Neocortec to license its wireless mesh tech

Neocortec to license its wireless mesh tech

Business news |
By Nick Flaherty

Danish wireless technology developer Neocortec is opening up the licensing of its mesh networking protocol and working with Honeywell in a major deal.

“The deal we have with Honeywell is two things,” said Thomas Halkier, CEO of NeoCortec. “They are licensing our Neomesh technology, the protocol stack, and the new thing is we are now licensing the stack rather than as an integrated part of the wireless mesh modules. In addition to licensing the stack we are also working with them on integrating the stack into their solution and helping them design an extended layer on top of the stack for their application specific requirements.”

This is for a wireless fire safety system with the Neocortec’s NeoMesh technology integrated into products such as smoke detectors, modules and audio-visual devices. The licensing deal and the port to a Nordic Semiconductor system on chip comes from a rewriting of the core technology for portability.

“We have reorganised the architecture of stack so we are less dependent of a specific hardware and now can work with almost any wireless SoC or wireless chipset. Between the various suppliers of wireless chipsets they have different flavours and we are free to chose between any physical layer they offer and then it becomes about the peripherals. The key is that our stack is extremely memory efficient in flash and RAM and that allows us to integrate the stack into tiny microcontrollers,” said Halker.  

“This is a big step,” he said. ”It’s something that is attractive as we don’t have to worry about the liability on the hardware but poses a security risk on our IP and it’s a business model that we are now opening up.”

“Overall we are interested in working with big and small customers. In licensing our stack there is cost in integrating the stack that isn’t justified if you don’t run a high volume product,” he said. “In a way it rounds off our offerings. A module isn’t the most cost optimised solution for high volume designs as there is some overhead of the module and the board was using older chipsets from TI. Then there is a mid-range volume business with a pre-flashed TI SoC. We have a good relationship with TI but we are also at a stage to offer the stack.”

This will help to expand the range of modules it provides via its contract manufacturing partner in Thailand. “We are growing our module business and this will continue to be important to us and working on the roadmap for newer modules,” he said.

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