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NXP Semiconductors has introduced two new 20V, N-channel trench MOSFETs which are ideal for use in LED drivers and other types of power-switching circuits. The PMN16XNE and PMN30UNE are N-channel enhancement-mode trench MOSFETs housed in a small SOT457 (SC-74) surface-mount plastic package.
Rated for a maximum drain-source voltage of 20V, the PMN16XNE is easy to drive, featuring a maximum gate-source voltage of ±12V.
The MOSFET has an unusually high power-dissipation capability of 1.4W when mounted on an FR4 PCB, and provides more than 1kV of protection against electro-static discharge according to the human body model.
The PMN30UNE has a slightly lower power-dissipation capability than the PMN16XNE, at 1.24W. Its gate-source voltage is rated at a maximum ±8V. It offers the same level of protection against ESD strikes as the PMN16XNE.
Ideal for use in outdoor commercial and utility lighting, the receptacle is available with either two or four dimming contacts, to support either 0-10V dimming methods or the Digital Addressable Lighting Interface (DALI) protocol. It also offers a reliable power connection made by three robust twist-lock contacts.
Conforming to the dimensional requirements of the ANSI C136.41-2013 standard for dimmable photocells, the receptacle is supplied with pre-terminated wire leads for ease of integration into new or existing lighting fixtures.
|Part number (with 150˚ C wires)||Part number (with 105˚ C wires)|
|Spring-leaf Brush Contact||2213365-1||–|
The BitCloud® Software Development Kit (SDK) provides a comprehensive set of tools, including full-featured reference applications, ZigBee PRO stack libraries and user documentation. Using the SDK, users can quickly develop wireless products compliant with the ZigBee Home Automation profile as well as the Light Link profile.
The BitCloud SDK provides a reliable, scalable and secure wireless solution which supports large mesh networks consisting of hundreds of devices. Offering ultra-low power consumption, it can provide for up to 15 years of battery life.
Applications developed with the BitCloud SDK may be targeted at Atmel® microcontrollers that feature a built-in ZigBee radio. These include the SAM R21 family of MCUs containing an ARM® Cortex®-M0+ processor core, and the 8-bit ATmega256RFR2 and ATmega2564RFR2 MCUs. Atmel also supplies the ATmega256RFR2 ZigBit wireless module, which includes the MCU and an integrated chip antenna or UFL connector.
The SAM R21 devices are supported by the ATSAMR21ZLL-EK, a ZigBee Light Link evaluation kit featuring the ATSAMR21G18A microcontroller.
Supported by the Atmel Studio integrated development platform, the kit supports antenna diversity, and features an RGB LED, QTouch touch-sensing interface, OLED display, joystick, user LEDs, user switch, and external USB and UART interfaces.
The reference design implements the DALI control and communications protocol specified in IEC 62386-101, -102 and -207, and is compliant with the standard. The firmware supplied by Atmel includes application software, service software and drivers. Manchester encoding is implemented in software.
The reference design is intended to be used in conjunction with Atmel® Studio 7, the integrated development platform for developing and debugging Atmel SMART and AVR® MCU applications. It provides a seamless and easy-to-use environment for writing, building and debugging applications written in C/C++ or in assembly code. It connects to Atmel debuggers and development kits.
In addition, Studio 7 includes Atmel Gallery, an online app store which offers plug-ins developed by Atmel and by third-party tool and embedded software vendors.
Users can evaluate the DALI master reference design on a ready-made evaluation kit for the SAM D21, an MCU which uses the low-power ARM® Cortex®-M0+ processor core. The Atmel SAM D21 Xplained Pro evaluation kit is ideal for evaluating and prototyping with the Atmel SAM D21, and its features can be supplemented with extension boards which are available for purchase individually.
The reference design may easily be ported from the SAM D21 to other Atmel devices using the Atmel Software Framework.
E-Switch’s family of anti-vandal switches includes the UL-certified ULV4 series, which offers a rating of 3A and 250V AC. The ULV4 switches are IP67-rated, and have a long operating life of up to 1,000,000 cycles for momentary operation, or 500,000 for latching operation.
Options include dot, ring or power symbol illumination. There are also many LED colour and voltage options. The switches are supplied in a 19mm panel cut-out size, and configured for either single-pole, double-throw or double-pole, double-throw operation. E-Switch also supplies the ULV7 series, which comes in a 22mm panel cut-out size, and the 25mm ULV8 series.
For some ten years or more, mobile phone (cellular) networks have been the only universal wireless communications technology available to makers and operators of Machine-to- Machine (M2M) communications equipment. For M2M applications, the venerable GPRS (2G) technology has been the entry-level choice of mobile phone network; the newer 3G and 4G technologies offer progressively higher data rates, at a higher connection cost.
All of these mobile phone technologies, however, have serious drawbacks for M2M users: the data rate is far higher than required by most M2M applications. In addition, the high charges that the mobile network operators levy to connect even the simplest of wireless devices reflect the high data rate that the network can support.
What is more, the technology tends to perform poorly when used in harsh or extreme environments. In short, for most M2M applications, using a mobile phone network for universal wireless coverage is expensive.
Soon, however, many users will have the choice of two new wide-area network technologies. This article compares these two newcomers to the M2M scene.
Low power and wide area coverage
Both the new networks fall into a new category of universal network called public Low-Power Wide-Area Network (LPWAN).
Interestingly, the topology of the two new network types is exactly the same as that of the cellular phone technologies: their star topology also has a Base Transceiver Station (BTS) at its centre. But unlike 2G, 3G or 4G systems, an LPWAN uses a modulation scheme that sacrifices data throughput in order to gain greater tolerance of interference and attenuation of the signal. At the same time, the technology calls for receivers with very high sensitivity.
In other words, unlike a mobile phone network, an LPWAN is optimised for the low-power, low data-rate requirements of M2M and IoT applications.
First steps towards public network roll-out
Both new public LPWAN technologies operate at frequencies in the ISM licence-free bands.
SIGFOX™ is one; LoRa™, an LPWAN technology developed by semiconductor manufacturer Semtech, is the other.
Operation of SIGFOX public networks
A SIGFOX public network covers France, Spain, the UK and the Netherlands; beginning in 2015, several field trials were taking place in cities around the world, and nationwide network deployment was starting in Portugal, Denmark, Belgium and the US, as shown in Figure 1.
SIGFOX plans to have national coverage in more than 60 countries by 2020.
An OEM which wishes to join the SIGFOX public network just needs a client module that runs the SIGFOX client stack, and an 868MHz radio transceiver that can perform Differential Binary Phase-Shift Keying (DBPSK) modulation for the uplink and Gaussian Frequency Shift Keying (GFSK) for the downlink.
The gateways and all the networking and application software for transporting the data are provided by SIGFOX to ensure the same quality experience whichever country the objects are communicating in. According to SIGFOX, open-area range for transmissions can be longer than 15km, allowing a network with universal coverage to be created with a relatively small number of cells.
SIGFOX does not use a proprietary modulation scheme, so independent semiconductor and module manufacturers can make transmitters and transceivers which conform to the SIGFOX specification. Atmel, for instance, already supplies the ATA8520 family of SIGFOX-compliant products.
Atmel has also announced the introduction of a fully integrated SIGFOX RF transceiver.
SIGFOX: performance, costs and limitations
In the SIGFOX system, the number of transmissions per day is limited to 140 uplink messages, each of up to 12 bytes, and only four downlink messages of up to 8 bytes. Latency is in the range 3-5ms.
SIGFOX users only pay an annual subscription fee for each node, for provision of network communication service.
Implementing a LoRa wide-area network
The route to the development of a universal Long Range (LoRa™) network has been different from that of SIGFOX.
Based on the Chirp Spread Spectrum (CSS) technique, LoRa is able to vary the length of the so-called ‘spreading factor’ (between 6 and 12 bits) and the bandwidth to match the bit rate required, in a range from 20bits/s up to 41kbits/s. LoRa is a completely asynchronous digital modulation scheme.
Unlike SIGFOX, LoRa technology is fully intended for use in private networks, as well as public networks. In addition, the high performance of the LoRa technology is proven by its ability to receive signals as much as -22dB below the noise floor, coupled with adjacent-channel rejection of at least 69dB with a 25kHz offset – some 30dB better than when using FSK modulation at 868MHz on the same transceivers.
At one time, ISM-band radios for industrial applications and operating at frequencies below 1GHz were typically limited to an open-field range of up to 2km. Semtech introduced LoRa transceiver ICs to provide industrial users, operating closed private networks, with a much longer range of up to 15km between a node and gateway.
The core of the RF implementation offering such performance is provided by the Semtech SX1272 transceiver, which supports a frequency range of 860-1,020MHz, and the SX1276 with a wider range of 137-1,020MHz. Sensitivity reaches a peak of -148dBm in the SX1276.
For applications with very high numbers of end nodes, Semtech has developed a solution for the concentrator: the highly efficient Semtech SX1301 baseband chipset and two Semtech SX1257 I/Q modulators. A concentrator built around these Semtech chips will handle as many as 10,000 nodes.
LoRa in public LPWANs
Recently, Semtech has worked with partners including IBM and Actility to develop a protocol stack for large-scale networks based on its technology, called LoRa_WAN. It is comprised of a client, a server and packet forwarder firmware, as shown in Figure 2.
The introduction of LoRa_WAN is expected to facilitate the introduction of many large-scale private and public LoRa networks in the coming months and years. The roll-out of LoRa networks is supported by the foundation of the LoRa Alliance in December 2014. The alliance includes:
The existence of concentrator modules from suppliers such as Kerlink, Embit, IMST and MultiTech means that the hardware for a LoRa BTS can be very rapidly developed. When supplied by Future Electronics, the concentrator may be shipped with pre-loaded IBM or Actility software. For users which intend to connect devices over a private network, rather than relying on the existence of a public LoRa network with the required coverage, this software makes network implementation far quicker and easier than it would otherwise be.
It is worth noting that this private network capability is not available to users of the SIGFOX technology.
A minimum of 15km open-field range between concentrator and node allows for the creation of large cells to quickly achieve wide-area coverage.
All communications over the LoRa_WAN are secured with AES 128- bit encryption, as shown in Figure 3.
In addition, the LoRa_WAN protocol stack manages both the adaptive data-rate and adaptive output-power capabilities of the LoRa technology, for optimisation of power consumption and signal strength.
Using the new options for LPWAN deployment
As Table 1 shows, the two new LPWAN technologies have some differences as well as many similarities.
LoRa and SIGFOX in different ways offer industrial users a clear means to save both power and cost in M2M and IoT applications. But new products and networks using the LoRa and SIGFOX technologies are constantly emerging, and so it will often be helpful for industrial equipment OEMs and others to take advice from experts in the field of M2M wireless networks, such as the specialists at the Future Connectivity Solutions division of Future Electronics, before deciding on the best way to implement LPWAN technology for their application.
|Data Rate||Maximum Sensitivity in Currently Available Hardware||Maximum Output Power||Public/ Private Network||Number of Messages per Day|
|LoRa™||20bits/s to 41kbits/s||-148dBm||Up to 20dBm||Private or public||Public network: dependent on contract with operator Private network: no limit|
|SIGFOX||Uplink: 100bits/s Downlink: 600bits/s||-132dBm @ 600bits/s -142 dBm @ 100bits/s||14dBm (EU) 23dBm (US)||Public-only||140 uplink, 4 downlink|
Table 1: Comparison of the features of LoRa and SIGFOX
The smart light of tomorrow will be required to respond intelligently both to central commands, transmitted via standard protocols such as the Digital Addressable Lighting Interface (DALI) and KNX, and to local inputs such as ambient light sensor measurements and proximity sensor signals. The functional blocks that such a design might include are shown on this page, and the latest and best components for each block are featured in this month’s Circuit Centre.
Recommended parts for smart lighting controller
•ON Semiconductor: NCN5120
•Cypress: CY8CLED04D01 PowerPSoC
•Cypress: CY8CLED04D02 PowerPSoC
•Cypress: CY8CLED04G01 PowerPSoC
•NXP Semiconductors: JN5148
•NXP Semiconductors: LPC1758FBD80
AMBIENT LIGHT SENSOR
•ON Semiconductor: NOA3302
•ROHM Semiconductor: RPR-0521RS
•TE Connectivity: Poke-In Connector
•NXP Semiconductors: PCF2129
•ROHM Semiconductor: BU9873x
BUCK/BOOST LED DRIVER
•Fairchild Semiconductor: FL7921
•Fairchild Semiconductor: FSL3276ALR
•Intersil: (ISL8117) (ISL8117A)
•NXP Semiconductors: SSL5021BTS
•ON Semiconductor: NCP3065
•ON Semiconductor: NCL30000
•ROHM Semiconductor: BD65D00MUV
•Vishay: VLMW712 series
NXP Semiconductors’ new NXQ1TXH5 is a controller and driver transmitter IC for a 5V Qi-compliant low-power wireless charger.
It offers a fully integrated solution which includes a 5V full-bridge power stage as defined in the Qi standards A5, A11, A12 and A16 specified by the Wireless Power Consortium (WPC).
The 5mm x 5mm NXQ1TXH5 uses analogue ping circuitry to detect Qi receiver devices. This detection circuit uses very little power in the wait state: the chip’s stand-by power consumption is typically just 10mW.
After a Qi-compliant receiver is recognised, the NXQ1TXH5 safely initiates wireless power transfer from the transmitter to the receiver, while monitoring for fault conditions such as overheating or interference from metal objects by supporting the Foreign Object Detection (FOD) function.
The NXQ1TXH5 is best operated from a 5V USB power supply, and automatically adjusts the output power to compensate for power-constrained supplies.
LED outputs and a buzzer output are available for the user interface. The LED outputs feature a number of blinking modes. Multiple NXQ1TXH5-based transmitters may operate from a single USB power supply, since the devices are able to limit the power consumed by each device.