Wireless Microsite

Jennic demonstrates ultra low-power ZigBee based transmissions using only 100µJ of harvested energy

30th October 2009
ES Admin
Jennic, a manufacturer of innovative 32-bit wireless microcontrollers has demonstrated the capability of its JN5148 to perform multiple packet transmissions from 100µJ of energy harvested from an electro-mechanical switch. Jennic is 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. Today’s announcement sees Jennic 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 7mA at 2volts for 7ms, the 100µJ 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.

“The solution, being IEEE802.15.4 standards based, enables the technology to be applied to ZigBee, 6LoWPAN and our proprietary JenNet solutions. Our Proxy Server Router approach is the real enabler for energy harvesting sensor nodes and is a key component of our Green Power architecture.” He went on to say; ”We are committed to driving our roadmap of Green Powered wireless networking solutions and year end will see the first of a series of planned product releases.”

Jennic’s JN5148 wireless microcontroller integrates a high-performance 32-bit RISC CPU core with mixed-signal peripherals and an IEEE802.15.4, 2.4GHz transceiver. The 98dB 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 15mA when transmitting, 17.5mA when receiving, and 200nA in sleep.

Further details can be found under Applications on Jennic’s website www.jennic.com

Jennic’s Jimi Simpson will be speaking at the IDTechEX Energy Harvesting and Storage Conference in Denver (3-4th) November. Jennic’s wireless technology, along with a range of energy harvesting technologies, will be on show in their partners booths, including Powercast, Infinite Power Solutions, Cymbet, Micropelt and Adaptiv Energy.

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