Cable companies and service providers worldwide are about to start rolling out a new "Fifth Play" service offering that makes the connected home more of a smart home. In addition to providing the existing Four Plays: TV and entertainment, Internet access, phone service (VoIP), and cell phone services, operators will be adding the Fifth Play – smart home services for monitoring energy usage, home health, security, climate control, etc. Companies like Comcast, Time Warner and Verizon are already marketing and installing these types of Fifth Play Smart Home solutions.
This Fifth Play will make the set-top box evolve into the “Home Control Box” that communicates with the various sensors and devices in the home which then can be controlled and monitored via a local RF4CE remote control or over the net via smartphone applications. Where previously the set-top box was just responsible for distributing content through the home, the Home Control Box makes it possible for consumers to control all kind of applications in their homes and over the Internet with smartphone apps.
Aimed at set-top boxes, gateways and Smart Home controllers, the GP 710 dual ZigBee radio chip – see Figure 1
- can simultaneously support ZigBee RF4CE applications – such as remote controls – as well as ZigBee Pro or ZigBee IP Smart Home applications such as security, home care and energy management.
Figure 1: The GreenPeak GP 710 dual ZigBee radio chip.
The benefits of this GreenPeak dual protocol communication chip are much simpler product design, cost reduction of the total product bill-of-material (single silicon) and a less complex PCB and antenna that makes it simpler and faster for developers to integrate ZigBee into their set-top box or gateway designs.
The GP 710 includes special hardware features to enable multi-protocol support, minimizing the interrupt load on the set-top box processor, and allowing simultaneous RF4CE and other ZigBee protocol operations – see the block diagram on Figure 2
. Its superior range covers the whole home and its ultra-low power consumption for long battery life makes it a good choice for integrated low cost Smart Home ZigBee applications.
Figure 2: The GP 710 includes special hardware features to enable multi-protocol support, minimizing the interrupt load on the set-top box processor.
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