Wireless microcontrollers support Thread protocols for automation

17th November 2016
Posted By : Mick Elliott
Wireless microcontrollers support Thread protocols for automation

The KInetis KW41Z/31Z/21Z family of wireless microcontrollersfrom NXP Semiconductors are now in stock at Mouser Electronics. The Kinetis KW41Z is the industry’s first true single-chip multi-protocol wireless microcontroller, supporting concurrent operation of Bluetooth low energy (BLE) v4.2 and IEEE® 802.15.4 based Thread protocols for automation, home networks, and healthcare applications.

The Kinetis KW21Z microcontroller supports 802.15.4-based networks such as Thread. The Kinetis KW31Z microcontroller supports BLE v4.2 and Generic FSK networks, and the Kinetis KW41Z supports BLE v4.2, Generic FSK networks, and 802.15.4 running concurrently.

Built on an ARM Cortex-M0+ core, with up to 512 kBytes of flash and up to 128 kBytes of SRAM, the microcontrollers’ ultra-low-power, highly integrated connectivity, security and analog capabilities, make them ideal for portable, battery-powered applications.

The microcontrollers also incorporate a buck-boost DC-DC converter to support a wide range of operating voltages from 0.9V to 4.2V, significantly reducing the peak current in receive and transmit modes. At the same time, the family delivers an excellent link budget that ensures the longest range of communication and high immunity to interference.

The radio frequency (RF) section of the microcontrollers is optimised to require very few external components, achieving a small RF footprint on a board.

The Kinetis KW41Z/31Z/21Z microcontrollers are supported by two development boards, also available from Mouser. The FRDM-KW41Z Freedom Development Kit includes two boards that allow engineers to evaluate wireless applications on the Kinetis KW41Z microcontroller.

The kit includes everything necessary to quickly establish a wireless connection between the two boards, including PCB inverted F-type antennas and an SMA RF connector. The boards support buck, boost, and bypass DC-DC configurations and can be configured as a host or shield for connection to a host processor. The USB-KW41Z Wireless Packet Sniffer is a USB dongle that engineers can use to monitor wireless communication packets in the targeted network. The dongle easily connects to a PC after installation of the required monitoring software.

Alternatively, engineers can use the USB dongle as a wireless node with an easy connection to a PC or other USB-enabled device.


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