Zigbee networks at ESC

I am just getting back from a successful trip to Embedded Systems Conference this year. We had the QNX CAR Toyota Prius in the booth and, as always, people lined up to see it. We had one of the busiest booths at the show. We also had our smart energy reference design in both the Freescale and Kontron booths.

The smart energy reference design features QNX Neutrino and Aviage HMI running on the i.MX25 PDK. It connects via ethernet to an Digi ethernet to Zigbee gateway. The i.MX25 can then control zigbee plugs (in this case a light bulb), get temperature data from a temperature sensor and get video from a camera. This demo was rock solid in the lab but at the show it had a few quirks that nobody at QNX could explain.

I spent quite a bit of time in the Freescale booth manning the station. Some of the people understood that I was QNX and was showing off a reference platform (those were the people that read the signage above the demo) and many others who wanted to know all about the zigbee sensors. Luckily the Digi booth was nearby so I was able to send them to get the info they needed.

I suspect this is what caused someone from Digi to come over and check out our demo. We accomplished two things in our discussion. One – we learned that when in an environment that has multiple zigbee networks you need to encrypt dedicated channels in your network or run the risk of ongoing collisions with adjacent networks. This explained the bug in the demo nicely. Second, we learned that they are developing a reference platform based on the i.MX51 and they want to talk about our smart meter demo as part of their go-to-market strategy. This thing just keeps growing and growing.

Wait until you see what’s in store for Freescale Technology Forum this year.


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