Low-power WiFi sensor network

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Szántó Péter
Department of Measurement and Information Systems

Nowadays the so-called "smart" devices are getting more common. They are not only able to communicate locally with other devices to execute tasks, but able to connect to the Internet to accept commands remotely, or provide measured values (possibly consuming negligible energy). This is due to the fact that in the previous years numerous WiFi SoCs appeared on the market, which devices are quite cheap and really small in terms of package size, but offering great performance considering how much energy they consume.

The main subject of the thesis/task is to get a better understand on the ESP8266EX WiFi SoC produced by the company Espressif, explore the possiblities of the chip, with what kind of techniques and under what kind of conditions it can operate most energy efficient.

That is why the first part of the thesis is about introducing the chip itself, then enumerating the available modules based on the chip, produced by various companies called ESP-XX variants. Later I compare these modules based on their various parameters, also I choose one type of module to work with in the thesis. After this, I introduce the relevant factors of the wireless communication standard these devices use, bearing in mind all along I'm working with a specific WiFi SoC. After this section I have a look at the various firmwares and developing environments available used to write and upload user programs, comparing them in terms of the offered functions and power consumption.

In the second part of the thesis, I introduce the various power consumption measurement scenarios and results measured using the choosen ESP module, and the various techniques (taking advantage of the sleeping modes of the chip) and parameters, the chip can operate possibly in the most energy efficient mode, confirmed by measurement results.

During the measurements, I evalute the energy consumption results, concentrating strictly to the given cases, which hopefully in the future can be a starting point for another thesis.

In conclusion I summarize what kind of research and measurement tasks I did during the thesis.


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