Electrical Engineering
      and Computer Sciences

Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences


UC Berkeley


2009 Research Summary

Epic: A Next Generation Platform Architecture for Motes

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Prabal Dutta, Jay Taneja, Jaein Jeong, Xiaofan Fred Jiang, David E. Culler, Scott Shenker and Ion Stoica

National Science Foundation, Microsoft and Sharp

Sensornet platforms, like most embedded systems, are tightly coupled to their applications. This coupling can make it difficult for general-purpose platforms to address application-specific needs, forcing platform designers to repeatedly reimplement functionality.

Epic is a next-generation platform architecture for wireless sensor nodes (motes) that addresses this tension. The Epic project has developed a composable hardware architecture for sensornet platforms that specifically supports prototyping, pilots, and production by decomposing platforms into reusable, general-purpose core modules and application-specific carriers that incorporate the sensing, power, and mechanicals. This simple decomposition allows application-specific platforms to be built quickly, even by novice students.

Figure 1
Figure 1: Epic Core, USB, and Storage modules

Figure 2
Figure 2: HydroWatch board: a complete Epic-based system

Figure 3
Figure 3: ACme AC Meter: a complete Epic-based system

Figure 4
Figure 4: Epic Interface: a system for prototying and classroom instruction

Figure 5
Figure 5: Benchmark mote: integrates Epic Core (MCU, radio, flash), iCount (µJ-level energy meter), a host interface (USB) and FIFO (128 KB)

P. Dutta, J. Taneja, J. Jeong, X. Jiang, and D. Culler, "A Building Block Approach to Sensornet Systems," Proceedings of the Sixth ACM Conference on Embedded Networked Sensor Systems (SenSys'08), November 2008.