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The Smart City Living Lab in Hyderabad

In our series of interviews with member companies, Wi-SUN Alliance President and CEO Phil Beecher talks with Abhijit Grewal, Senior Marketing Director Smart Cities at Silicon Labs, about the company’s work with the International Institute of Information Technology in Hyderabad, India, and the role of Wi-SUN mesh technology in supporting its Smart City Living Lab project.


Hi Abhijit and welcome to our Wi-SUN member interview series. First of all, please tell us a bit more about Silicon Labs and your role in the business.

Silicon Labs is the leading provider of silicon, software, and solutions for a smarter, more connected world. Our industry-leading wireless solutions feature a high level of functional integration. Multiple complex mixed-signal functions are integrated into a single IC or system-on-chip (SoC) device, saving valued space, minimizing overall power consumption requirements, and improving customer end products’ reliability. We are the trusted partner for the world-leading consumer and industrial brands and small and medium-sized companies. Our customers develop solutions for a wide range of applications, from medical devices and smart lighting to building automation, and much more.


This year you announced that you are involved with the International Institute of Information Technology (IIIT-H) and its Smart City Living Lab in Hyderabad, what is this?

The Smart City Living Lab is a partnership between IIT-H, the government of Telangana, and the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology India that is used as a test bed for smart city technologies to drive economic growth and local development. For Silicon Labs, it serves as a great test bed for our Wi-SUN solutions and helps us to create a real-world proof of concept for smart city infrastructure.


Wi-SUN technology is an important part of the project, tell us more about how and why? 

Wi-SUN and its mesh networking capability are invaluable for this project. With India’s desire to roll out more than 250 million smart meters by 2025, there is a major need to find a connectivity standard that scales to meet that demand while meeting reliability and security requirements. The Smart City Living Lab gives us the ability to show the value that Wi-SUN can bring in a real world environment.


What is the next stage of the project?

Coinciding with the launch of our new FG28 dual band SoC, the Living Lab will begin adding low power (LFN) nodes alongside their existing streetlights that are utilizing our FG25 platform. The FG28 based nodes will showcase the simplicity of adding battery powered nodes to an existing Wi-SUN network. This would translate to adding devices like battery powered water, gas meters and environmental sensors to the backbone of a network formed by line powered electric meters. The addition of these types of devices will help drive more effective total resource management to smart cities.


How important is India in driving innovation in wireless solutions for smart cities?

India is a critical market in proving out the viability of the smart city in developing countries. The success of wireless technology in this emerging market will have worldwide impact as more emerging markets look to modernize their infrastructure and meet the growing demand for interconnected and intelligent devices in urban and municipal settings.


Thanks Abhijit!


To read more about Silicon Labs and the Smart City Living Lab: