Philips Home Control’s QWERTY keypad-equipped DUAL infrared/RF remote control is using Nordic Semiconductor’s RF technology. RF eliminates the need for IR’s line-of-sight access, allowing devices to be controlled in the presence of obstacles and even interior walls (up to a range of 15m and assuming wall construction materials do not excessively attenuate the RF signals). DUAL remote control also incorporates IR remote control functionality so that users can operate legacy entertainment devices.
DUAL is designed for use by consumer electronics manufacturers of emerging ‘connected’ products such as Smart TV, Over The Top (Internet) boxes, and Hybrid set-top boxes. DUAL is equipped with a full QWERTY-keypad on one side, and on the other, touchpad or optical sensor controls for alternate input methods allowing manufacturers to implement free cursor, gesturing, and moving highlight mechanisms.
In operation, the DUAL remote handset uses the Nordic nRF24LE1, a 2.4GHz ULP transceiver running a modified version of Nordic’s Gazell RF protocol software. An nRF24LU1+ 2.4GHz ULP transceiver and USB 2.0 compliant device controller, incorporated into a compact USB dongle, plugs 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 nRF24LE1 integrates a proven nRF24L01+ transceiver core, enhanced 8051 microcontroller, 16kbytes of on-chip flash and 1kbytes of SRAM into a single-chip. The chip boasts a 2Mbps on-air data rate combined with ultra low power (ULP) 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, Gazell is a frequency agile protocol that is highly immune to interference from other 2.4GHz radio sources.