Regardless of the radio standard selected, LN Systems has a proven track record of developing hardware and software for low power sensors, battery operated control units, powered routers and access points.
LN Systems has many years experience in wireless networking, especially in the unlicensed and free 2.4GHz band. Historically we have designed and developed solutions encompassing pre-WiFi solutions, led design teams developing Bluetooth chipsets, and more recently has designed many systems based on the 802.15.4 and Zigbee low power wireless network standard.
If your product would benefit from the addition of a wireless data link, either to replace expensive cabling, to add mobility or add new features, LN Systems can provide real world design expertise in incorporating this into your product. We have designed and incorporated very low power, low cost ASK radio links, through to multi-node 2.4GHz links and all the way up to full WLAN systems.
If you have a new product idea that requires wireless links, battery operation, handheld terminals or bespoke interfacing (analogue, audio, push buttons, screens, etc) then we can develop a design for you.
LN Systems have a proven history in designing and developing wireless systems based on the NXP (formerly Jennic) JN51xx modules and associated networking stacks. Being members of theJADE programme has allowed us to develop a close relationship with NXP's support channels this in turn gives us the capability to develop systems which maximise the potential of the NXP hardware and network stacks, whether it be advanced networking capabilities or low-power solutions.
In conjunction with these development capabilities, the JFP-201 Programmer provides a powerful solution to programming of JN51xx-based systems, both in production and during development.
802.15.4 wireless protocol has been available since the 2003 release of the standard. It was conceived as a low power, low data rate wireless networking system, aimed at a 10 metre communications area with data rates of 250kbits/sec. The latest radios can now provide a line-of-site range of up to 4 km [and non standard data rates over 600kbits/sec]. A variety of networks can be built upon the underlying protocol to create simple point-to-point networks, star topology networks or to construct more complex routed networks for extended range.
LN Systems has developed many systems based on the 802.15.4 MAC specification where the advantage of simplicity can result in lower development costs when compared to ZigBee, provided 802.15.4 capabilities are sufficient for the application.
More complex or larger system can also be based on proprietary extensions to the 802.15.4 MAC layer such as Jennic's Jenie network protocol which provides star, tree or linear network topologies with security. For applications which are not required to operate with other vendors' products this can be a very cost effective development route. LN Systems has in-depth experience of the Jenie protocol layer through real world usage and close ties to the Jennic development team.
ZigBee provides a very capable wireless system with the ability to route, and provide self healing mesh topologies and enhanced security. Since the release of the PRO version of the specification in 2007, ZigBee has matured to allow complex applications to be developed without the need to worry about the underlying wireless algorithms needed to keep the network running.
With the increasing number of ZigBee solutions on the market and their increasing maturity this is often the preferred route for product development, especially when the mesh and routing capability of the protocol can be leveraged to provide a more robust and feature rich experience for the user.
Nonetheless the development of a ZigBee application can be a daunting prospect to a developer who is not familiar with wireless standards and operation, or who must learn about ZigBee systems from the ground up. LN Systems has experience of developing ZigBee-based systems using different ZigBee chipset vendors, and including custom attribute and cluster definitions and usage of the profiles defined by the ZigBee Alliance.
As well as ZigBee there is a rapid development of the Bluetooth low energy standard underway which will open up yet more possibilities for the future of wireless systems. LN Systems is a Bluetooth SIG member and as developers we have experience right back to the early 1.0 and 1.1 implementation of the Bluetooth protocol.
The software component of a wireless system is extremely critical in providing an easy-to-use and easy-to-deploy solution; however the hardware platform must also be reliable and robust.
For endpoint nodes this often includes the use of high capacity batteries, rechargeable battery technology, energy harvesting, sensing capabilities, extreme low energy usage and user input mechanisms. LN Systems has direct experience of developing such nodes for HVAC, user input, toys and monitoring systems. Our hardware engineering team can create cost effective PCB designs coupled with custom co-designed housings to make your system stand out in its professional look and feel.
For the larger and more complex systems LN Systems has developed custom routers and access points (including USB interfaces) and multi-channel analogue interface nodes.
LN Systems' Capabilities
A common attraction of a wireless system is that it appears easy to deploy. However, real world effects such as obstacles or other wireless devices can make the reality turn out different. LN Systems have a wide experience on wireless deployment, and have developed systems with robust abilities to coexist with others.
Wireless systems (particularly 802.15.4/ZigBee) will often include nodes which are battery-powered. Our capabilities include ultra-low power hardware design, coupled with power-efficient wireless protocols, and past projects have often incorporated battery charge/discharge monitoring.
Often a standard protocol such as Jenie or ZigBee will be suitable for a typical system design, but we can also design bespoke protocols for more specialised applications.
In conjunction with developing wireless systems we have also generated custom dissectors for the Wireshark protocol analyzer (including packet re-assembly and request-to-ack tracking) which can prove a valuable tool both during development and for analysis of deployed systems.