Well, this news release certainly caught my eye because it was "postmarked" as coming from "Eindhoven, Netherlands and Sheffield, UK."
This caused me to think two things. The first was "What's the connection between Eindhoven in the Netherlands and Sheffield in the United Kingdom?" And the second was "I'm from Sheffield in the UK!" I really didn’t know that NXP had a presence in Sheffield – maybe I should drop round to say "Hi" the next time I'm over there visiting my dear old mom.
But we digress… the point is that the folks at NXP have announced the JN516x family of MCUs – their next generation of ultra-low-power wireless microcontrollers for JenNet-IP, ZigBee, and other IEEE 802.15.4 applications. (I'll have to mention this to my chums at Synapse Wireless, because these MCUs sounds like they would be perfect for Synapse's 802.15.4-based SNAP wireless mesh network operating system.)
Integrating a 2.45-GHz radio and analog peripherals with microcontroller functionality in a single die, the JN516x wireless microcontrollers are the only single-chip devices in the industry to support JenNet-IP, ZigBee Light Link, ZigBee Smart Energy, ZigBee Home Automation, and RF4CE. The JN516x family also offers best-in-class memory options, with up to 256 kB of embedded flash, 4 kB of on-chip EEPROM and 32 kB of RAM on the JN5168 to support the latest network stacks. Another key feature is in-packet antenna diversity, which allows systems to choose the best antenna on every packet received.
“The JN5168 is our newest wireless microcontroller for the ‘Internet of Things’ – ideal for applications ranging from smart lighting and home automation to building automation and wireless sensor networks. With extensive on-chip memory and RAM, design engineers can do more with a much lower bill of materials, while taking advantage of NXP’s expertise in a wide range of software stacks based on the 802.15.4 standard,” said Marcel Walgering, general manager, Smart Home and Energy product line, NXP Semiconductors.
Currently sampling with lead customers, JN516x evaluation kits and chips will be available from leading distributors in January 2013. The video below shows a demonstration of a CHERRY energy harvesting light switch using a JN5168 wireless MCU:
Product List The JN516x wireless microcontroller family will include:
JN5161 for RF4CE and IEEE 802.15.4 applications with 64 kB flash, 8 kB RAM, 4 kB EEPROM
JN5164 for JenNet-IP, ZigBee Home Automation and ZigBee Light Link applications with 160 kB flash, 32 kB RAM, 4 kB EEPROM
JN5168 for ZigBee Smart Energy applications and JenNet-IP gateways with 256 kB flash, 32 kB RAM, 4 kB EEPROM
A single evaluation kit suitable for all stacks
A new range of modules using the JN5168 chip, including variants with printed antenna, uFI connector, ETSI 10-dbm mode PA/LNA, and an FCC 20-dbm PA/LNA for long-range applications
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David Patterson, known for his pioneering research that led to RAID, clusters and more, is part of a team at UC Berkeley that recently made its RISC-V processor architecture an open source hardware offering. We talk with Patterson and one of his colleagues behind the effort about the opportunities they see, what new kinds of designs they hope to enable and what it means for today’s commercial processor giants such as Intel, ARM and Imagination Technologies.