•                                                                          RF-star 2021 Mid-Autumn Festival Activity
    RF-star 2021 Mid-Autumn Festival Activity
    When the moon hangs in the night sky, we know that the Mid-Autumn Festival is around the corner. With the strong sweet-scent of the osmanthus was waved to us by the breeze in the streets and lanes in Chengdu city, the Mid-Autumn Festival is around the corner. On the occasion of the festive season, RF-star would like to give you the best wishes here and wish you a happy festival. And on this special day, all staff of RF-star gathered here to participate in the lantern riddles and mooncake cooking activities as the celebration for the upcoming traditional Chinese Mid-Autumn Festival. Let’s enjoy this happiness and rejoice together. Years come and go, but the moon in the Mid-Autumn night remains in our hearts forever. Guessing lantern riddles is a traditional folkloric entertainment activity for the Chinese. There is infinite wisdom and fun in the little riddles. From the animal names to the names of the objects, from the person names and place names to the rivers or mountains, everything can be included in the riddles and be a question or answer, which makes the riddle bring infinite extreme fun. Look, the activity has not begun yet, everyone is eager to have a try and some people roll up their sleeves to get ready to be the first person who gives the answer. With the host announced the kickoff of the activity, one after another answer being called out with the intermingled cheers and laughter, which pushes the activity to its climax. As the guessing riddles activity comes to an end, the host unveiled to move on to another activity named ”making mooncakes”. All staff brims with full of happiness and rejoice. Sweet-style mooncakes are one of the popular styles of mooncake for Chengdu people. Take one portion from each 3 colours of dough and combine them into a round. Flatten out the dough and center the filling. Seal and shape into a ball. Lightly coat the surface with prepared cooked glutinous rice flour. Press each into mooncake mould and then push lightly out on a serving plate. Each member of RF-star is busy chit-chatting and making mooncakes, which brings pleasure and warm atmosphere. After a while, several plates of crispy and delicious mooncakes come to the table. About Us Shenzhen RF-Star Technology Co., Ltd., founded in 2010, is a world leading Internet-of-Things (IoT) solution provider. RF-Star has the vision of a connected world with widely deployed IoT technology, such as BLE/BT, Wi-Fi, LoRa, ZigBee, Sub-1GHz, NB-IoT, RFID, which makes RF-star focus on creating innovative products and services, empowering industries to run intelligently and providing people a better life.
  • Journey to Western Sichuan Plateau-RFstar Chengdu Team
    Journey to Western Sichuan Plateau-RFstar Chengdu Team
    RFstar Chengdu team has traveled to the #Western #Sichuan #Plateau in July. The impressive natural landscapes with snow-covered mountains, endless grass landscapes, countless yak herds, and local monasteries leave us literally speechless! #nature #team #travel
  • What Functions does Bluetooth 5.3 Specification Add?
    What Functions does Bluetooth 5.3 Specification Add?
    With years of intensive cultivation in the IoT industry, RF-star has been committed to providing wireless RF modules and solutions. As one of the world's most deployed wireless IoT connectivity technologies, Bluetooth has always been our strategic focus as it is enabled widely in IoT devices across all sectors and applications. According to the latest forecasts from ABI Research, the Bluetooth device shipments are expected to approach 5 billion units annually by 2022 and surpass 6 billion units annually by 2025. What makes Bluetooth the go-to wireless technology for IoT device makers and application developers? It is the ubiquitous support and global interoperability on digital devices of all kinds and types! Why Bluetooth technology is available to meet the growing demand for wireless communication across countless use cases for more than 20 years? Because the hard work and collaboration between Bluetooth Special Interest Group (SIG) member companies has driven the continuous innovation of the technology. On 13 July 2021, the Bluetooth SIG released Bluetooth® Core Specification version 5.3. This new release adds several feature enhancements which provide IoT device makers and application developers with significant reliability, energy efficiency and user experience improvements. All these just ensure a continued global growth of Bluetooth enabled products. New Features of Bluetooth 5.3: Periodic Advertising Enhancement Encryption Key Size Control Enhancements Connection Subrating Channel Classification Enhancement Removal of the Alternate MAC and PHY (AMP) Extension Congratulate to Bluetooth SIG on the release of the Bluetooth 5.3 specification. We believe that the new specification will enable the Bluetooth technology to create ever more innovative ways to win the IoT race. RF-star technology will continue to follow the new technology of SIG, research and develop the cutting-edge industry technologies, to let our customers always stay competitive in the fast-developing wireless field. Let us look forward to the introduction of new products leveraging the exciting features of Bluetooth 5.3, based on the multiple cooperation!
  • Beacon Technology Makes Indoor Positioning Easier
    Beacon Technology Makes Indoor Positioning Easier
    The IoT technology is constantly updated and iterated, and the indoor positioning technology has also undergone earth-shaking changes. From room-level positioning, decimeter-level positioning to high-precision centimeter positioning, the evolution of technology is always unexpected! Various positioning technologies of indoor positioning solutions appear in turn. Which technology is most suitable for indoor positioning? Let’s take a comprehensive perspective to understand the Bluetooth indoor positioning solution. Overview of Beacon Indoor Positioning Technology There are two Beacon indoor positioning technologies: 1. Passive location: Use the Bluetooth gateway to capture the broadcast data transmitted by the beacon on the person/object. The gateway is deployed and installed in the environment. And the gateway will return the collected beacon data to the server through the network. The server obtains the real-time position coordinates of the beacon through a positioning algorithm based on the coordinates known by the gateway. 2. Active position: Use the APP on a mobile device to get the Beacon broadcast data. The APP will have a positioning algorithm. Based on Beacon broadcast data, we can know the person's location who holds the mobile device. The location and navigation in the room are realized through APP or Applet, which is suitable for shopping malls, parking lots, and hospitals. Features of Beacon indoor positioning technology Compared with Wi-Fi positioning technology, Beacon technology suffers less environmental interference. Beacon product is based on the battery power supply. With the advantages of Bluetooth low energy consumption, long service life, small size, and the high penetration rate of Beacon devices, Bluetooth positioning is the most commonly used technology in indoor positioning technology. In daily life, smartphones and smart speakers support Bluetooth. The popularity and mass use of Bluetooth makes Bluetooth chips at a low price. And the BLE price is lower than traditional UWB/RFID solutions. How does Bluetooth realize indoor positioning? The Bluetooth working frequency is 2400 MHz ~ 2483.5 MHz. When Bluetooth initiates a broadcast, in addition to its own MAC address, the strength of the Bluetooth signal will also be broadcasted, namely RSSI information. The RSSI reflects the signal strength of the broadcast data packet. According to the RSSI, when the Bluetooth receiver is closer to the transmitter, the signal strength is stronger, on the contrary, will be weaker. The relationship between the signal strength and the distance from the transmitter can be found through the transformation of signal strength. By deploying a Bluetooth transmitter in the room, namely a beacon, the Bluetooth receiver can determine its indoor location after receiving the RSSI signal broadcasted by the transmitter. This positioning method is called active positioning, and the positioning accuracy is 3 meters to 4 meters. Through a reasonable algorith...
  • The Black Technology of the iPhone: Demystifying UWB Technology
    The Black Technology of the iPhone: Demystifying UWB Technology
    2020 Apple's autumn conference was held at the Jobs Theater on September 11. At this conference, one detail is that the iPhones are all equipped with U1 chip that supports ultra-wideband (UWB) technology. According to official publicity, the new technology will significantly improve the Spatial Awareness capabilities of Apple mobile phones. So, what does spatial awareness mean? What exactly can the U1 chip do? What is UWB technology? All of these will lead to a new round of smart device application innovation? The answers to these questions will be revealed next. The Spatial Awareness is the ability to perceive orientation which is positioning ability. According to Apple's introduction, iPhone equipped with the U1 chip further enhances the positioning function of the mobile phone. It can not only sense the location of its own mobile phone, but also the location of other nearby mobile phones. Based on the space awareness capability provided by the U1 chip, when using AirDrop (AirDrop is the function of wireless file sharing provided by Apple devices), you only need to point your iPhone to someone else’s iPhone, and the system will prioritize it (the closer you are, the higher the priority), allowing you to share files faster. iPhone11 can achieve the application effect of "the closer you get to me, the first you get a response". Positioning is a familiar topic for all of us. We often use APPs such as Google Map or Baidu Map, which have positioning and navigation services. Location services help us indicate directions and increase our sense of security as well as control, which bring great convenience to our work and life. Therefore, what is the difference between UWB technology and the positioning technology we use now? The commonly used positioning technologies now mainly include satellite positioning and base station positioning. Satellite positioning is a technology that uses artificial earth satellites to perform point position measurement. And it is currently the most widely used and most popular positioning technology for users. The characteristics of high precision, fast speed and low cost of use are very prominent. The well-known satellite positioning systems include the United States’ Global Positioning System (GPS), China’s Beidou (BDS), Europe’s Galileo, Russia’s GLONASS. The principle of base station positioning is similar to radar. Radar positioning is to emit radar waves and perform spatial position measurement based on the reflection of the target. The base station works like a "radar". Usually, a mobile phone will be under the signal coverage of multiple base stations in a city. The mobile phone will "measure" the downlink pilot signals of different base stations to obtain the signal TOA (time of arrival) or TDOA (time difference of arrival) of each base station. According to the measurement result, the coordinates of the mobile phone can be calculated combined with the coordinates of the base station, Here is a picture to show it....
  • Talk about the Selection Control Strategy of Low-Power Wireless SoC
    Talk about the Selection Control Strategy of Low-Power Wireless SoC
    Written by RF-star senior advisor XCODER (a We-Media essayist) At present, there are more and more options for wireless SoC chips, from the European and American manufacturers to the domestic semiconductors. How to choose a suitable wireless chip for product development? The following aspects need to be considered. Wireless Technology: The current popular low-power wireless technologies are including Wi-Fi, small wireless, LoRa, Bluetooth, Thread, ZigBee, NFC, Private 2.4G, NB-IoT, 2G, 3G, 4G, etc., The wireless technologies commonly used in factory automation and smart home including Wi-Fi, small wireless, BLE, Thread, ZigBee, NFC. The following figure compares the advantages and disadvantages of these different wireless protocols in data transmission bandwidth, distance and power consumption. An appropriate solution should be selected according to the usage scenario, Wi-Fi: Wi-Fi is suitable for high-speed video data transmission, but its power consumption is relatively high. At present, there are fewer mainstream low-power Wi-Fi chips on the market. The core uses ARM M3 or M4 core, which runs simple RTOS, and only supports 802.11b/g/n mode, low bandwidth, but can meet the application of dry battery power supply. ZigBee: The best choice of smart home, the status is being challenged by BLE MESH. But after the launch of ZigBee 3.0, various systems can be interconnected, and the compatibility of the platform is much better than before. Sub-1G: Because of its stability and long transmission distance, it can be used in various industrial control fields. The TX peak current is large, but the system is in sleep mode at other times. Thus, the overall power consumption is low. NFC: The function is which mobile phones must be carried with. Public transportation systems and access control systems are mostly adopted by RFID and NFC solutions. LoRa: Unique spread spectrum technology, +20 dBm transmit power, low power consumption, long-distance, the disadvantage is low bandwidth utilization and low data throughput. Power Consumption Always keep the end users’ experience in mind. If the battery fails, even the most ideal product will be abandoned. What kind of power supply method can be used? Coin cell, dry battery, lithium battery? Coin cells are popular due to their low cost, small size and lightweight. Considering that the battery life of these products is crucial, and the coin cell can only provide a peak current of about 5 mA without being damaged. If you drive a larger current peak, the battery capacity will be affected. RF transmit power: The transmit power of Bluetooth is restively low. Usually, only 5 dBm transmit power is supported, generally refer to 0 dBm transmit power according to specifications. ZigBee, small wireless transmission power can reach 20 dBm. (More than 20 dBm cannot pass the safety test). MCU operating power consumption: Because the same ARM core of the wireless SoC is used, the power consumption is similar to each other. But it is...
  • Contactless Beacon Work Attendance Solution Helps Prevent and Control the Epidemic
    Contactless Beacon Work Attendance Solution Helps Prevent and Control the Epidemic
    The traditional way of personnel clock-in is to use fingerprints. By registering personal fingerprints in advance, press the fingerprints on the fingerprint attendance machine to confirm the punch-in of personnel on duty. However, the fingerprint attendance machine has the problems of low efficiency, high cleanliness requirement of fingerprints, and the possibility of punch-in failure. Especially at the special moment when the novel coronavirus is raging, people should try to minimize contact between people, and extra attention should be paid to disinfection and avoiding cross-infection of items that are in public touch. For office workers, they need to touch the fingerprint attendance machine during on and off duty. It is difficult to avoid the potential risk of cross-infection. After all, at workplaces, the one who comes into contact with the most people every day, except for door handles, is the fingerprint attendance machine. So, how to realize the attendance of employees in this special period? In the face of complex personnel contact, the best way to avoid cross-infection is contactless clock-in. At this time, Beacon attendance punch-in has become a good alternative. RF-star launched the smart Beacon work attendance solution, using a contactless attendance system to help employees complete punch-in through mobile phones and assist companies to avoid the risk of cross-infection. As long as the mobile phone turns on Bluetooth and the personnel pass by the work attendance device, the personnel identification and his attendance can be realized. Help company managers get rid of various inefficient attendance management methods such as fingerprint attendance, USB flash disk copying attendance data and signature attendance confirmation. The Bluetooth Attendance solution is based on Beacon technology. Broadcast Beacon signals regularly through the Beacon product RF-B-AR1, RF-B-AR4. The punch-in location binding information is carried in MAC address, UUID, Major, Minor and others in the broadcast packets. The personnel uses a mobile phone with Bluetooth enabled to search for the Beacon signal in the air to confirm the punch-in attendance and location. In the Beacon work attendance system, walk into the office area, directly take out the mobile phone, open the APP and punch in finished. No need to punch in on the attendance machine with fingerprints. The Beacon work attendance solution is flexible and convenient, but it also faces the risk of being cheated to punch in. Here come questions. Can Beacon punch-in solve the problem of entrusted attendance? How to confirm that the employee has arrived at the office? Can Beacon punch-in solve the problem of entrusted attendance? There are many APPs and tools for cheating on attendance on the Internet. Roughly the following methods: 1. Location simulation, cracked by GPS and baseband module 2. Wi-Fi simulation 3. Root or jailbreak the phone 4. Customize the mobile phone, crack from the hardware In addition t...
  • BT 5.2 LE Audio
    BT 5.2 LE Audio
    The SIG released a new generation of Bluetooth Core Specification 5.2 at CES2020 in Las Vegas, including LE ISOCHRONOUS, LE PWOER CONTROL, LE ATTRIBUTE PROTOCOL. This article talks about LE ISOCHRONOUS. 1. BT 5.2 LE AUDIO Market As we all know, before BT 5.2, Bluetooth audio transmission used the classic Bluetooth A2DP mode for point-to-point data transmission. Now the emergence of Bluetooth LE Audio has broken the monopoly of classic Bluetooth on the audio market. At the 2020 CES, SIG announced that the new Core Specification BT 5.2 supports multi-stream Audio which will enable the transmission of multiple, independent, synchronized audio streams between an audio source device, such as TWS headphones, multi-room audio synchronization. LE Audio will also add Broadcast Audio, enabling an audio source device to broadcast one or more audio streams to an unlimited number of audio sink devices. Broadcast Audio can be widely used in airports, bars, gyms, cinemas, and conference centers and other sites. The emergence of BT 5.2 hits a blow to the Apple TWS, and provides support for multi-channel simultaneous audio transmission. 2. BT 5.2 LE Audio Transmission Principle The Bluetooth LE Isochronous Channels function is a new method of using Bluetooth LE to transfer data between devices. This feature provides a mechanism to ensure synchronization between multiple sink devices receiving data from the same source. The protocol stipulates that each frame of data sent by the Bluetooth transmitter will have a time limit, and the expired data (data that violates the time-bound validity period) that is not transmitted, is discarded. Consequently, the receiving devices receive data that is valid with respect to its age and acceptable latency to ensure the synchronization of data received by multiple slave devices. In order to realize the new function, ISOAL is a new layer in the Bluetooth stack which sits in the controller above the link layer. It provides flexibility in the way that lower layers of the stack and upper layers work together, allowing to provide data stream segmentation and reassembly service. The ISOAL provides segmentation, fragmentation, reassembly, and recombination services for the conversion of the SDUs from the upper layer to the PDUs of the baseband resource manager and vice versa. The ISOAL uses fragmentation/recombination or segmentation/reassembly operations to convert service data units (SDU) into protocol data units (PDU), or vice versa. The ISOAL controller accepts or generates SDUs through the supported 1M and 2M encoding PHYs. The maximum length of each SDU is the Max_SDU. Use the HCI ISO data packet to transmit the SDU to the upper layer or from the lower layer to the air. For the application requirements of LE connection mode and non-connection mode, the BT 5.2 LE AUDIO protocol specifies two data stream transmission framework models. 3. BT 5.2 Synchronous data stream transmission based on LE connection Connection-oriented isochron...
  • Apple HomeKit Newly Support for Thread, Changing the Rules of Smart Home Market
    Apple HomeKit Newly Support for Thread, Changing the Rules of Smart Home Market
    In recent years, thanks to the rapid development of new technologies such as IoT communication technology and artificial intelligence, domestic smart home products have passed through the three stages of automation, intelligence and IoT, and entered the era of whole-house intelligence. Giants from the communications, Internet, home appliances, home furnishing, real estate and other industries have released smart home strategies and laid out product ecology. The market competition is extremely fierce. In June 2021, the research institute IDC released the "Quarterly Tracking Report on China's Smart Home Device Market." The report shows that in the first quarter of 2021, China’s smart home device market shipped 46.99 million units, a year-on-year growth of 27.7%. In the smart home market, Apple entered the market earlier with the HomeKit platform, established a more mature ecology, and became the leading player in the smart home market. Relying on the iOS system to further increase the stickiness of Apple users, the HomeKit smart home platform has built a complete ecosystem of whole house intelligence through centralized management and intelligent operation. 1. HomeKit builds Apple fans smart home ecology Apple released HomeKit, a smart home platform, in 2014. In 2015, the first batch of HomeKit smart home products were released, which can control lighting, indoor temperature and other electrical appliances through iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch. Since Apple itself does not produce HomeKit hardware, HomeKit is just a certification protocol, so manufacturers are gradually supporting the HomeKit protocol. Since the release of iOS 10, people can use the "Home" APP added to the iOS system to manage and control smart home devices that support the HomeKit framework. 1.1. "Home" centralized management HomeKit supports centralized management of devices on the "Home" APP, and no other APP is required for each smart device. However, judging from the products released on the market that support the HomeKit protocol, each product still has its own APP launched by the manufacturer to increase customer retention. The settings in the supporting APP are usually more abundant than the functions in the Home APP. For example, Aqara's smart sockets, detailed power consumption curves and statistics can be seen in the original APP. The "Home" APP covers four parts: accessories, scenes, rooms, and automation. (1) The concept of an accessory is well understood, which means that a single smart device is added to the APP. (2) Scene refers to the unified state of multiple devices into corresponding states at a certain moment. For example, the lunch break scene will contain closed curtains and closed lights. (3) The rooms are classified according to space to facilitate the unified management of multiple devices. (4) Automation is to set some conditions to trigger automatic execution of commands. Automation can actually be understood as a scene triggered by a specific condition, su...
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