Wireless transceivers selected for RF remote

A Nordic Semiconductor product story
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Edited by the Electronicstalk editorial team May 24, 2010

Philips Home Control has selected wireless technology from Nordic Semiconductor for use in its Bellagio RF remote control for consumer electronics (CE) manufacturers.

The Nordic single-chip 2.4GHz ULP transceivers and Gazell RF protocol software have been utilised by Philips for the RF remotes for consumer applications.

Bellagio is designed for CE manufacturers of media devices such as music players, televisions and PCs.

The platform comprises everything required for CE manufacturers to develop a customised RF remote control with minimum design overhead, and includes controller handset, compact USB dongle and demonstration software that runs on a PC.

The Bellagio RF remote features an interactive 33 x 33mm colour LCD screen and a variable scroll wheel user interface that enables fast and intuitive navigation.

RF is said to provide sufficient bandwidth for advanced navigation interfaces - such as scroll wheels, touch-screens and track balls - and bi-directional communication required when negotiating the complex user interfaces and menus typical of modern media devices.

In addition, RF eliminates the need for IR's line-of-sight access, allowing devices to be controlled through objects and even interior walls (up to a range of 15um and assuming wall construction materials do not excessively attenuate RF signals).

In operation, the Bellagio RF remote handset utilises a Nordic 2.4GHz ULP transceiver interfaced to a microcontroller running Nordic Gazell RF protocol software.

An nRF24LU1+ system-on-chip (SoC) 2.4GHz ULP transceiver and USB 2.0 compliant device controller, incorporated into a compact USB dongle, plus into the host device (the product to be controlled) to form the other node of the wireless link.

The Nordic RF technology enables a bi-directional communication link with sufficient bandwidth for rapid screen refresh and seamless navigation.

The Nordic chips utilise a nRF24L01+ transceiver core and feature an up to 2Mbit/sec on-air data rate combined with ultra-low power operation and advanced power management.

The nRF24LU1+ integrates a USB 2.0 compliant device controller, 8-bit application microcontroller, and nRF24L01+ compatible 2.4GHz RF transceiver.

Gazell RF protocol software provides features for advanced navigation, remote data transfers and advanced pairing schemes while handling up to five remote devices at the same time.

In addition, Nordic said, Gazell is a frequency-agile protocol that is highly immune to interference from other 2.4GHz radio sources.

Nordic transceivers' ultra-low power heritage means they can run for up to a year from AAA cells, and a raw data bandwidth of up to 2Mbit/sec provides more than adequate headroom for bi-directional remote control using advanced navigation.

The device's interference immunity allows it to perform well in the presence of other 2.4GHz sources - this is increasingly important as 2.4GHz Wi-Fi pervades the consumer's living room as a standard fitment in set-top boxes and DVD players to provide wireless connectivity to the television.

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Company Nordic Semiconductor

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