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SigMote®: A Versatile DSP Sensor Platform for Smart Applications

The SigMote platform is a high-end digital signal processing (DSP) sensor platform designed and developed in-house from ground up for high-data-rate smart applications including smart cities, smart home/building, IoT (Internet of things), smart manufacturing (Industry 4.0) and smart wireless sensor network applications in general. Based on SigMote, a new patent application has been filed by Signalton Technology for an application regarding smart cities.

The platform comprises an electronic circuit board, middleware, embedded application software, and an algorithm layer for developing custom applications. In a wireless sensor network, as a sensor node or a network gateway, the platform can be used for signal and data collection, processing of data right on the platform (edge/fog/on-premises computing) or transmitting data to central servers for further processing (cloud computing). The platform has been demonstrated by running in real time advanced audio analysis algorithms based on machine-learning and temporal/spectral signal processing.

SigMote board, designed and developed by Signalton Technology.

The electronic circuit board of the SigMote platform includes the following:

  • An ultra-low power Texas Instruments DSP with real time operating system (TI-RTOS).
  • Wireless connectivity through various RF technologies (onboard Wi-Fi module, expansion connectors for optional Mikrobus and XBee compatible RF modules of GSM/3G/4G, Zigbee, Bluetooth, LoraWan, etc).
  • On-board sensors (analog and digital MEMS microphones and a 3D accelerometer).
  • On-board audio codec, video decoder and Wi-Fi module.
  • Various sensor interfaces to facilitate integration of almost any type of sensor such as GPS, IMU, etc.
  • Expandable with peripheral connectors (analog/digital microphone ports, multipurpose expansion port, Texas Instruments BoosterPack, Mikrobus, and XBee ports).
  • Audio line I/O connectors, USB, Ethernet, JTAG, microSD Card, SATA hard drive,  VGA output.
  • Power module that supports external battery and solar panel.

SigMote platform architecture

SigMote has about 36 times more computing power when compared to a usual ARM CPU based IoT device. That is a perfect fit for edge computing applications. Edge computing has the following advantages over a remote cloud server or server farm:

  • Intelligence and applications right at the sensor.
  • Low latency, since the data is processed on-premises as it is collected.
  • Low connectivity bandwidth requirements, since less data is transmitted outside the premises.
  • Privacy and security, as the whole data is not transmitted, which is important in the case of high bit rate signals such as audio and video. Only the information extracted from the data, which does not contain anything that violates privacy, is transmitted in a secure manner.