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Massive Machine-Type Communication (mMTC) for Smart Systems

Key Takeaways

  • Machine-type communication is different from human-type communication, as the transmitters and receivers are machines or devices.

  • Massive machine-type communication is focused on providing intermittent data transmissions.

  • mMTC use cases give utmost importance to small packet data transmission techniques rather than high-speed, large-volume data transmission.

Massive machine-type communication (mMTC)

Machines must be well-connected to communicate with each other and align processes, procedures, and orders according to supply chain requirements. The massive machine-type communication (mMTC) services offered by 5G communication technology help implement and enhance smart systems consisting of numerous connected devices. The connected device density supported by 5G mMTC services is high, enabling efficient communication between devices. 

Communication Technology Is Constantly Evolving

Over the past few decades, the development of wireless technologies has altered the way we communicate. There is now a growing interest in the industry related to machine communication, and engineers are aiming to establish ubiquitous connectivity among autonomous devices. The deployment of Internet of Things (IoT) networks has enabled “smart living”. With the emergence of smart city plans and intelligent transport systems, IoT systems have grown, impacting the density of connected devices.

Machine-Type Communication (MTC)

Wireless communication with sensor devices and actuators represent machine-type communication. Machine-type communication is different from human-type communication, as the transmitters and receivers are machines or devices in MTC communication. Various radio access technologies support machine-type communication; the most promising is the latest 5G technology.

MTC is a broad area, and under 5G wireless communication technology, it can be categorized as:

  1. Massive machine-type communication (mMTC)

  2. Ultra-reliable and low-latency machine-type communication (UMTC)

UMTC is very reliable and offers low latency. UMTC is equipped with provisions to control objects, devices, and processes in real-time. Massive machine-type communication (mMTC) is more focused on providing intermittent data transmissions, which delay tolerant services among a massive number of devices.

Addressing High Device Density With Massive Machine-Type Communication (mMTC)

To address massive device connectivity in IoT systems, the third-generation partnership project (3GPP) introduced 5G communication technology with a service category called massive machine-type communication, or mMTC.

The 5G use case of mMTC addresses the challenges encountered in machine-type communication. mMTC uses new communication models that are unlike human-type communication models. The application systems supported by massive machine-type communication prioritize low-rate, uplink-centric transmission, which is different from high-speed, downlink-based, human-type communication.

The mMTC use cases give utmost importance to small packet data transmission techniques rather than high-speed, large-volume data transmission. Innovative access strategies are present in massive machine-type communication, which prevents the collisions that can arise if traditional human-type communication-based schemes are used. The mMTC service can be tailored to combine random access and scheduling strategies when there are thousands of IoT devices waiting for access. Network slicing architecture is utilized in 5G technology to ensure the smooth low data-rate transmission associated with mMTC use cases.

Common Applications of Massive Machine-Type Communication (mMTC)

Connected Vehicles

Wireless connectivity enables new functionalities and services in the automotive industry. Automotive applications optimize both machine and human communication. The mMTC use case in automobiles enables the exchange of data between machines inside the vehicle or with servers or user devices. mMTC use cases in the automotive industry include traffic efficiency, road safety, remote diagnostics, and control.

Smart Grids

The smart grid is a complex cyber-physical system where energy production is decentralized. There is real-time control and coordination to match the energy supply with demand. The mMTC service provided by 5G wireless technology promotes the establishment of a reliable smart grid. This smart grid, which is a use case of mMTC, is also capable of sending commands and polls.

Factory Automation

By enabling wireless connectivity between various movable machines present in an integrated control system, it is possible to reduce downtime, shut downs, and monetary losses during manufacturing. The application of 5G mMTC over a wired connection helps engineers lower installation costs and eliminate the clutter and weight issues from cables. The most common application of factory automation is the real-time control of sensors and actuators in a closed loop.

Massive machine-type communication (mMTC) services enabled by 5G technology are integral parts of use cases such as factory automation, autonomous vehicle control, smart buildings, smart city systems, smart grids, smart logistics, and geographically spread devices.

Cadence’s PCB design and analysis tools can support you when developing 5G architecture for applications such as intelligent transportation systems, smart grids, and smart cities. Cadence’s efficient design tools ensure the smooth development of mMTC use cases.

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