“The technical standards and platforms used for connectivity have a direct impact on real-time sensing, communication, and data sharing, which are vital to global commerce and trade.
The technical standards and platforms used for connectivity have a direct impact on real-time sensing, communication, and data sharing, which are vital to global commerce and trade.
With unlimited design and connectivity possibilities, the challenge for Internet of Things (IoT) developers is still how to create secure, low-power, and robust connections between factories, buildings, and other industrial applications. Choosing the right protocol and the right prototype platform can be daunting.
To help you choose the right technology, SimpleLink™ connected microcontrollers (MCUs) support multiple connection protocols, including Zigbee®, Thread, Bluetooth® Low Energy, Wi-Fi®, Ethernet and Sub-1 GHz, all of them The protocols are unified by the SimpleLink Software Development Kit (SDK). The SimpleLink MCU platform provides building blocks for creating secure, low-power, and connected sensor networks.
Choose a hardware development kit
As part of the SimpleLink MCU platform, you can use a variety of hardware tools, including TI SimpleLink LaunchPad™ development kit and our newly available SimpleLinkCC1352R LaunchPad SensorTag kit. The core of each kit is SimpleLink MCU, but each kit is tailored for different development aspects. These development kits can work together, allowing you to create various connected applications and test different protocol stacks.
LaunchPad™ Development Kit
The LaunchPad development kit is an open hardware development platform. The kit provides you with unrestricted development access to SimpleLink MCUs and can be used as a blank state for creating the next project. The open nature of the LaunchPad development kit allows you to focus on custom designs while optimizing them. To assist in development, the LaunchPad development kit (shown in Figure 1) features an on-board programmer for debugging and loading new code. The USB connector can be used for programming and to provide power to the LaunchPad development kit. The key feature of the LaunchPad development kit is the flexibility of the hardware, which allows you to access the pins of many featured microcontrollers and open hardware prototyping. In addition, some user LEDs and buttons are provided for use. Plug the pins into a standard connector that accepts BoosterPack™ plug-in circuit boards that bring additional functions such as displays, sensors, battery packs, etc.
Figure 1. SimpleLink LaunchPad development kit
LaunchPad SensorTag kit (LPSTK-CC1352R)
The LaunchPad development kit focuses on open hardware, while the LaunchPad SensorTag kit (shown in Figure 2) focuses on providing you with a product-like development starting point. The LaunchPad SensorTag kit is fully enclosed, battery-powered, and integrates a variety of sensors to understand the environment, including temperature, humidity, ambient light, motion, etc. With its out-of-the-box battery operation, on-board sensors, and built-in multi-band wireless connectivity, you can easily deploy a complete sensor network to stress test the protocol stack and performance. The LaunchPad SensorTag kit has a SimpleLink multi-band CC1352R MCU that can support both Sub-1 GHz and 2.4 GHz operation at the same time, providing you with maximum connection flexibility. The shell of the LaunchPad SensorTag kit is detachable, and has similar BoosterPack compatibility and some hardware scalability to the LaunchPad development kit.
Figure 2. SimpleLink CC1352R LaunchPad SensorTag kit (LPSTK-CC1352R)
The LaunchPad development kit and LaunchPad SensorTag kit can be easily mixed and matched to create the desired topology. SimpleLink MCU’s extensive connection stack products (shown in Figure 3) allow you to connect to any object you need and think.
Figure 3: The SimpleLink MCU platform provides a wide range of connection protocols in the industry.
Customized sensor network
The LaunchPad SensorTag kit enables you to create low-power, battery-powered sensor nodes. This node can measure temperature, humidity, environmental brightness, Hall effect, motion, etc. Out-of-the-box connectivity and sensing capabilities make it easy to collect sensor data in factories, buildings, and industrial environments. Due to its unrestricted and open form factor, the LaunchPad development kit can assist developers in creating custom node or gateway solutions. Both tools can help you quickly create a flexible, low-power, and secure complete sensor network. For example, you can use Sub-1 GHz and/or Bluetooth Low Energy to create a star topology (as shown in Figure 4), or use Zigbee and OpenThread to create a mesh topology (as shown in Figure 5).
Figure 4: Star topology created using LaunchPad development kit and LaunchPad SensorTag kit (LPSTK-CC1352R) hardware tools
Figure 5: Mesh network created using LaunchPad development kit and LaunchPad SensorTag kit (LPSTK-CC1352R) hardware tools
The SimpleLink MCU platform includes SimpleLink CC1352R multi-protocol and multi-band MCUs. With the CC1352R LaunchPad SensorTag kit (LPSTK-CC1352R), you can evaluate various connection frequencies and protocol stacks, and seamlessly switch between multiple frequency bands and protocols in the application. Multi-band operation can provide seamless concurrent operation of Bluetooth Low Energy and Sub-1 GHz or Zigbee protocols. For example, you can use a SimpleLinkCC1352R microcontroller device to provide Bluetooth Low Energy connectivity and remote connectivity between TI 15.4-Stack and Sub-1 Ghz (Figure 6). You can also pair low-power Bluetooth connectivity with mesh protocols (such as Zigbee or Thread) (Figure 7). The multi-band, multi-protocol SimpleLink CC1352RMCU enables you to combine frequencies and protocols to create a flexible connected sensor network using a single MCU.
Figure 6. Bluetooth Low Energy and Sub-1 GHz with TI 15.4-Stack multi-band operation
Figure 7. Multi-protocol operation of Bluetooth Low Energy + Zigbee/thread stack
Software development tools
To supplement the existing SimpleLink hardware development tools, we provide powerful and intuitive software tools and resources, from the browser-based integrated development environment to the introduction of SysConfig (a unified software configuration tool) graphical programming tool. Code Composer Studio™ software is a powerful code editor that can be used for desktop and cloud operation programming and environment debugging. It provides the flexibility to develop in the local desktop or web browser. SimpleLink SDK is a powerful software development kit, which has pre-integrated peripheral device drivers, connection stacks, libraries, RTOS kernels, etc. In addition, it is supported by a quarterly release plan, which introduces new features, improvements, and optimizations. SysConfig (shown in Figure 8) is a new intuitive graphical configuration tool used to generate configuration codes for various SimpleLink SDK components. You can configure peripheral device drivers, connection stacks, etc. with the help of a powerful graphical interface.
Figure 8. SysConfig graphical configuration tool
The LaunchPad development kit and the LaunchPad SensorTag kit (LPSTK-CC1352R) can be used together to create a flexible sensor network with multiple connection options. Rely on a wide range of TI tools and resources to shorten time to market to meet your design needs. The SimpleLink MCU platform provides you with flexible and easy-to-use hardware and software tools to help you create the next frontier of connectivity solutions.
・ Order the new SimpleLink CC1352R LaunchPad SensorTag kit
・ Explore the full set of LaunchPad development kits
・ Start with SimpleLink Academy training