Emerson Electric Co. has made a strategic investment through Emerson Ventures, its corporate venture capital arm, in Spearix Technologies, Inc. Particularly, the adaptive and multi-core radio processor of Spearix provides a system-level solution for Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) wireless communication.
Through the investment and Emerson Ventures’ value-add strategic investment approach, Emerson will support Spearix’s technology and early-stage growth. At the same time, while expanding upon its own IIoT capabilities. Emerson Ventures is the first corporate or institutional investor to make an investment in Spearix. In conjunction with the investment, Emerson has also entered into an engineering collaboration agreement with Spearix.
Thurston Cromwell, vice president of development and innovation, and head of Emerson Ventures said the growth of IIoT would also mean billions of sensors and radio frequency (RF) transceivers operating near others in low-cost, unlicensed RF bands. Because of that, a variety of RF aggressors will increasingly challenge the reliability and range of wireless networks.
Thus, Cromwell said, “We believe technologies like what Spearix is building have promise in overcoming the obstacles caused by interference and congestion. Emerson will realize even greater reliability and range through the implementation of Spearix technology into our robust industrial wireless mesh network portfolio and associated software products. Spearix technology also presents an enormous opportunity to significantly improve the performance of many other wireless communication protocols.”
Meanwhile, Laura Schafer, vice president and general manager, pervasive sensing and connectivity solutions at Emerson, said, “Emerson Ventures’ investment will enable Spearix to drive its advanced RF and Digital Signal Processor (DSP) architectures forward and continue to deliver solutions that resolve connectivity issues in harsh and congested RF environments.” “This technology offers a novel hardware and software approach that has the potential to significantly improve performance while preserving investments made in existing communication protocols.”
Spearix’s headquarters is in Cedar Park, Texas. Its primary product offering is a multi-core radio processor and associated software. Primarily, it adapts to optimize performance and power based on measured environmental conditions.
Moreover, the technology has been shown to improve the connection reliability of industrial protocols. Nonetheless, it still operates under heavy interference induced by high-power, high-bandwidth pervasive Wi-Fi operation.
Manas Behera, founder and chief executive officer at Spearix, said, “Emerson is an ideal fit for us, as they have the right people, technology, processes and market expertise. Together, we think we’re going to solve a tremendous challenge currently facing IIoT.”
Juan Conchas, vice president of sales and marketing at Spearix, added, “The Emerson partnership is a key step in commercialization of Spearix technology unlocking many new use cases in high value applications beyond industrial. The market is calling for industrial level reliability across many emerging applications, particularly in open spectrum bands like 2.4GHz where coexistence will be a challenge.”
The investment will complement Emerson’s vision for WirelessHART and the evolution of its IIoT product portfolio. Emerson led the development of WirelessHART as an open standard in the 2000s, establishing it as the leading wireless protocol for industrial applications. Integration of Spearix technology offers a step-change in reliability and range that is fully compatible with existing WirelessHART systems. In addition, will also improve co-existence and spectral efficiency and provide larger network support to reduce total cost of ownership. In addition, it will also offer higher data rates to accommodate data-rich devices, and provide redundancy for critical applications.