New IoT Gateway Speeds Time-to-Market for XBee Developers

The versatile new Digi IX15 is an industrial-grade cellular IoT gateway that enables OEMs to build Digi XBee® mesh networks faster, with tools to help deploy your network, and none of the cost or frustration of certifying your own product. The Digi IX15 gateway provides a complete hardware and software solution that enables OEMs to get to market as much as 6-12 months faster than designing your own gateway.
As an IoT gateway, Digi IX15 takes data from an XBee mesh network and transmits data to a cloud application over an Ethernet or cellular connection. XBee modems can be used in Zigbee mesh or DigiMesh networks, which are increasingly popular in use cases such as street lighting, EV charging stations, wind and solar farms, agricultural applications and more.

In addition to being a cellular gateway, Digi IX15 is also a fully functional industrial router with Python programming for edge computing.

Digi IX15 - A Versatile, Industrial Solution

The IX15 gateway meets a wide range of needs to support OEMs in achieving their goals and doing it faster and with less risk. 

C1D2 Certification for Hazardous Environments

Digi IX15 is one of the few cellular gateways on the market that meets Class 1 Division 2 (C1D2) certification. C1D2 certification is issued to electrical products that are safe to operate in potentially hazardous environments where explosive gasses, chemicals or dust may be present. This certification is an absolute requirement in applications near oil and gas production, water/wastewater treatment and other industrial use cases where hazards and harsh conditions may exist.

Faster Development - Typically at Lower Cost

For OEMs who want to get to market quickly, the hardware and software comprising the XBee module, together with the Digi IX15 gateway, provide an attractive alternative to taking on the extensive technical risk, complexity and development cost inherent in building your own wireless solution. This is an example of the classic “build versus buy” dilemma that many OEMs face in building complex products with many components.
Choosing Digi IX15 allows companies to focus on their core competency. Instead of spending time and resources on designs for both the end nodes and the gateway (which is a much larger project than designing an XBee into a sensor) developers can work on perfecting their own applications and products. Digi IX15 reduces costs and accelerates time-to-market, while lowering risk and driving greater project efficiency.

Reduced Risk

The issue of risk merits special attention here. It’s possible to underestimate the scope of a project and the specialized engineering skills needed when designing and building cellular IoT components. First, there is a technical risk that a custom, chip-down solution may take more time than expected, and even then may not meet all of the functional needs of the final product. But another issue, which can be especially challenging, is that of security. Security, of course, is a constant and growing concern in IoT, as it is for virtually any device or, for that matter, any activity that involves the internet.
Digi IX15 has the advantage of the built-in Digi TrustFence® device-security framework, which simplifies the process of securing connected devices. TrustFence provides device security, device identity, and data privacy capabilities into their product design, thanks to features such as secure boot, data authentication and encryption, and protected hardware ports.

Integrated Configuration and Management Solution

Another consideration with any in-house solution is the task of keeping it up to date. Firmware updates will almost certainly be needed from time to time. And as the outside environment evolves, other updates will likely be needed as well, all of which could add significantly to the total cost of ownership. If gateway functionality is not part of your product’s value proposition, maintaining and updating firmware for years to come may not be worth the company’s long-term resource commitment. Firmware for Digi IX15, on the other hand, is constantly maintained and updated by Digi and can be installed remotely with Digi Remote Manager®.
Digi IX15 offers the reliability and fast time-to-market of a thoroughly tested, pre-certified gateway, so product development resources don’t need to be tied up in certification challenges. Finally, for companies that may want to build their own gateways in order to run their own software, it’s important to know that many of the things they want to do with their own software they can probably do just as easily with Python programming on Digi IX15.

Is the IX15 IoT Gateway Right for Your Project?

The Digi IX15 IoT gateway is a perfect choice for industrial OEMs who want to include Digi XBee modems in their connected products.
Here are some example industries and use cases where Digi IX15 makes an excellent fit.

Industrial Monitoring Application Diagram

Industrial Monitoring

Digi XBee networks can connect to monitoring sensors in a range of industrial monitoring applications, such as municipal water and wastewater treatment plants. Digi IX15 gateways can provide an Internet connection for water monitoring controllers and industrial tanks. The C1D2 certification of the IX15 is helpful here as well, because of the presence of methane or other flammable chemicals. Digi IX15’s Bluetooth capability allows for local provisioning when gateways are installed in hard-to-reach places in sprawling treatment plants.

Oil & Gas

The C1D2 certification of Digi IX15 makes it ideal for many applications involving oil and gas production and transportation, where there is potential for the release of flammable or explosive fluids or gasses. In tank monitoring applications, end devices can connect to the IX15 wirelessly through an XBee mesh network, or directly, such as a PLC through serial RS-485.


Digi IX15 can be used to monitor and control Zigbee-enabled solar panels on the roofs of buildings, on solar farms and in other outdoor locations.

Street Lighting

XBee mesh networks are used frequently for monitoring and control of streetlights in today’s Smart Cities. The Digi IX15 gateway provides the connectivity needed to monitor energy efficient street lights and can control individual units, groups of units or whole deployments.

EV Charging

Networks of electrical vehicle (EV) chargers at commercial locations such as parking garages for businesses or shopping centers can be connected by XBee and managed through the IX15 gateway and Digi Remote Manager by the facility manager. As the number of EVs on the road increases, and there will be a corresponding growth in the market for EV charging stations. This represents a vivid example of where time-to-market can be critical to the success of any manufacturer in this market space. 

Why Digi? Hardware-enabled, Software-defined

Digi IX15 fills an important niche in the Digi line of IoT gateways and routers, and is a key component in the Digi XBee Ecosystem of modules, developer tools and code libraries. It gives developers a cost-effective way to get their products to market faster and with greater confidence in the long-term viability of their solutions in a constantly changing environment.  
Contact us to start the conversation about how Digi IX15 can fit into your product development plans.
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