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Articles & White Papers

SNAP Featured in Circuit Cellar



 April 2012 Part 1    May 2012 Part 2


“I’ve been tossing around a project like this for a while now but it wasn’t until I experienced the power of the SYNAPSE modules that it all began to gel."
 -  by Jeff Bachiochi, Circuit Cellar, April-May 2012 Issues

Scalability in SNAP Mesh Networks

SNAP White Paper
by David Ewing,
Chief Technology Officer, Synapse Wireless

It is projected that 100 billion new "uniquely identifiable objects" will be connected to the Internet by 2020 (source IEEE Computing). That's only 8 years from the time of this writing for what is being called the Internet of Things to massively overtake the Internet as we know it today. Whether or not the predictions hold true, it is certain that the technology of interconnected low-power wireless embedded devices has come of age and is beginning to make its way into products which touch our daily lives. Just as microcontrollers are all around us, largely unknown and unnoticed by most of humanity, networked embedded devices will provide a new layer of information and interactivity with the physical world while remaining mostly "invisible". This means that embedded networks will have to function without the administrative requirements we associate with "networking" today, even while growing to a scale much greater than our current Internet.

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So Simple a Sales Guy Could Build It
By Brian Fuller
Editorial Director for EE Times' EE Life engineering community

You know the caricature of the electronics sales rep: A tassel-shoed dandy who
takes calls in between putting and chipping, who has a hard time remembering
his college engineering.

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Creating a Wireless Water-Leak Alarm System for Home Use
By Clive Max Maxfield, Maxfield
High-Tech Consulting for Convergence Promotions LLC

Following a water leak in my home, I decided to evaluate different alternatives for creating a wireless water-leak monitoring and alarm system. Rather than design everything from the ground up, it made more sense to use off-the-shelf wireless modules. In addition to speeding the design and implementation process, these modules come with all the required certifications that allow them to be embedded directly into the end product.

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Cobra System Relies on SNAP

Entertainment Engineering, volume 9 issue 03

COBRA systems are now using the RF200 as their premier RF module in the new scripted line of hand-held controls for controlling precise timing of pyro-musicals and scripted pyro events.

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Intelligent lighting holds promise for efficient lighting networks

Margery Conner, Technical Editor
EDN Network  - November 17, 2011

At the recent Designing with LEDs Workshop, a keynote panel of experts addressed the emerging topic of intelligent lighting. Here are some highlights of the discussion.

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Cost-Effective, Over-the-Air Update for SNAP OS
with ARM’s code efficiency

Guest Partner Blog - David Ewing

A significant challenge for embedded systems is how to provide a reliable, yet cost-effective way to remotely update firmware when adding new features or providing software revisions. This is especially true when your embedded system is located far from easy access (which is often the case for products that embed wireless communication) or is in an environment prone to power interruptions. Embedded systems are also very much driven by cost, so there are rarely excess on-board resources available.

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Synapse’s SNAP Network Operating System
SNAP White Paper

Today we are surrounded by tiny embedded machines – electro-mechanical systems that monitor the environment around them and issue commands to control other machines and systems. One such machine may be monitoring the ambient light and checking for motion, poised to activate a lighting system. Another might be observing the operating characteristics of a motor and controlling its speed. Yet another may be watching and adjusting the temperature and humidity.

[ Download White Paper ]


Intelligent Lighting (Part 1):
From Definition to Implementation

Osama Mannan, Future Lighting Solutions - LED Professional, Issue 22

“The increasing interest in solid state lighting and the improvement in LEF technology have not only created a need for more reliable and high quality LEDs, but also created a demand for cost effective and interactive LED systems. Such demands are influencing lighting designers to develop more efficient and robust products for the market. The goal of such developments is to decrease energy consumption. While there are different methods in meeting that goal, having an intelligent lighting system that incorporates monitoring, control and a communication network can greatly help in achieving that goal more effectively."

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Intelligent Lighting (Part 2):
From Definition to Implementation

Osama Mannan, Future Lighting Solutions - LED Professional, Issue 23

“Looking closely at an intelligent lighting system, the implementation of the system comprises of a combination of a wide range of products depending on the application and its requirements. This article will focus on three implementation approaches and the products that can be leveraged to develop the intelligent lighting system.”

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Embedded World Illuminates “TRON”

Low-Power Engineering Community - John Blyler


“An integral part of the embedded system used in ‘TRON LEGACY’ was the wireless-network lighting control and monitoring module, which was developed by Synapse Wireless. By using the company’s ‘SNAP’ network, Nila’s McFarland was able to turn the suit lighting on and off instantly. Furthermore, the SNAP wireless software returned data to the control computer screen, showing battery levels, runtime, and inverter temperature. This real-time data enabled the movie’s director to maximize the use of special effects by monitoring the suit battery life and inverter temperature.”

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Huntsville's Synapse Wireless lights up the screen in 'Tron: Legacy'

The Huntsville Times - Budd McLaughlin


When Wade Patterson helped found Synapse Wireless about four years ago, being involved in movies was most likely the last thing in his career plans.

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Engineers who require wireless machine-to-machine control and communications need this kit from Synapse Wireless
Jon Titus, Contributing Technical Editor - Design News

“Engineers might think wireless communications always involves complicated protocols such as Wi-Fi, ZigBee, Bluetooth and others. This kit from Synapse Wireless will dispel that notion as engineers and designers set up experiments and work through demonstrations of wireless control and data exchange. The kit includes two transceiver/MCU boards, called RF Engines, an experiment ‘protoboard’ and software. I enjoyed working with the kit and recommend it highly…”

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SNAP-to-Internet Appliance Simplifies Embedded Connectivity

electronic design’s - Bill Wong

electronic design's - Bill Wong video

Synapse Wireless' SNAP Connect E10 embedded appliance is designed to provide access to embedded devices via Ethernet, Wi-Fi and cellular networks. It incorporates SNAP Connect, Synapse Wireless' mesh networking software. The E10 uses a 400 MHz 32-bit RISC processor running an embedded version of Linux. It has 64 Mbytes of RAM and 256 Mbytes of flash.The module has 2.4GHz, IEEE 802.15.4 wireless support along with 10/100Base-T Ethernet support. It also supports USB 2.0 devices. The E10 bridges SNAP networks across TCP/IP without requiring firewall configuration or policy exceptions.

The E10 and other wireless SNAP nodes can be accessed using standard XML remote procedure calls (XML-RPC). This allows access using almost any programming language and platform. Developers also have full access to Linux services for administration and management.

Wade Patterson's Sensor Expo 2010 Keynote

“Armed with a networked OS such as SNAP, Wade said engineers are ready to truly enable machine-to-machine connectivity, a market that according to a recent Harbor Research report could encompass over 27 billion devices.” - Patrick Mannion, EE Times

[ Read Wade’s article on Machines that Tweet ]

Synapse’s SNAP® mesh network software “worked as advertised”
Circuit Cellar - Tom Cantrell

Synapse Wireless® provides Internet-enabled, wireless machine-to-machine (M2M) communication using its SNAP mesh network technology. Synapse’s solution was recently reviewed in depth by Tom Cantrell, West Coast Editor, in the September 2009 issue of Circuit Cellar Magazine. “The bottom line is that I’m impressed,” Tom concluded. “Synapse deserves credit for thinking outside the box and delivering a unique solution that integrates every aspect of an embedded wireless project.” Read or download the complete “Neural Network – A SNAP-shot from Synapse Wireless,” by Tom Cantrell at no cost.

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Industrial Embedded Systems: Choosing the best wireless monitoring and control technology
Industrial Embedded Systems - Max Maxfield

Like any networking technology, wireless sensor networks depend on an implementation euphemistically known as "the stack." Stacks aren't all created equal, and designers will opt for smaller and more portable stacks in some situations. Max examines one such self-forming network stack - Synapse's Wireless Mesh Network Protocol (SNAP) - and discusses how it compares to ZigBee.

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PRODUCT HOW-TO: Mesh Networks for Portable Products - David Ewing

Do you really need a "wide-awake" wireless network, or is a "sleepy mesh" more applicable to portable products?

In addition to "heavy-duty" applications like industrial control and machine communication, wireless capabilities are increasingly required in portable products, such as hand-held units used for medical monitoring applications.

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Implementing a processor-independent, battery-powered wireless mesh network - David Ewing

In many cases, it is required to add wireless capability to existing embedded systems. Often, in order to minimize costs, it is necessary to run the wireless software stack (and associated applications) on the same processor that drives the main system.

This can cause problems with conventional wireless implementations in which (a) the stack is closely tied to a particular microcontroller and (b) creating the wireless applications requires extensive C/C++ programming and embedded expertise. This article describes an alternative approach that mitigates these problems

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SNAP based Wireless Mesh Networks
SNAP White Paper

The world is currently seeing an exponential growth in the use of wireless networks for monitoring and control in consumer, commercial, industrial, and government markets. Uses range from building automation (lighting, heating, A/C...) to industrial control and machine communication, to medical monitoring, to security applications, to home automation.

[ Download White Paper ]



Wireless Mesh Network Applications in a SNAP
Design News - David Ewing

When creating wireless applications it isn't possible to totally eliminate the Essential Complexity of a system. Wireless monitoring and control applications have to interface to complex protocol stacks at one end and physical sensors and actuators at the other.

[ Download Article ]



Sleepy Nodes and Sleepy Meshes - Ultra-low-power Mesh Routing
Application White Paper

Physical nodes in a SNAP based network communicate wirelessly using a full mesh topology. Nodes that are in direct radio range of each other will communicate directly. When nodes are not in direct radio range, intermediate nodes will automatically forward any messages to their intended destinations. This is known as "mesh routing".

[ Download White Paper ]



Smart Grid Product of the Year Spotlight - Synapse Wireless
Smart Grid, TMCnet - Jon Arnold (ICP)

When our first smart grid product of the year, or “POTY,” awards were announced, I wrote a recap article summarizing the winners so readers could learn about all the companies in one place. Since then, I have followed up directly with some of these companies to learn more about what they bring to smart grid. One of those companies is Synapse Wireless, who has an industry-leading, Internet-compatible mesh network solution based on their SNAP solution. To further explore that and how they are enabling smart M2M communications for utilities, I conducted the following interview with Wade Patterson, CEO of Synapse.

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In Search of the WSN Killer App
ZigBee Resource Guide - David Ewing

So what is the killer WSN application? It's the one that lets you create your own applications without having to know all of the complexity of the network's underlying operation. And like the elegance of a modern spreadsheet, it just works... reliably, efficiently, and most importantly, transparently. No coding or compiling of abstract code. Simply write your instructions for how you want the system to behave and instruct each node as if you were typing instructions into the cell of a spreadsheet.

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The rise of the Chief Wireless Officer - Wade Patterson

Pick up the daily newspaper, peruse the business section and a strange sight greets you: "Wanted, Chief Wireless Officer." "Not another executive," you think to yourself, as you finish your coffee and head to work. But as the pace of traffic slows, the CWO concept still swirls in your mind. After all, it was only two days ago that a flood of yet another new technology drowned the quarterly meeting. M2M. 802.125.4. SNAP. What does this all mean?

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When the Factory talks, smart businesses listen
Embedded Computing Design - Wade Patterson

"Advances in communication technologies are benefiting businesses by providing intelligent communication that can be networked in production centers. Armed with a wide range of sensors, communication nodes can now be wirelessly and cost-effectively placed throughout a manufacturing facility to achieve an unprecedented level of monitoring and control. This not only..."

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North America
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