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Automation

Automation

Advanced wireless solutions for home and industrial automation

 

Wireless automation - Control, convenience, and comfort

 

There are many routine, manually-intensive tasks in industry and within the home that would benefit from the accuracy and reliability of wireless automation.

 

The concept of smart homes is an ever-increasing reality with domestic appliances and temperature, alarm conditions etc. remotely controlled. The latest mobile devices (smartphones and tablets) also provide new possibilities for controlling and monitoring domestic appliances and applications.

 

Nordic's latest 2.4GHz solutions bring state-of-the-art wireless performance, reliability, and flexibility to industrial, building, and home automation at a mass-market pricing point.

 

Typical products in this segment are:

  • Remote controls
  • Lighting controls
  • HVAC (heating, ventilation, and air conditioning) controls
  • Access and security
  • Industrial automation
  • Asset tracking
  • Price tags
  • Garage door openers
  • RF ID

 

Nordic competitive edge

 

Nordic Semiconductor's ultra-low power (ULP) wireless technology provides attractive solutions for a range of industrial, home automation, and wireless monitoring applications with the following advantages:

  • Over-The-Air Device Firmware Update (OTA-DFU)
  • Class-leading battery lifetimes - Years of lifetime using regular AA or AAA cells
  • Multi-protocol SoCs - Single chip solutions capable of running more than one protocol on-chip including 2.4GHz proprietary, ANT, and Bluetooth® Smart (previously called Bluetooth low energy)
  • Pin compatible SoCs
  • Protocol/Application independence
  • Robust wireless connectivity – 2.4GHz solutions with excellent co-existence performance with other popular 2.4GHz wireless technologies such as Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. High performance Sub 1-GHz radios
  • Attractive price point - Single chip solutions with low cost external Bill-of-Materials (BoM) supporting entry-level product pricing
  • All network topologies - ANT solutions provide built-in support for all common networking topologies including practical mesh, star, and tree

 

The nRF51 Series are flash-based SoCs, as such they represent the most flexible solution available. A key feature of the nRF51 Series and their associated software architecture and S-Series SoftDevices is the possibility for Over-The-Air Device Firmware Update (OTA-DFU). See fig. 1. This allows firmware updates to be issued and downloaded to products in the field via the cloud. This enables OEMs to fix bugs and introduce new features to products that are already out in the marketplace. This brings added security and flexibility to product development when using the nRF51 Series SoCs.

 

OTA-DFU-and-software-updates_FIG1

 

Nordic offers Bluetooth Smart, ANT, and 2.4GHz devices for automation solutions.

 

2.4 GHz Proprietary

2.4GHz wireless RF ICs

If you have very specific application demands and no requirements for interoperability through standards such as ANT or Bluetooth Smart, then 2.4GHz proprietary solutions offers the greatest flexibility, best power consumption, and lowest bill of material. Nordic provide blank System on Chip ICs that let you interface the radio directly.

 

ANT™

ANT+

ANT is a very popular standard for ultra-low power wireless connectivity in personal area network systems. However, the advanced network topologies supported in ANT also make it a very interesting alternative for automation applications. Shared networks enabling a hub to poll, a large number of sensors, clustered tree structures, and ad-hoc data exchanges in networks with roaming nodes enables ANT networks to extend its reach over large areas in both fixed networks like home/industrial automation and roaming networks like goods tracking. ANT's excellent ultra-low power standard means that devices can derive power from the extremely small coin-cell operated sensors in personal area networks, bringing great benefits to automation. This is especially evident when it comes to distributing large numbers of small and affordable sensor units that can provide better feedback on actual status throughout a fixed system or operate for long periods of time on small batteries in a roaming sensor system.

 

More information about ANT here.

 

Bluetooth Smart

Bluetooth Smart

Bluetooth Smart is an exciting technology that is becoming a standard feature in PC's and mobile devices. Bluetooth Smart Ready devices form the hub of our personal area networks, these include smartphones and tablets as well as dedicated hub products. Bluetooth Smart devices are the peripheral sensors that typically capture data and relay data to and from the hubs.

 

In automation Bluetooth Smart will not usually replace an advanced automation network with M2M communication. Bluetooth Smart enabled mobile devices are now very common and are excellent platforms for use as 'roaming user interfaces' in large systems where the system does not need to take any actions unless a user is actually present. Examples of this are lighting, HVAC, and warehouse systems where actions from sensors are only needed when a user is actually present.

 

More information about Bluetooth Smart here

 

 

Nordic IC offering

 

nRF51 Series logo_main_black

The nRF51 Series is Nordic's latest generation of ULP wireless System on Chip ICs that once again sets the benchmark in this field. The nRF51 Series is based on the 32 bit ARM Cortex-M0 CPU and Nordic's leading multiprotocol radio and supports 2.4GHz proprietary, ANT, and Bluetooth Smart solutions. Pin compatibility allows for drop-in replacement of device types where application requirements differ with no requirements for redesign of circuit layout. The innovative software architecture ensures an absolute separation between application code and protocol stacks, and enables you to maintain one code base for products using the different wireless technologies.

 

The nRF24L Series is a market-leading series of devices for 2.4GHz proprietary applications. Based on an enhanced 8051 CPU and Nordic's radio technology, the nRF24L Series represents an extremely popular, cost-effective, and proven choice for 2.4GHz proprietary applications.

 

Device Selector Table for Automation

 

Device Bluetooth Smart ANT 2.4GHz Multi-protocol capable 32-bit CPU 8-bit CPU

Series

pin-compatible

USB Flash OTP
nRF51822 x   x x x   x   x  
nRF51422 x x   x x   x   x  
nRF24LE1     x     x     x  
nRF24LU1P     x     x   x x  
nRF24LE1-OTP     x     x       x
nRF24LU1P-OTP     x     x   x   x
nRF8001 x                  
nRF24AP2   x