TI Intros New Plug-and-play 6LoWPAN Solutions

September 27, 2011

The new 6LoWPAN sub-1 GHz solutions deliver mesh wireless Internet connectivity to metering, security, street lighting, building automation and other spaces.

DALLAS, TX -- Texas Instruments Inc. (TI) (NYSE: TXN), the industry leader in highly integrated wireless connectivity solutions, introduced new sub-1 GHz 6LoWPAN solutions, aimed at providing a gateway for remote, low-cost wireless sensors to connect to the Internet and a wireless extension of wired IPv6 infrastructures. By operating in the sub-1GHz band, TI's 6LoWPAN solutions offer longer wireless range at lower power levels than traditional 2.4 GHz-based 6LoWPAN offerings. The 6LoWPAN solutions support large-scale mesh networks and are suitable for applications such as Smart Grid, security, home and building automation, street lighting and other wireless sensor networks. The new product family includes the CC1180 network processor, CC430 complete system-on-chip (SoC) microcontrollers, 6LoWPAN software stack, and CC-6LOWPAN-DK-868 development kit.

As plug-and-play solutions, TI's 6LoWPAN devices require little RF expertise and can be set up using standard IP socket programming to quickly add wireless and internet connectivity to networks. They support hundreds of hops, enabling the development of wireless mesh networks with large network depth using only one gateway. For example, light poles on a city street could be wirelessly connected and managed using one gateway, based on TI's 6LoWPAN sub-1 GHz solutions. The 6LoWPAN system would enable city planners to monitor bulb replacements or outages and ensure proper lighting for drivers if weather conditions change. Self-healing capabilities of TI's solutions would also assist in efficient monitoring of the network—if a node went out, other nodes would find another way through the network to maintain the connectivity.

"Adding wireless capabilities to network security systems, smart meters, street lights and other applications can be expensive and can require extensive RF knowledge," said Mark Grazier, product marketing, Low-Power RF, TI. "Our plug-and-play 6LoWPAN sub-1 GHz solutions help developers overcome these potential roadblocks and add wireless capabilities with standard IP socket programming. This enables quick set up of 6LoWPAN networks that provide low-power, reliable wireless Internet connectivity for the management and monitoring of various services and system."

"With top-notch functionality that requires minimal development effort, TI's new solutions make it easy to add 6LoWPAN functionality to new or existing products," said Adam Gould, Chief Executive Officer, Sensinode. "We are proud to work with the TI team to integrate Sensinode's mature and proven 6LoWPAN NanoStack 2.0 Lite onto TI's market-leading sub-1 GHz RF ICs. Together, we now provide a compact software solution with flexibility and ease of use in customer-developed environments or deployed using our NanoService Platform™ for M2M and Embedded Web applications."

Key features and benefits: TI's 6LoWPAN solutions

Features Benefits
Scalable platform of cost-effective, low-power 6LoWPAN solutions
  • CC1180 wireless network processor
    • Handles all timing-critical and processing-intensive 6LoWPAN protocol tasks
    • Leaves resources of host microcontroller free to handle the application.
    • Preloaded with TI third party Sensinode's NanoBoot bootloader
  • CC430 SoC microcontroller family
    • Supports 6LoWPAN software library stack and application code running on the same silicon for smallest footprint solution
Built upon TI's market-leading sub-1 GHz RF CC1101 technology, with range of more than 800 meters out of the box with development kit
  • Supports large-scale mesh networks
  • Enables long range between nodes
Compact software solution with small code size
  • Easy-to-use, no need for extensive development
  • Low-cost solution due to small memory / microcontroller requirements
Uses socket API
  • Plug-and-play solution drives faster development without the need for extensive RF knowledge
  • Developers used to standard IP socket programming will be able to set up a 6LoWPAN network
Highly self-healing and self-maintaining mesh routing solution
  • If a node drops out, surrounding nodes will still find their way through the network and the connection will be maintained
System supports hundreds of hops
  • Enables development of wireless mesh networks with large network depth using only one gateway
Operates in 315, 433, 868 and 915 MHz
  • Fully optimized for industrial, scientific and medical (ISM) frequency bands

Tools, availability, packaging and price
The CC1180 solution is available today from TI and through authorized TI distributors, and is packaged in a ROHS-compliant, 6 mm x 6 mm QFN-36. The CC430 solutions are available today from TI and through authorized TI distributors, and are packaged in ROHS-compliant, 7 mm x 7 mm QFN-48 (no LCD driver) and 9 mm x 9 mm QFN-64 (integrated LCD driver).

The CC-6LOWPAN-DK-868 development kit will be available in mid-October for USD $899 on TI's e-store. This kit supports 868 MHz frequency band and can quickly be reconfigured in software for operation in the 915 MHz ISM band. Additional evaluation module kits can be purchased separately to support other frequencies.

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