All posts tagged: smart home

The new JN5169 series of wireless microcontrollers from NXP is a range of low-power, high-performance RF microcontroller devices aimed at home automation and remote control, smart energy management, smart lighting and similar Internet-of-Things applications, particularly in consumer products as well as industrial environments.

These system-on-chip devices incorporate an enhanced 32-bit RISC processor and a comprehensive set of analog and digital peripherals along with an IEEE 802.15.4-compliant 2.4 GHz radio transceiver supporting the JenNet-IP, RF4CE and ZigBee Pro wireless networking standards. The 802.15.4/ZigBee network stack includes support for the ZigBee Light Link, ZigBee Smart Energy and ZigBee Home Automation profiles.

The JN5169 platform is Thread and ZigBee 3.0 ready, and it features a new toolchain for software development that offers extensive debugging capabilities while also allowing a reduction of up to 15% in compiled code size.

This family of devices have the ability to connect with up to 250 other nodes in a wireless mesh network, allowing them to be used in a variety of different mesh network and Internet-of-Things applications, from home automation and consumer electronics through to large-scale industrial applications.

There’s three chips in the new family, with different memory configurations to suit a range of applications – such as up to 512 kB of embedded Flash memory, up to 32 kB of RAM and 4 kB of on-board EEPROM. With up to 512 kB of flash on board, there is enough memory available to enable wireless over-the-air firmware updates.

This makes it easy to keep devices up-to-date with new features and security updates without the cost of additional external flash and without the need to replace or remove hardware devices in the field as new software updates are released.

The JN5169 is equipped with hardware peripherals to support a wide range of applications, including an I2C interface, an SPI port which can operate as either master or slave, up to 8 ADC channels with a built-in battery voltage monitor, a temperature sensor and support for either a 100-switch keyboard matrix or a 20-key capacitive touch pad.

The device also incorporates up to 20 digital I/O pins, a 128-bit AES security processor and integrated support for an infrared remote control transmitter, allowing remote control of devices such as air conditioners that use an infrared remote control.

Power use is incredibly low – the JN5169 series offers a very low receive current of just 14 milliamps, or as low as 0.6 micro amps in sleep mode – helping to keep standby power consumption low in household products such as smart lighting and to enable extended operation from small batteries in portable, battery-powered applications.

Furthermore, with a programmable clock speed capability – the JN5169 series can minimise power consumption in power-sensitive, battery-powered applications. Despite these strong energy efficiency features, an on-chip +10dBm power amplifier provides the JN5169 series with a transmission range that is double that of NXP’s existing RF home automation solutions, while drawing just 20 milliamps of current in transmit mode.

This is 40% lower than similar products currently on the market, according to NXP. Antenna diversity is also supported, maximising wireless performance and range while minimising energy use. NXP is also offering a series of new reference designs for network-connected smart lighting solutions based around the JN5169, including white, tuneable white and RGBW colour-programmable Internet-of-Things lighting solutions.


These smart lighting reference designs are complemented by a range of other reference designs from NXP such as wireless switches, wall panel controls, smart plugs, IoT sensors and gateways, along with cloud services for controlling them that will be offered by NXP’s partners, making up a complete Internet-of-Things ecosystem.

Along with the use of the highly integrated JN5819 system-on-chip, these reference designs incorporate innovations such as the use of oscillator crystals rated for 85 degrees C rather than more expensive crystals specified for operation up to 125 degrees C.

Innovative hardware and software techniques incorporated in the JN5819 family allow the clock to be stable in high-temperature environments where these cheaper crystals are used. Design innovations such as these mean that NXP’s JN5169-based smart lighting reference designs have a reduction in total hardware cost of up to 25% compared to similar products on the market.

The JN5169 series also offers innovative solutions to the problem of setting up and commissioning IoT products in a user-friendly and secure way. These devices support near-field communications for device commissioning, making it easy and intuitive to provision new devices and set them up on the network with just a tap on an NFC-enabled smartphone or other device.

Using NFC connectivity for device commissioning is convenient and it also offers security benefits, allowing devices to be easily yet securely paired without broadcasting network details over the air.

This new JN5169 chipset from NXP will offer a new dimension in wireless home automation, and here at the LX Group we’re ready to bring your products to life. Getting started is easy – click here to contact us, or telephone 1800 810 124.

LX is an award-winning electronics design company based in Sydney, Australia. LX services include full turnkey design, electronics, hardware, software and firmware design. LX specialises in embedded systems and wireless technologies design.

Published by LX Pty Ltd for itself and the LX Group of companies, including LX Design House, LX Solutions and LX Consulting, LX Innovations.

Muhammad AwaisLow-power wireless home automation with the new NXP JN5169

Making your Home Smarter: Automation

The convenience and security of home automation are undeniable, and more and more people are
LX can make your home smarter through automation
using it. Not only that, a smart home can be an energy-efficient one, as you have more control of your appliances. It is always nice to have your lights automatically dim as you leave your room or play your favourite song just by clapping your hands. Home automation might cost a bit to install but the benefits are worth the investment. 

Defining a “Smart” Home

A smart home incorporates a network that connects appliances and devices. This network allows anything that utilises electricity to
communicate with each other and respond to your commands. Controlling the devices could be done using a computer, wireless controller, or by voice. The system can be similar to a personal assistant who awaits your every beck and call. Lighting, home theatre, security, temperature regulation and entertainment are the most common systems to be automated.

A Short History of Home Automation

It was just a few years back when only society’s well-off could afford an automated house. But now, the developments in electronics technology have paved the way for much cheaper systems, enticing more families to convert their abode to smarter homes. How did smart homes begin?

It was in 1975 when Scottish company Pico electronics created X10, the technology that gave birth to home automation. X10 allowed compatible appliances and devices to “talk” to each other using the existing electricity connections inside a house.

Receivers are installed in the appliances and devices, and a remote control or keypad acts as the transmitter. Pressing the remote control sends out data wirelessly, encapsulating simple codes like 0010 for “on” and 0011 for “off”. The X10 was revolutionary during that time although it has its limitations. For instance, communication among the devices using electrical wires can be unreliable – the signals are heavily attenuated by the 120/240 volt system that is used in American homes.

More technologies emerged since then, all trying to overcome the limitations of the X10. Z-wave and ZigBee moved away from using power lines and used a special frequency channel for sending out radio waves. Both technologies used low-power and low-cost modules that are connected, following a mesh topology. Being low-power allowed ZigBee modules to be manufactured in small sizes and use smaller batteries. Mesh networking provides reliability and a more extensive communication range.


Choosing the right automation software is very important. Modules follow the same technical standard and they all work the same, but programs do not. You must choose a program based on ease of use. Activhome is recommended for beginners, as the user interface is simple to follow. You can control your appliances through your computer using it. If you want more customization, then Powerhome could be for you. This program allows you to create timed sequences as well as routines that fit your preference.

Adding other systems would require new programs. For example, if you choose to add a weather monitor, you will need Virtual Weather Station. This program allows your automation software (e.g. Activhome) to communicate with your climate sensors.


The server, interface and modules are the hardware of your automation system. The server acts as the brain of the system and will always include controllers, timers and computers. Servers have become more intelligent over the years and may now accept commands from smartphones. E-home Automation products are examples of systems that can process commands from Apple’s iPhone. Interface refers to the connection between the different components of the system, while modules receive the commands for the devices.

Smart Grid and the Future

The term “smart grid” refers to a node in a network of electrical systems that can analyse behaviours and do actions based on what it sees as necessary to maintain the efficiency of the system. The ability to control home appliances and lighting is viewed as an integral addition to the smart grid as it is being rolled out in a few countries.

A combination of home automation systems and smart grids will pave the way for better energy management in the future. A possible application could be turning on the air-conditioning system using the high power derived from a solar panel on a hot day. Smart grid technology will also evolve just like home automation so that this so-called “green automation” can be utilised in more homes.

LX is an award-winning electronics design company based in Sydney, Australia. LX services include full turnkey design, electronics, hardware, software and firmware design. LX specialises in embedded systems and wireless technologies

Published by LX Pty Ltd for itself and the LX Group of companies, including LX Design House, LX Solutions and LX Consulting, LX Innovations.

Muhammad AwaisMaking your Home Smarter