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Kyoto University, Teaming with 2 Japanese Companies, Acquires World-First Certification for Wireless Communication Specification Wi-SUN FAN

Wireless devices equipped with the new international wireless communication specification Wi-SUN FAN (Field Area Network) for the Internet of Things developed jointly by the research group of Professor Hiroshi Harada of the Graduate School of Informatics, Kyoto University (hereinafter Kyoto University), Nissin Systems Co., Ltd. (hereinafter Nissin Systems), and ROHM Co., Ltd. (hereinafter ROHM) became one of the world’s first solutions to achieve Wi-SUN FAN certification.

In order to realize outdoor communication networks such as smart cities and smart grids, high-quality, long-distance and secure network technology is required. Wi-SUN FAN is a new specification of Wi-SUN, an international radio communications project that is the best suited to the construction of IoTs. It is an interoperable communications networking technique for electricity, gas, and water metering, as well as for smart cities and smart grids in various applications such as infrastructure and intelligent transport systems.

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This Wi-SUN FAN is an interoperable low-power IoT wireless communication technology that utilizes low-power wireless transmission technology based on the IEEE 802.15.4g standard and multistage routing technology based on IPv6. On May 16, 2016, the Wi-SUN Alliance, which certifies wireless communication standards for IoTs, technical compatibility, and interconnectivity, established standard specifications, and on November 11, 2016, the three parties announced that they succeeded in basic radio developments compatible with Wi-SUN FAN. The Wi-SUN Alliance then announced its Wi-SUN FAN certification program on October 3, 2018.

This achievement 
Based on the results of the basic development of Wi-SUN FAN, the three parties developed a radio compatible with Wi-SUN FAN technical specifications and certification program, and passed an IP-based certification test using multi-hop, frequency-hopping, and advanced certification security by using a plurality of different radios from different companies. This radio has the following functions as described in the Wi-SUN FAN Technical Specifications.

  • Physical layer and MAC layer corresponding to IEEE 802.15.4/4g/4e required for operation in Japan
  • Adaptation layer, network layer, and transport layer established by IETF such as 6LowPAN and IPv6
  • Multi-hop communication system using RPL
  • Frequency hopping
  • RADIUS/AAA high-level security
  • Multi-vendor interconnectivity

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With the IEEE802.15.4/4g/4e technologies capable of stable transmission over 1km under the Japanese regulation, this radio is equipped with an international standard for Internet access, which has been introduced in Wi-Fi (TM) systems, and a multi-hop international standard that realizes multi-stage relay between radios based on IP. This makes it easy to connect sensors, meters, and monitors that make up smart cities and smart metering to the Internet.

This achievement was carried out in the Impulsing Paradigm Change through Disruptive Technologies Program (ImPACT) led by the Council for Science, Technology and Innovation, the Cabinet Office. This program was formed by a joint industry-academia consortium called the Next-Generation Wi-SUN Joint Research Consortium, Kyoto. The three parties, based in Kyoto, are Kyoto University, which have a track record of standardization and development of IEEE 802.15.4/4g/4e, Nissin Systems, which commercializes Wi-SUN-compatible communication middleware, and ROHM, which develops communication modules compatible with the standard.

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Outline of certification acquisition: 

  • Date and time of certification acquisition: January 30, 2019
  • Certification authority: Wi-SUN Alliance
  • Certified testing laboratory: Allion Labs, Inc.
  • Certification number: WSA 0171

Future development 
In the future, the three parties will participate in an interoperability specification verification event sponsored by the Wi-SUN Alliance to contribute to testing for technical conformity and interoperability of the Wi-SUN FAN standard, and to promote further development as industry-academia cooperation projects in Kyoto in order to implement this radio in society. The results were also displayed at the Wi-SUN Alliance booth in DistribuTECH 2019, the largest power industry-related event in the United States, which was held in New Orleans on February 5.

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