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Low-Power Mote Technology (LMT)

Overview (Slides, PDF, 1MB)

IBM Low-Power Mote Technology is a wireless sensor platform that is part of the Measurement and Management Technology (MMT), one of the smarter planet solutions. In particular, IBM Low-Power Mote Technology is an ultra-low power platform with motes having an expected battery lifetime of 5 years—including the sensors—focused on sensing environmental phenomena—temperature, relative humidity, air flow—and contaminants. There are multiple applications of the technology, for example: museums, data centers, telecommunication facilities.

Picture of a Low-Power Mote Technology Picture of a Low-Power Mote Technology


By design, the IBM Low-Power Mote Technology is modular, that is a mote can be adapted to different applications with a variety of different sensors. Each mote is powered by batteries, thus is completely untethered.

A typical deployment of IBM Low-Power Mote Technology has three components: the wireless motes, the network manager, and a software agent. The wireless motes monitor the environment and form a reliable mesh network. The mesh network is controlled by the network manager, that also has the function to interface with the external world, as a gateway. The software agent links the network manager and the MMT server, and it allows for real-time wireless data gathering.

An overview (PDF, 1MB) of the wireless monitoring solution (MMT and Low-Power Mote Technology platform) can be found on the right section of this page.

IBM Wireless Mesh

Main Components of a Mote

Radio System

For the physical layer and media access control, IBM Low-Power Mote Technology uses a radio compliant with IEEE 802.15.4 standard, at 2.4 GHz frequency. This standard is ideal for low-rate wireless personal area networks. The network layer is based on WirelessHART, an open-standard wireless networking protocol widely used in industrial environments. All the communication has AES-128 bit encryption. The radio module is manufactured by Dust Networks.

Microcontroller Unit

A 16-bit ultra-low power processor is the core of IBM Low-Power Mote Technology. This processors includes multiple inputs and outputs, enabling the flexibility of our motes. Among other, the Low-Power Mote Technology includes Digital I/O, Analog I/O, plus all the main IC communication protocols: I2C, SPI, UART.

Sensors and Transducers

The best on its class sensors perform the accurate measurements of IBM Low-Power Mote Technology. The sensors are compact and low-power, allowing for motes with long lifetimes. Being able to support a large variety of sensors and transducers is important to allow for a flexible platform. Below are details of a sample of sensors being used by IBM Low-Power Mote Technology.

  • Relative Humidity

A compact, fully calibrated, NIST traceable, high-precision, high-accuracy, and low-power sensor that monitors both phenomena: relative humidity and temperature.

  • Differential Pressure

With a MEMS-based transducer, a compact, calibrated, low-pressure sensors, sensing differential air pressure.

  • Corrosion Sensor

Very sensitive sensor, geared towards monitoring corrosion on IT equipment—copper and silver elements. Corrosion sensor manufactured by IBM Research.


  • Environmental Monitoring (e.g. monitoring of a museum)
  • HVAC System Control
  • Healthcare Monitoring
  • Appliances Control
  • Asset Tracking
  • Power Consumption Monitoring
Museum Data Center
Telco Facility
Public Places
Data Centers
Telecom Facilities

News and Events

Deployment of IBM LMT at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC