KNX-RF Software helps save energy in smart buildings

24th September 2020
Mick Elliott

STMicroelectronics has released KNX-RF software for the S2-LP ultra-low-power radio transceiver to enable energy-saving standardised wireless connectivity for smart-building controls. 

Ready to run on an STM32 microcontroller (MCU) or alternatively on a BlueNRG-2 Bluetooth Low Energy System-on-Chip (SoC) that embeds an Arm Cortex-M0 core running at 32MHz and a comprehensive set of I/O peripherals, the software contains a certified KNX-RF stack, RF adaptation layer, and S2-LP library needed to connect the transceiver to create an ultra-low-power wireless KNX node.

Operating in the 868.3MHz band at only 10mA with +10dBm output, the S2-LP delivers market-leading energy efficient, secure and robust wireless connectivity prolonging battery run-time and reducing the overall cost of the solution. 

Combining the S2-LP radio and BlueNRG-2 SoC enables a unique hybrid and low-power optimised KNX/Bluetooth solution in two chips, allowing a smartphone to access KNX-based networks and provide an intuitive and stylish interface for conveniently monitoring, controlling, configuring, provisioning, and updating the KNX nodes. 

Whether hosted on the BlueNRG-2 or STM32 MCU, ST’s KNX-RF software enables innovation and power savings for push-buttons, light switches, occupancy sensors, roller-shutter controls, dimmer actuators, and other devices for lighting, heating, HVAC, and energy-harvesting systems.  

The software meets the latest KNX-RF Multi specification, which supports secure (S mode), encrypted communications and frequency agility with five channels to help avoid interference and permit fast and slow communication modes to save power. Further features of KNX-RF Multi boost reliability and allow larger numbers of KNX devices to coexist on the network, including listen before talk (LBT), fast acknowledge with auto-retry, and support for repeaters. 

To create the new KNX-RF Multi software, ST teamed with its Authorised Partners, Tapko for the certified KNX stack and Actimage for the RF adaptation layer.  

The S2-LP package joins ST’s STKNX highly integrated transceiver for KNX TP communication over twisted-pair cable and extends the Company’s portfolio of certified solutions for smart-building communication, which comprehensively covers the major industry standards.

In addition to enabling both wired and wireless KNX specifications with these solutions, ST provides embedded software, evaluation tools, and mobile apps to accelerate the development of Bluetooth Low Energy Mesh and 6LoWPAN networking solutions for smart-building and industrial applications.

Both S2-LP and BlueNRG-2 devices belong to the ST 10-year longevity program.

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