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Jennic, a manufacturer of 32-bit wireless microcontrollers, has released the Logistics Reference Design, providing a platform for use in the monitoring and tracking of goods in transportation.

Based upon the company’s patented Sleeping Beacon Technology, the platform allows battery-powered, time-synchronised sleeping wireless sensor networks to be evaluated for logistics applications.

Sensors in the network periodically communicate environment data such as temperature to a central controller, which communicates with a back-office system to provide real-time transportation data to logistics personnel and for auditing purposes.

The reference design is provided as two packages: to enable first evaluation, followed by development and customisation.

The evaluation package is designed to allow the benefits of the ultra-low-power wireless solution to be rapidly assessed with use of Jennic’s standard evaluation kit and a PC for the back-office graphical user interface (GUI).

The Windows-based GUI displays real-time data relating to the sensor network, including node temperature, battery voltage and radio-frequency (RF) channel.

It also allows the frequency agility features of the solution to be evaluated through the effects of RF interference and channel blacklisting.

The developer package is supplied as a drop-in application for the Jennic SDK, along with project files and application source code.

The provision of source code ensures that developers can access right into the heart of the solution to perform customisations – typically the integration of a GPRS/GSM modem link to the back office.

When deploying a monitoring system based on the Logistics Reference Design, transport companies can expect to see a fast return on their investment through a reduction in quality issues, insurance claims and fuel costs by reducing unnecessary transportation, according to Jennic.

At the heart of the design is the company’s IEEE802.15.4 standards-based wireless microcontroller technology operating in the unlicensed 2.4GHz ISM band.

To enable a rapid time to market, Jennic offers a range of pre-certified surface-mounted wireless modules that have full compliance with all RF regulatory requirements, meaning lower certification costs.

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