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Monday, May 16, 2011

NXP aims to put an internet address in every light bulb

GreenChip smart lighting opens up new design approaches for energy efficiency

By Nick Flaherty

NXP Semiconductors has launched a smart lighting solution that makes the Internet-enabled, energy-efficient lighting network a reality – not only for businesses, but also for consumers trying to make the most of energy savings in the home.
This would allow people to monitor, manage and control every light bulb from any Internet-enabled device – turning lights on and off individually, dimming or creating scenes from a smartphone, tablet, PC or TV – to save energy as well as electricity costs. The “smart lighting” network could have dozens or even hundreds of appliances connected through a wireless network designed for maximum energy savings, communicating information about their environment, about power consumption levels, and highlighting any problems.
NXP and partners TCP and GreenWave Reality are this week showing a consumer-ready, Internet-enabled Smart Lighting network powered by the GreenChip smart lighting solution.
“The GreenChip smart lighting solution signals a fundamental shift in the way we interact with lights – at home, in the office, even outdoors,” said John Croteau, senior vice president and general manager, power lighting solutions and high performance RF, NXP Semiconductors. “By bringing together wireless IP connectivity with our energy-efficient lighting and power conversion technologies in a compact, low-cost solution, we are transforming the way we design, control and manage lights. For individual consumers, Smart Lighting means highly personalized, intelligent lighting environments – lights that turn on and off when and where you need them, at the desired level of brightness – while saving power and electricity costs. Our smart lighting solution also brings us one step closer to the ‘Internet of Things’ – a world in which every home appliance can be monitored and controlled via an IP address – at a very compelling price point for consumers.”

GreenChip Smart LightingNXP’s GreenChip smart lighting solution reduces the requisite electronics to the size, cost and power consumption to fit in an everyday light bulb. It brings together wireless IP connectivity, energy-efficient lighting and low standby power (down to 50mW) in a compact, low-cost solution, which enables new ways to control lights and manage energy consumption.
The GreenChip smart lighting solution is available in two versions – GreenChip iCFL for compact fluorescents and GreenChip iSSL for LEDs – and currently includes:
  • The GreenChip iCFL or GreenChip iSSL chipsets, which function as highly efficient, dimmable drivers for smart lamps
  • An ultra-low-power standby supply controller with 10mW no-load capability; standby power is particularly critical in smart lighting applications where lamps are continuously “listening” for the command from the user and/or network
  • A 2.4-GHz IEEE 802.15.4 standard-compatible wireless microcontroller with a Tx/Rx current below 17mA
  • Low-power, IP-based wireless connectivity enabled by JenNet-IP network layer software
JenNet-IP Network 
GreenChip-enabled light bulbs will be able to operate on the same wireless sensor networks consumers may be using at home for energy metering, smart appliances and security systems. NXP’s JenNet-IP network layer software provides the ultra-low-power wireless connectivity in the GreenChip smart lighting solution. JenNet-IP is a 6LoWPAN mesh-under tree network with low memory footprint, specifically targeting low-power IEEE 802.15.4-based networking for residential and industrial applications. Based on NXP’s proven JenNet network protocol stack, JenNet-IP provides a highly robust self-healing tree network proven at over 500 nodes, supporting IPv4 and IPv6 with over-network upgradability. JenNet-IP is highly secure, offering 128-bit AES encryption with secure authentication and device joining, and will be made available under an Open Source license in Q4 2011.

TCP, a leading manufacturer of CFL and LED lamps in North America, has been an early adopter of Smart Lighting technology, and is using the GreenChip smart lighting solution for both its CFL and LED lamps.
“Driving new ideas for energy-efficient lighting is in our DNA. Through our proprietary technology and innovations such as our TruStart and TruDim CFLs which build on custom TCP GreenChip CFL drivers from NXP, we’re able to match the quality of light and user experience of an incandescent lamp with up to 20,000 hours of life. As a next step, we are developing Internet-enabled CFL and LED bulbs accessible to mainstream consumers and commercial applications,” said Ellis Yan, CEO, TCP.
GreenWave Reality is introducing a breakthrough intelligent lighting control and management solution based on the GreenChip smart lighting solution. GreenWave Reality’s IP-based platform wirelessly connects GreenChip-enabled bulbs, running JenNet-IP software, to provide users with a feature-rich lighting application. The application can be used stand-alone or as part GreenWave Reality’s innovative energy management solution. The GreenWave Reality solution benefits both consumers and commercial customers by allowing them to save energy and simplify their lives by adding lighting Smart Controls.
For instance, consumers can dim or turn lights on and off using Home, Away, and Night Smart Controls from any combination of devices such as a PC, smartphone, and even a TV. The GreenWave Reality solution further simplifies consumers’ lives by extending the lighting Smart Controls to work with sensors without requiring any re-wiring of the home. As an example, a Smart Control can adjust indoor lighting according to outdoor lighting conditions. Other Smart Controls can automatically turn lights off when no one is in a room. Similarly, these advancements are extended to commercial and hospitality customers who can reduce ongoing lighting and related maintenance costs with this advanced lighting control system.
“Consumers and commercial customers now can easily and cost effectively reduce their energy consumption associated with lighting, saving them money, simplifying their lives, and making a positive impact on the environment,” said Greg Memo, CEO, GreenWave Reality. “GreenWave Reality – in conjunction with the GreenChip smart lighting solution – redefines lighting by providing an advanced control and management solution built on a scalable, IP-based platform.”

Reference designs using GreenChip smart lighting solutions are available immediately from NXP. Further information is available at:

GreenChip – Smarter Power and Lighting Solutions
Video: NXP GreenChip smart lighting demo
NXP GreenChip lighting solutions selection guide
Video: GreenWave Reality intelligent lighting control and management solution

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