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TI unveils network protocol for low-power RF networks

Posted: 18 Sep 2007 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:RF network protocol? transceivers? ZigBee?

Texas Instruments Inc. has released the SimpliciTI network protocol, a proprietary low-power RF protocol targeting simple, small RF networks (less than 100 nodes). SimpliciTI network protocol was designed for easy implementation with minimal MCU resource requirements. The protocol runs out-of-the-box on TI's MSP430 ultralow-power MCUs and CC110x/CC2500 RF transceivers. The next release of SimpliciTI will also support TI's CCxx10 SoCs.

"A well engineered low-power RF protocol is critical in achieving low power consumption in end applications," said Kobus Marneweck, general manager, low-power RF software development at TI.

"The new SimpliciTI network protocol will enable customers to develop ultra low power systems with lower system cost and faster time-to-market."

Small, low-power RF networks typically contain battery-operated devices, which require long battery life, low data rate and low duty cycle, and have a limited number of nodes talking directly to each other. With SimpliciTI network protocol, MCU resource requirements are minimal, resulting in lower system cost for low-power RF networks. More complex mesh networks that need routing typically require 10x the program memory and RAM to implement.

Despite the modest resources required, SimpliciTI network protocol supports peer-to-peer communication, the option to use an access point to store and forward messages and range extenders to extend the range of the network to four hops. Future releases will add more sophisticated features such as frequency agility.

SimpliciTI network protocol also supports low-power applications including alarm and security (smoke detectors, glass breakage detectors, carbon monoxide sensors, light sensors), automated meter reading (gas meters, water meters), home automation (appliances, garage door openers, environmental devices) and active RFID.

Since SimpliciTI network protocol is designed for simple RF networks, it offers a perfect complement to ZigBee, which is designed for larger networks with mesh routing and standardized profiles.

SimpliciTI network protocol is provided as source code under a free license, without royalties. Developers are encouraged to adapt the protocol to their own specific application needs. The stack can be downloaded at TI's Website.




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