IoT Solutions Focus on Cloud Development, NB-IoT, and Matter—a Roundup

March 11, 2023 by Shraddha Tupe

Offering a variety of rich features for IoT system developers, the latest crop of IoT products offer cloud development, NB-IoT/GNSS support, Matter interoperability, and more.

Developing Internet-of-things (IoT) systems continues to be a challenge. By its very nature, the IoT involves supporting a variety of protocols, wireless connectivity schemes, edge processing technologies, and other resources—all of which must interoperate.

To keep pace, technology suppliers in the industry—semiconductor vendors mostly—continue to roll out new development solutions aimed at smoothing the way for crafting IoT-based designs. These products are serving the needs of engineers involved in a variety of applications, including smart energy, smart city, healthcare, agriculture, and others.

In this article, we’ll round up some of the most interesting IoT development products introduced over the past couple weeks.


Cloud-based Tool for Creating IoT Software Dynamically

For its part, Renesas Electronics has launched Quick-Connect Studio, a cloud-based IoT system platform that accelerates the design cycle for IoT projects. The software allows users to build rapid prototypes and develop production-level software before hardware design, reducing risk and saving time.

Quick-Connect Studio provides a graphical drag-and-drop interface, automatically generates, compiles, and builds software without the need for coding. The platform supports Renesas and partner MCU, connectivity, and sensor solutions, with plans to add support for more from its portfolio and various partner solutions.


 Quick Connect Studio.

 Quick Connect Studio. Image courtesy of Renesas


Quick-Connect Studio simplifies the process of building production-level software with fast cloud compute power and a user-friendly interface, promoting project reuse. According to Renesas, users can deploy full solutions to hardware within 10 minutes with minimal upfront learning or investment.

The platform facilitates cloud-based graphical development and testing of comprehensive solutions with easy programming and testing on tangible hardware, generating system projects that can be incorporated into Renesas' e2 studio, leveraging the full Renesas toolchain.


Compact Industrial Module Series for IoT Devices

Addressing the IoT modular side of the equation, STMicroelectronics (ST) has launched the ST87M01, a low-power and small industrial module that supports Narrowband Internet of Things (NB-IoT) and comes with GNSS geo-location capabilities, providing global coverage and advanced security features. 


The ST87M01 module.

The ST87M01 module. Image courtesy of STMicroelectronics


The ST87M01 module is fully programmable and has an advanced ST4SIM embedded SIM (eSIM) and built-in secure element (eSE) for asset security and miniaturization. It has been qualified over the industrial temperature range and is suitable for IoT applications that require ultra-reliable Low Power Wide Area Network (LPWAN) connectivity. 

The module can integrate with a range of products and technologies in ST’s portfolio, enabling the development of advanced IoT ecosystems and supporting various applications, including but not limited to smart metering, smart grid, smart building, smart city, smart infrastructure, industrial condition monitoring, and factory automation.


Firms Team Up for Interoperable IoT Dev Board

SparkFun Electronics and Silicon Labs have partnered to develop a development board that supports interoperability between different communication protocols and product ecosystems. The SparkFun Thing Plus Matter MGM240P board is the first board of its kind that combines the Matter and Qwiic ecosystems, enabling agile development and prototyping of Matter-based IoT devices.

The board features the MGM240P wireless module from Silicon Labs, which utilizes Arm's Cortex M33 processor and provides secure connectivity for both 802.15.4 (Zigbee and OpenThread) and Bluetooth Low Energy 5.3 protocols.Its purpose is to incorporate into the Matter IoT protocol by utilizing the Studio IDE provided by Silicon Labs.

As part of SparkFun's Thing Plus ecosystem, the board also enables access to the Qwiic rapid prototyping ecosystem, which provides a standardized way of connecting sensors, actuators, and other devices without the need for soldering.


Thing Plus Matter MGM240P board.

Thing Plus Matter MGM240P board. Image used courtesy of SparkFun


The SparkFun Thing Plus Matter board is designed to support the interoperability goals of the Connectivity Standards Alliance, which aims to create a future where different smart home devices and IoT platforms can work together seamlessly.

The two companies are positioning their collaboration as a significant step towards the Connectivity Standards Alliance's goal of enabling seamless communication between smart home devices and IoT platforms. The companies claim that the partnership highlights their joint commitment to realizing the full potential of IoT technology.