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NXP Enables the “Internet of Things” with JenNet-IP Software

May 17, 2011

Announces plans to release low-power wireless networking software under an Open Source license

Eindhoven, Netherlands, May 17, 2011 – NXP Semiconductors N.V. (NASDAQ: NXPI) today announced its intent to make its JenNet-IP ultra-low-power, IEEE 802.15.4-based wireless connectivity network layer software available under an Open Source license, as part of its vision to enable the “Internet of Things.” In recent years, interest in the Internet of Things – in which every device has an IP address and could be monitored and controlled via a secure Internet connection – has gained considerable momentum. However, a major roadblock to adoption has been the proliferation of different networking software variants for different applications. By releasing JenNet-IP’s network layer software under an Open Source license and supporting an active community of developers and users, NXP aims to simplify the effort required to add “smart” connectivity and two-way communication into a wide range of devices, and help to establish a cross-application standard for wireless connectivity in both residential and industrial environments. The first Open Source release of JenNet-IP software is scheduled for Q4 2011.

“Imagine a world in which every device has an IP address, and can be wirelessly controlled as part of a highly secure, robust network of 500 devices. You could monitor and control every device in your home via your smartphone, tablet, PC or TV – or manage entire ‘smart’ offices, buildings and factories. From intelligent lighting networks to smart appliances, from security surveillance systems to energy management – the possibilities are tremendous. By open-sourcing JenNet-IP software, we hope to unleash the creativity of thousands of application developers around the world, and work with a broader community to establish a true standard for ultra-low-power wireless control networks in both residential and industrial environments,” said Mark Hamersma, senior vice president and general manager, emerging High Performance Mixed Signal businesses, NXP Semiconductors.

In a related announcement yesterday, NXP announced the introduction of its GreenChip™ smart lighting solution that makes the Internet-enabled, energy-efficient lighting network a reality. JenNet-IP software provides the low-power wireless connectivity in this solution.

“As various wireless technologies compete in the emerging Smart Home market, one that can achieve a significant breakthrough in system cost has the opportunity to drive mass adoption of home automation by mainstream consumers,” said Mark Hung, research director, Gartner. “To establish itself as the standard, it will be key to draw on broad-based support from the entire ecosystem, including key players in the lighting, energy metering, and home appliance markets.”

Building the Backbone of the ‘Internet of Things’ Ecosystem

JenNet-IP is an enhanced 6LoWPAN network layer specifically targeting ultra-low-power networking based on IEEE 802.15.4 for both residential and industrial applications. Currently in use with lead customers including IBM and TCP, JenNet-IP is particularly appealing because it is IP-based and capable of scaling to support large networks up to 500 devices; designed to work with or without Internet gateways; and has many attractive features including ultra-low power, long RF range, low memory footprint, and a low total cost of ownership. JenNet-IP is based on NXP’s proven JenNet network protocol stack, which is used in over 3,000 installations globally, and runs on NXP’s JN5148 ultra-low-power wireless microcontroller and modules.

In addition to releasing the source code for JenNet-IP software, NXP intends to work closely with key partners on the roadmap, solicit input from application developers, and help to establish a compatibility lab for rigorous testing to ensure that all software releases deliver the robust performance, security and ease of use required for the successful networking of smart devices. Over time, the company expects that an Open Source approach will accelerate development, testing and adoption of wireless network connectivity for a wide range of devices.

“NXP is making a valuable contribution to the open-source community with its release of JenNet-IP," said IBM Fellow John Cohn. "As buildings and their systems become more interconnected and instrumented, software such as JenNet and IP standards such as 6LoWPAN will form a critical network for the type of advanced communications and control that IBM is envisioning with upcoming smarter silicon solutions.”

TCP, the largest CFL lighting manufacturer in North America, is using a combination of NXP silicon and JenNet-IP software in its Smart Lighting products. “Using NXP technology, we’re bringing Internet-enabled, energy-efficient lighting solutions to market at an affordable price that will help to drive broad-based consumer adoption. By opening its wireless connectivity software, NXP is opening the door to a whole new world of innovation, in which ‘smarter lights’ are able to tie in exciting ways with applications like e-metering, white goods and home energy management,” said Jim Crowcroft, vice president of marketing for TCP.

“As a founding member of the IETF 6lowpan Working Group, NXP has made important contributions to standards for ‘Mesh Under’ networking. We welcome NXP’s intent to open-source its software to further drive the adoption of wireless IPv6 networking for the Internet of Things in the broadest sense,” said Geoff Mulligan, co-chair of IETF 6lowpan Working Group and chair, IP for Smart Objects (IPSO) Alliance.

NXP has previously open-sourced its video/audio software, as well as its NFC stack for the Google Android platform, to help accelerate innovation and industry-wide adoption.

Technical Features

Key features of the JenNet-IP networking software include:

  • Highly robust, easily scalable, self-healing tree network proven at over 500 nodes
  • Proven in a variety of residential and industrial applications, including asset management, lighting, solar and building control
  • IP-based networking to enable the Internet of Things
  • Gateway or non-gateway options for connection to the Internet or stand-alone operation
  • Easy-to-use, elegant and extensible SNAP object-oriented API
  • Highly secure: 128-bit AES encryption with secure authentication and device joining
  • Future-proof for device applications and network upgrades with Over-Network Download
  • Low memory footprint under 128KB
  • Low cost of ownership: small memory footprint, low development complexity, royalty-free

Availability

JenNet-IP software is currently being used by lead customers, and is also available as part of the NXP GreenChip smart lighting solution. In the coming months, NXP will be forming an open source consortium with a focused set of charter members to which it will contribute the software protocol stack in JenNet-IP.

The first Open Source release of JenNet-IP is planned for Q4 2011. Further information on JenNet-IP is available at: http://www.nxp.com/jennic

Links

About NXP

NXP Semiconductors N.V. (NASDAQ: NXPI) provides High Performance Mixed Signal and Standard Product solutions that leverage its leading RF, Analog, Power Management, Interface, Security and Digital Processing expertise. These innovations are used in a wide range of automotive, identification, wireless infrastructure, lighting, industrial, mobile, consumer and computing applications. A global semiconductor company with operations in more than 25 countries, NXP posted revenue of $4.4 billion in 2010.

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