Texas Instruments Incorporated has introduced new sub-1 GHz 6LoWPAN solutions, aimed at providing a gateway for remote, low-cost wireless sensors to connect to the Internet and a wireless extension of wired IPv6 infrastructures. By operating in the sub-1GHz band, TI's 6LoWPAN solutions offer longer wireless range at lower power levels than traditional 2.4 GHz-based 6LoWPAN offerings.
The 6LoWPAN solutions support large-scale mesh networks and are suitable for applications such as Smart Grid, security, home and building automation, street lighting and other wireless sensor networks. The new product family includes the CC1180 network processor, CC430 complete system-on-chip (SoC) microcontrollers, 6LoWPAN software stack, and CC-6LOWPAN-DK-868 development kit.
As plug-and-play solutions, TI's 6LoWPAN devices require little RF expertise and can be set up using standard IP socket programming to quickly add wireless and internet connectivity to networks. They support hundreds of hops, enabling the development of wireless mesh networks with large network depth using only one gateway. For example, light poles on a city street could be wirelessly connected and managed using one gateway, based on TI's 6LoWPAN sub-1 GHz solutions. The 6LoWPAN system would enable city planners to monitor bulb replacements or outages and ensure proper lighting for drivers if weather conditions change. Self-healing capabilities of TI's solutions would also assist in efficient monitoring of the network – if a node went out, other nodes would find another way through the network to maintain the connectivity.
Tools, availability, packaging and price
- Scalable platform of cost-effective, low-power 6LoWPAN solutions - The CC1180 wireless network processor handles all timing-critical and processing-intensive 6LoWPAN protocol tasks; leaves resources of host microcontroller free to handle the application; is preloaded with TI third party Sensinode’s NanoBoot bootloader. The CC430 SoC microcontroller family supports 6LoWPAN software library stack and application code running on the same silicon for smallest footprint solution.
- Built upon TI's sub-1 GHz RF CC1101 technology, with range of more than 800 meters out of the box with development kit - supports large-scale mesh networks and enables long range between nodes
- Compact software solution with small code size - easy-to-use, no need for extensive development; low-cost solution due to small memory / microcontroller requirements
- Uses socket API - plug-and-play solution drives faster development without the need for extensive RF knowledge; developers used to standard IP socket programming will be able to set up a 6LoWPAN network
- Highly self-healing and self-maintaining mesh routing solution - if a node drops out, surrounding nodes will still find their way through the network and the connection will be maintained
- System supports hundreds of hops, which enables development of wireless mesh networks with large network depth using only one gateway
- Operates in 315, 433, 868 and 915 MHz - fully optimized for industrial, scientific and medical (ISM) frequency bands
The CC1180 solution is available today from TI and through authorized TI distributors, and is packaged in a ROHS-compliant, 6 mm x 6 mm QFN-36. The CC430 solutions are available today from TI and through authorized TI distributors, and are packaged in ROHS-compliant, 7 mm x 7 mm QFN-48 (no LCD driver) and 9 mm x 9 mm QFN-64 (integrated LCD driver).
The CC-6LOWPAN-DK-868 development kit will be available in mid-October for USD $899 on TI's e-store. This kit supports 868 MHz frequency band and can quickly be reconfigured in software for operation in the 915 MHz ISM band. Additional evaluation module kits can be purchased separately to support other frequencies.
For more information, visit www.ti.com/6lowpan-pr
.Toni McConnel covers new products in the embedded systems industry and is a partner in the technical writing team TechRite Associates. She can be reached at Toni@TechRite-Associates.com.