Sheffield, UK — Jennic has demonstrated the capability of its JN5148 to perform multiple packet transmissions from 100 µJ of energy harvested from an electro-mechanical switch. The company claims to be the first wireless microcontroller vendor to show ZigBee communications are possible with such low energy consumption. The demonstrator shows how a single switch press is all that is required to enable the JN5148 to carry out system startup and initialisation, followed by a succession of packet transmissions to increase the probability of packet delivery to the receiver.
Jennic previously announced a series of energy harvesting technology demonstrators utilising thermal, vibrational, RF and solar energy harvesting techniques to power end devices in a wireless sensor network. By employing a powered wireless backbone that contains permanently active Proxy Server Routers, energy constrained end devices can broadcast data when they are able, relying on the backbone to intercept the data messages. here the company is utilising the same approach but with even lower energy budgets.
Jimi Simpson, Jennic Product Marketing, explained, "Utilising the limited and instantaneous energy from an electro-mechanical switch harvester presented many design challenges. By optimizing system initialization speeds and developing an enhanced communications infrastructure to support energy constrained sensor nodes, Jennic's engineers ensured sufficient energy was left over for a minimum of three packet transmissions to increase the probability of packet delivery to the receiver. The JN5148 totally hit the mark, consuming what in essence equates to an average of 7 mA at 2 V for 7ms, the 100 µJ budget."
This latest demonstrator will find particular interest in application of Home Automation (HA) and Commercial Building Automation (CBA) lighting solutions, where wireless, battery-less light switches will control the lighting within the building, minimising the costs associated with cable installation and maintenance. It also links directly with ZigBee's Green Power standardisation efforts for the integration of wireless, battery-less light switches with ZigBee HA networks.
According to the company, the solution, being IEEE802.15.4 standards based, enables the technology to be applied to ZigBee, 6LoWPAN and its proprietary JenNet solutions. The company's Proxy Server Router approach is the real enabler for energy harvesting sensor nodes and is a key component of their Green Power architecture.
Jennic's JN5148 wireless microcontroller integrates a high-performance 32-bit RISC CPU core with mixed-signal peripherals and an IEEE802.15.4, 2.4 GHz transceiver. The 98 dB link budget supports indoor communication over distances of up to 50 metres, whilst 128-bit AES encryption ensures a high level of security. It offers industry leading current consumption of just 15 mA when transmitting, 17.5 mA when receiving, and 200 nA in sleep.
For further information visit www.jennic.com.