Eating their Wheaties!



By paul ~ January 20th, 2009. Filed under: Industry, Systems Engr..

I just read a great article on Embedded.com written by Synapse Wireless‘ VP of Engineering David Ewing, titled “Implementing a processor-independent, battery-powered wireless mesh network“.  In the article, David describes the design process for Synapse’s mesh network protocol stack and application programming layer.  David hits one out of the park on this one!

I became fascinated by mesh networking after being exposed to some of the challenges and approaches in the defense sector.  Since then, I’ve been following developments in this area with interest.  This is a field that is going to explode in coming years in the commercial sector.  The ability to cover a wide area with low power, limited range devices is incredibly useful and will result in some innovative applications.  There are a staggering number of enabling technologies emerging and these are going to require some sorting out.  Hopefully “survival of the fittest” will do the sorting!

Mr. Ewing’s article really impressed me on a couple of levels.  First, he describes an excellent, requirements-driven systems engineering approach in his discussion of how Synapse developed their SNAP protocol.  This is the kind of process, and resulting “genius”, that I really respect.  Secondly, their focus on platform independence is laudable.  Third is the innovative thinking demonstrated by their use of a lightweight, byte-compiled interpreted language (Python in this case) for the application programming environment.  And finally, the raw capability of the resulting protocol is impressive.  Kudos to the team, stellar performance.  I can’t wait to see how the market receives the Synapse solution.

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