R3 ECHORING - High-performance wireless technology for mission-critical industrial applications

  • Jorian from EIT Digital
  • From Germany
  • Responsive
  • Innovative Products and Technologies

Summary of the technology

UNWIRE AUTOMATION, BE BOLD. Turn your wired industrial applications into a wireless connected system to make them saver, faster, more flexible, efficient, durable, up and down scalable.

EIT Digital


Machines must communicate effectively in order to perform complex tasks. So far, only wired networks have been reliable enough for this role, yet with the advent of the Internet of Things and Industry 4.0 wires and cables are beginning to reveal their limits:

Scalability: Difficult installation and configuration of new units

Flexibility:Limited adaptability to new scenarios

Engineering: Additional weight and space are required

Maintenance:Hardware wear and tear caused through a repetitive moment in harsh environments

EchoRing pushes industrial communications to new heights, enabling latency and reliability-critical applications to operate in a wide range of unexplored wireless scenarios.


EchoRing is, in function, a wireless industrial cable. It’s an ultra-reliable communications network that easily handles the performance requirements of heavy industry and aerospace while freeing them of the engineering and operational limits of wired systems. For this reason, EchoRing represents a foundational keystone of Industry 4.0.

EchoRing can be explained through two key concepts: determinism and cooperation.


  • EchoRing ensures stable real-time performance through deterministic Token Ring technology
  • A station within a Token Ring network can only transmit data when it receives the token (a small control packet), thus preventing interruptions from other stations
  • A station holds the token for a pre-defined duration (THT: Token Holding Time) before passing it along to the next station
  • Since the individual THTs are known and controllable, the overall system latency is their sum total (TTRT: Total Token Rotation Time)
  • In case of a token loss, smart methods are in place allowing for immediate recovery


  • Stations in an EchoRing network cooperate independently and interchangeably, rather than as sub-units directed by a controller
  • Signal reliability is ensured through a flexible “buddy” system – if an information packet fails to deliver on the first attempt, the buddy station of its sender immediately relays it instead (hence the “Echo” in EchoRing)
  • Buddy stations are assigned automatically, based ontoken calculations
  • The buddy station system is far more efficient than the standard retransmission process used by other wireless protocols



R3 aims to unwire industry and engineering with EchoRing, a decentralized, “heavy wireless” network for 21st-century machine-to-machine applications.
Take a look at our Basics of EchoRing page for more info on how the technology works and how it may upgrade your application.


In 2007, Assistant Professor James Gross of RWTH Aachen – now Head of Research at R3 – foresaw the arrival of Industry 4.0 and, with it, the need for a robust, low-latency wireless network solution. A reliable alternative to cables and wires had to be developed if this latest industrial revolution was to reach its full potential.

In 2009, after some time mulling over the best approach to this challenge, James envisioned the concept of a software-based wireless radio protocol and persuaded RWTH master’s student Christian Dombrowski to write his PhD on the subject. Preliminary R&D on a prototype began the same year, with the first successful software-defined radio (SDR) platform test conducted in 2012. The result of this initial concept and collaboration, seeing as you’re now reading this, is obvious: EchoRing.

The vast potential of this new network solution (especially as Industry 4.0 began emerging onto the scene just as he predicted) convinced James to explore founding a startup around the technology. In early 2015 he reached out to his former TU Berlin classmate Dr. Mathias Bohge, at that time a management consultant, with a business proposal. Matias introduced James and Christian to fellow consultant Florian Bonanati, and in July 2015 after months of careful market research, the four founded R3: Reliable Realtime Radio Communications.

Today, R3 employs nearly 40 experts and counting and is the largest firm at Charlottenburg Innovation Centre (CHIC), one of Berlin’s flagship technology accelerators. The company, its founders and EchoRing have rapidly accumulated numerous accolades, funding rounds and high-profile clients, trailblazing the market in ultra-reliable, real-time wireless network solutions.

Even as R3 expands and strives for ever-increasing heights, we remain committed to our original vision: unwiring the future with EchoRing.

Related Keywords

  • Electronics, IT and Telecomms
  • Data Processing / Data Interchange, Middleware
  • Internet Technologies/Communication (Wireless, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth)
  • Internet of Things
  • Environmental and Biometrics Sensors, Actuators
  • ICM - Internet Content Management
  • Telecommunications, Networking
  • Research Networking, GRID
  • Communications Protocols, Interoperability
  • Optical Networks and Systems
  • Optical Materials
  • Switches and wiring
  • Sensors & Wireless products
  • Measurements and Standards
  • Electronics Related Market
  • Fibre Optics

About EIT Digital

EIT Digital is a leading European digital innovation and entrepreneurial education organisation driving Europe’s digital transformation.

EIT Digital delivers breakthrough digital innovations to the market and breeds entrepreneurial talent for economic growth and improved quality of life in Europe. It does this by mobilising a pan-European ecosystem of almost 200 top European corporations, SMEs, startups, universities and research institutes.

As a Knowledge and Innovation Community of the European Institute of Innovation and Technology, EIT Digital is focused on entrepreneurship and is at the forefront of integrating education, research and business by bringing together students, researchers, engineers, business developers and entrepreneurs. This is done in our pan-European network of co-location centres in Berlin, Eindhoven, Helsinki, London, Paris, Stockholm, Trento, as well as in Budapest and Madrid. We also have a hub in Silicon Valley.

EIT Digital invests in strategic areas to accelerate the market uptake of research-based digital technologies focusing on Europe’s strategic, societal challenges: Digital Industry, Digital Cities, Digital Wellbeing, Digital Infrastructure and Digital Finance.

EIT Digital breeds T-shaped entrepreneurial digital talent focused on innovation through a blended Education Strategy that includes a Master School, Doctoral School and Professional School.

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