The Intel Mote has been designed after a careful study of the application space for sensor networks. We have interviewed a number of researchers in this space and collected their feedback on desired im-provements over currently available mote designs. A list of requests that have been repeatedly mentioned includes the following key items: • Increased CPU processing power. In particular, for applications such as acoustic sensing and localization additional computational resources are required. • Increased main memory size. Similar to the item above, sensor network applications are beginning to stretch the limits of existing hardware designs. This need is amplified by the desire to perform localized computation on the motes.
• Improved radio reliability. A number of the current 800-900 MHz, single channel radio designs can suffer from high packet loss rates. In a multi-hop mesh network, this effect is compounded with each hop and can put serious limits on network scaling.
• Security. In particular for commercial applications, security concerns are paramount. This includes the ability to keep outsiders from sniff ing or even modifying data over the air as well as ensuring that only authorized nodes can become part of the network (authentication).
• Cost reduction. The current price tag of motes can become prohibitive for large deployments. In order to grow this nascent marked rapidly, a significant cost reduction of the hardware is necessary. Mindful of the concerns listed above, we have taken a novel approach when designing the Intel Mote. For the CPU core we have used an ARM7TDMI processor that provides a 32-bit execution engine and runs at 12 MHz. This provides about a 4x performance improvement over the original MICA mote designs. We have also provided a much larger main memory with 64 Kbytes of RAM. Nonvolatile storage for application and operating system use adds an additional 512 Kbytes of FLASH memory to the platform
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