EIT Digital

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

Posted by Jorian from EIT DigitalResponsive · Innovative Products and Technologies · Germany

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

THE CHALLENGE OF CABLES

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.

TOO GOOD TO BE WIRELESS?

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.

REAL-TIME CONTROL THROUGH DETERMINISM – THE “RING” IN ECHORING

  • 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

RELIABILITY THROUGH COOPERATION – THE “ECHO” IN ECHORING

  • 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

ECHORING IS THE BRAINCHILD OF DECADES OF COMBINED RESEARCH AND EXPERIENCE

VISION

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.

STORY

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.

Technology Owner

EIT Digital

Public Agency

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

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Public Agency from Germany

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