Particle Mesh – A Mesh-Enabled IoT Development Kits.
Particle, which has been known for its collection of IoT focused development boards, and its Internet of Things (IoT) platform (Particle Cloud) has launched a new set of mesh network-enabled IoT development kits called Particle Mesh. Particle Mesh is expected to provide developers more insight into implementing mesh networking technology. They help to collect sensor data, exchange local messages, and share their connection to the cloud.
Particle Mesh features a new family of mesh-ready devices with Wi-Fi, BLE and LTE connectivity and also integrated with the Particle device cloud. Particle mesh consists of three main boards: The Argon, The Boron, and the Xenon. Each of these Particle Mesh boards has at least one form of outside connectivity option (LTE/3G/2G, Wi-Fi or Bluetooth) and an onboard mesh network hardware to facilitate setting up a mesh network for local communications between sensors and other particle mesh boards. All three devices are built around the Nordic nRF52840 MCU + BLE + mesh radio and follow the Adafruit Feather specification making it compatible with most Adafruit FeatherWing hardware accessories.
Argon is the first of mesh-enabled board family; it’s a Wi-Fi-enabled board with mesh functionality that can act has node or router in a mesh network, and also as the mesh network gateway to the cloud or outside world. On the heart of it is the Nordic nRF52840 SoC which also powers the other boards and an Expressif ESP32 2.4G Wi-Fi SoC. The processor is based on the 32-bit 64MHz ARM Cortex-M4F, with 1MB flash and 256kB of RAM. Like other feather boards, it has a built-in battery charging circuitry, so it’s easy to connect a Li-Po battery and easily build standalone devices with it. Some other features of the Argon include a 20 GPIO pin, Bluetooth 5 and NFC. The Argon board is available for sale at $19 and currently at $15 for pre-order which are expected to be shipped by July 2018.
The below are the specifications of the Nordic Semiconductor nRF52840 SoC:
- ARM Cortex-M4F 32-bit processor @ 64MHz
- 1MB flash, 256KB RAM
- IEEE 802.15.4-2006: 250 Kbps
- Bluetooth 5: 2 Mbps, 1 Mbps, 500 Kbps, 125 Kbps
- Supports DSP instructions, HW accelerated Floating Point Unit (FPU) calculations
- ARM TrustZone CryptoCell-310 Cryptographic and security module
- Up to +8 dBm TX power (down to -20 dBm in 4 dB steps)
- NFC-A tag
The following are some of the specs of the Argon board:
- Nordic Semiconductor nRF52840 SoC
- Espressif ESP32-S0WD 2.4G Wi-Fi coprocessor
- Onboard 1MB flash for ESP32 chip
- 802.11 b/g/n support
- 802.11 n (2.4 GHz), up to 150 Mbps
- On-board additional 2MB SPI flash
- 20 mixed signal GPIO (6 x Analog, 4 x PWM), UART, I2C, SPI
- Micro USB 2.0 full speed (12 Mbps)
- Integrated Li-Po charging and battery connector
- JTAG (SWD) Connector
- RGB status LED
- Reset and Mode buttons
- On-board 2.4GHz PCB antenna for Thread/BLE or Wi-Fi (user selectable)
- Two U.FL connectors for external antennas (one for Thread/BLE, another for Wi-Fi)
- Compatible with Feather layout.
- FCC, CE, and IC certified
- RoHS compliant (lead-free)
Argon is great for building a mesh local network centered around using WiFi as the end gateway communication.