NXP connects the smart, energy-efficient home with ZigBee and JenNet-IP

Paul Boughton

Nick Flaherty reports on NXP's new family of single chip wireless microcontrollers to make smart homes more energy efficient.

NXP JN516x family supports both the Zigbee wireless standard and the enhanced JenNet-IP protocol which NXP acquired with chip designer Jennic of Sheffield, UK.

The JN516x-EK001 evaluation kit provides all the hardware and software components required for product design, and includes several demos such as a smart lighting system based on JenNet-IP; several energy metering applications using ZigBee Smart Energy, ZigBee Light Link and an RF4CE remote control system.

One of the many smart home and energy products using NXP’s wireless microcontrollers is a wireless energy harvesting switch from Cherry, which operates without a battery and can be used for any application in the home requiring an on-off switch.[Page Break]

“For smart lighting, home automation and energy management applications, the JN516x wireless microcontroller family brings together the optimal combination of price/performance, on-chip memory and ultra-low power consumption, along with a choice of software stacks. The release of our latest development kit, as well as our demos at CES, highlight the innovative yet practical ways in which NXP’s JN51xx platform is bringing the Internet of Things into the home,” said Marcel Walgering, general manager for the Smart Home and Energy product line at NXP Semiconductors.

The JN516x evaluation kit is specifically designed for use with the JN5161, JN5164 or JN5168 wireless microcontrollers, which feature an enhanced 32-bit RISC processor with memory options of up to 256 kB of embedded flash, 4 kB of on-chip EEPROM and 32 kB of RAM. The JN516x series devices also include an IEEE802.15.4 2.4-GHz transceiver and extensive analogue and digital peripherals.[Page Break]

Providing all the components required for system development, the JN516x evaluation kit includes a series of wireless carrier boards; plug-in expansion boards; USB dongles; a remote control; a specially programmed Internet router running enhanced OpenWRT firmware; and a complete software design kit. This comprehensive development kit makes it easy to design solutions for the Internet of Things using ZigBee, JenNet-IP or RF4CE.

Using the various demos included in the kit, designers can quickly produce proof-of-concept systems, with software that can then be used for end products using JN516x ICs or modules. [Page Break]

Demonstrations include JenNet-IP-based Smart Lighting which uses the router to support connection to a WLAN or the Internet and a ZigBee Smart Energy demo that lets the user experiment with an energy service portal (via the USB dongle), an in-premise display (using the display expansion board), standalone meters for electricity and gas, or a range extender. A ZigBee Light Link demo that gives the designer remote control of colour LEDs on the lighting expansion board.

For more information, www.nxp.com