Multi-protocol sub-GHz wireless transceivers target IoT

Jon Lawson

NXP Semiconductors has launched a family of turnkey sub-GHz wireless transceivers targeting the Internet of Things (IoT).

The OL2385 is based on a PIN-to-PIN compatible sub-GHz transceiver hardware platform and supports multiple wireless protocols such as Sigfox, W-MBus powered by Xemex and ZigBee IEEE 802.15.4.

The transceivers are aimed at battery powered applications such as home and building automation, smart metering as well as asset tracking and monitoring. The platform is designed to shorten design cycles with NXP software stacks tested for standards compliance and delivered with pre-certified binaries.

A two-way RF channel and common modulation schemes for networking applications allow the OL2385 family of transceivers to cover a full range of frequency bands from 160 to 960MHz. Its extended range radio operation is enabled with high sensitivity, up to -128dBm, while its operation in congested environments is enhanced with 60dB at 1MHz of blocking performance and 60 dB of image rejection that is best in class by approximately 10dB.

“Sigfox is pleased to have NXP Semiconductors join the ecosystem to provide our customers even more choice of software and hardware platforms,” said Tony Francesca, vice president of global ecosystem partners at Sigfox. “The OL2385 reference design is Sigfox verified having very good performance with outstanding receive sensitivity. The new NXP transceivers are optimized solutions for global module manufacturers such as Innocomm to deliver ultra-low cost IoT modules that will fuel the IoT mass-market deployment.”

The devices have a 14dbm Tx output power compliant with ETSI limits and a typical 29 mA transmit power consumption at full output power with under 11 mA receive power consumption.

The phase noise of -127 dBc at 1MHz in the 868 and 915MHz band provides flexibility with external power amplifiers and the transceivers can be combined with pre-developed SPI/ UART drivers for other NXP microcontrollers as there is no fast polling on SPI compared to the simplest transceiver devices without integrated MCU. The network stack and optimised radio setup are preconfigured for the standards supported.

The transceivers have been designed to meet challenges of radio compliance in more complex applications such as W-MBus and ZigBee 868. ”We have completed extensive testing of OL2385 for its suitability of W-MBus compliance and we confirmed that the OL2385 complies with the specification in the various modes, and that we can offer our W-MBus stack with the device,” said Gert-Jan van den Hurk, CEO of Xemex.

The hardware and software for the OL2385 platform is provided in a one-stop-shop concept, with components supplied by NXP. The OL2385 platform samples and development boards with SIGFOX are available now and mass production of pre-programmed parts are scheduled to start at the end of Q4/2017. The W-MBus software is readily available for evaluation and IEEE802.15.4 compliant samples are expected to become available in Q2 2017. W-MBus and IEEE802.15.4 preprogrammed parts are scheduled to become available for mass market in the 2nd quarter of 2017.