alliance came forward to fulfil the need to deliver interoperable solutions for these communications technologies.

As an active member of the Wi-SUN Alliance, Exegin has helped to bring the Wi-SUN FAN 1.0 standard to fruition as the premier industrial grade IOT network protocol.

At the recent DistribuTECH 2020 Conference, in San Antonio, Exegin provided the analysis tools to support the world’s first public display of Wi-SUN FAN 1.0 interoperability. A set of companies, inclusive of Itron, Cisco, Landis+Gyr, Vertexcom/Hexing, Renesas, Exegin and CIMCOM Lighting created a fully formed and interoperable Wi-SUN FAN 1.0 network on the show floor with Wi-SUN FAN certified devices. These devices included: outdoor lights, electric meters and communications infrastructure modules. The network was built around Local Border Router from Cisco located at the Wi-SUN booth with other vendors’ devices located around the show floor joining the network, through Wi-SUN’s robust certificate based authentication method. The network functioned robustly in spite of the heavy RF traffic that is associated with these shows.

DistribuTECH Network
The above shows a graphical image of the network on the DistribuTECH exhibit floor along with the live packet capture data across all channels in use.

In addition, to the nodes that formed the network, Exegin’s wireless capture technology also found a set of other active 802.15.4 devices in the neighbourhood, including several other Wi-SUN FAN demonstrations at Wi-SUN Alliance member company booths. Having these devices in the area demonstrated that Wi-SUN FAN networks are robustly immune to interference from other devices, not only at a radio level but also shows how co-located networks can be configured and operated securely with no perceived degradation.

In addition to providing Wi-SUN FAN protocol stacks for use by OEM vendors in their products, Exegin also offers support tools for general 802.15.4 networks inclusive of multi-channel sniffer modules, protocol analysers and network visualization and performance analysis tools.