Nordic Semiconductor's RF remote-control reference design includes 2-way communications - Embedded.com

Nordic Semiconductor’s RF remote-control reference design includes 2-way communications

Nordic Semiconductor's reference design for RF remote controllers offers non-line of sight operation, two-way data communication and 1-year plus battery lifetimes.

The nRD24H1 reference design is based on the company's nRF24L01 ultra low power 2 Mbit/s, 2.4 GHz proprietary transceiver. The kit combines Nordic's silicon with its applications expertise to provide a complete RF remote control solution.

The nRF24L01 transceiver operates in the global 2.4-GHz ISM band and has a robust range of up to 10 m even when obstructions are located between the controller and target. In contrast, conventional infrared (IR) controllers must establish line-of-sight connection to communicate.

Key applications include wireless remote controls in the latest Media Centre PCs, docking stations for portable music players, home entertainment systems and home appliances such as air conditioning systems.

Other benefits of the nRD24H1 reference design include support for 2-way data communications that could allow, for example, the remote to display simple information from the controlled device such as the song playing or the current temperature setting, or support more advanced menu-based browse facilities.

The reference design includes a 6-button remote application board with a mounted RF module featuring a low cost PCB antenna, the nRF24L01 transceiver and an 8-bit microcontroller.

The RF module supports up to 49 buttons plus a status LED without any modifications. Since the RF module integrates all critical functions, re-using the supplied RF module allows simple development of different remote control concepts.

The receiver is a production ready, full-speed USB dongle supporting the Human Interface Device (HID) class.

The software includes an RF protocol optimized for remote control applications. This features an advanced, agile frequency-hopping scheme that provides excellent co-existence performance with other 2.4 GHz systems such as Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and cordless phones.

Support for 2-way communication is built into the protocol enabling data to be sent to the remote control from the host. The protocol is implemented as a standalone software module providing a simple and intuitive API to the application layer.

This allows developers to easily modify and enhance the supplied application code without having to handle a complex RF protocol. All software is provided as ANSI-C source code.

Price per kit is USD $249. Estimated shipping date is February 15 2007.

More information about the kit and the nRF24L01 is available at www.nordicsemi.no.

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