Telink Semiconductor, developer of highly integrated low power radio-frequency and mixed signal system chips for Internet of Things (IoT) applications, has announced that its Bluetooth mesh technology is being used in connected LED light bulbs from GE Lighting, in its C by GE product family. “For many, lighting is the gateway to a smart home that connects other devices including smart thermostats, security cameras and smoke alarms. While interoperability is key, in a crowded market with no clear platform winner, we wanted to give consumers the option for a standalone smart lighting solution.” says Tom Stimac, GE Lighting’s chief innovation manager. “That’s why we focus on creating products that solve problems — not tech for the sake of tech — and ensure those products have the best user experience.”
This smart product is enabled by Telink’s proprietary BLE mesh technology, which can uniquely update in real-time and reflect multiple nodes’ status automatically using Telink’s patented network traffic control technology. In addition, Telink mesh supports a synchronized control mechanism, which can guarantee a large number of lights to be on/off or controlled at exactly same time. The same hardware can also be used for Apple HomeKit support.
This mesh capability is important as Bluetooth low energy (or smart) sensors proliferate in the home and connected appliances become the norm. Mesh networking will then become an integral component in ensuring consumers’ Bluetooth enabled smart locks, lights, HVAC (heating, ventilation and air conditioning) systems, and appliances work together to deliver a seamless smart home experience. Telink’s BLE mesh technology provides the optimum product user experience because of the unique features it is able to support.
Wenjun Sheng, CEO of Telink Semiconductor, explains, “In smart home control, our BLE mesh technology can support multiple terminals to control multiple smart devices simultaneously in real time. Without the appropriate network traffic control technology, it is very hard to update and reflect the status of multiple smart devices on every control terminal in time and automatically; this could result in inconsistent control and might lead to devices and controllers not being in in sync.”
He adds, “A typical problematic scenario without Telink’s network traffic control technology is when you turn off a light in your house using the app on your cellphone, but your wife’s cellphone app still shows the light is on because the status of the light can’t be updated automatically.”
The wireless smart lighting solution provided by Telink Semiconductor enables customers to easily implement features like on/off control, dimming and color space (luminance / saturation, RGB) control, grouping control, scene mode control, timer or sensor integration, control bridge, mesh networks and power consumption profiling.
Software development kit
For smart lighting developers, Telink provides a software development kit that delivers turnkey hardware reference designs. This includes reference hardware and firmware, light module schematic and PCB (with interface to all types of LED drivers), remote control schematic and PCB, ZigBee/BLE/2.4Ghz stack, profiles, and UIs (user interfaces), and free Android and iOS app references.
Telink also has the TLSR8269 chip which is the world’s first all-in-one system-on-chip for the internet of things, combining the radio frequency (RF), digital processing, protocols stack software and profiles for Bluetooth Smart, BLE Mesh, 6LoWPAN, Thread, ZigBee, RF4CE, HomeKit and 2.4GHz proprietary standard support in a single chip.
In addition, its integrated 512kB flash memory enables all functionality to be embedded in every chip, and the final end product functionality can then be configurable via software. This means it can even support over-the-air upgrades, product feature rollouts and upgrades. In addition, the Telink chip can function up to temperature of 125C degrees, making it suitable for use in LED lighting applications.
Telink's solution provides concurrent real time control of connected devices using different standards in the home, without using an external hub. It bridges the communications between smartphones and controllers that predominantly use Bluetooth low energy (BLE), and home automation devices that use ZigBee (IEEE 802.115.4) mesh networks. The TLSR8269 chip from Telink supports both BLE and 802.15.4 stacks to run simultaneously, so that seamless control of multiple devices using the different communications protocols can be achieved at the same time.