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GreenPeak RF/IR Remote Technology Runs on a Watch Battery... Forever!

It may not be pretty, but it doesnt need batteries

It may not be pretty, but it doesn't need batteries


  • Product Name: Battery-less IR/RF Remote Technology
  • Manufacturer: Greepeak
  • Review Date: January 07, 2009 02:17
  • First Impression: Pretty Cool
  • Buy Now

Executive Overview

GreenPeak, a Netherlands-based fabless semiconductor company, announced the launch of a new RF wireless radio technology for home theater remote control devices. Their angle is comes from two advantages. One, they are working with RF technology, which is inherently better than IR due to the fact that it doesn't require line of sight. GreenPeak’s solution also includes IR as secondary use for legacy systems. This combo solution allows the use of a single universal remote control for both IR and RF devices. But that's not the big deal. Where they bring down the house (in terms of their claims, anyway) is that they have developed a set of reference designs for a new generation of RF remote controls that will run nearly forever without requiring a battery change for the expected life of the remote or device.

No battery change. Ever - at least according to GreenPeak.

GreenPeak’s solution enables low cost and highly reliable communication owing to a superior radio with antenna diversity, frequency agility and delay spread handling, resulting in robust communication and excellent range. It also enables the designer to develop an ultra low power RF system with a much longer battery life. RF remote controls equipped with GreenPeak’s communication controller can be made maintenance free: a single watch type battery can outlast the life time of the remote.

The technology is based on 2.4 GHz, and is IEEE 802.15.4 compliant (an industry standard for multiple device control). RF modules can integrate into hosts such as TVs, DVDs and set-top boxes. These reference designs are based on GreenPeak’s Emerald GP500C communication controller, with dedicated features for the consumer electronics and remote control market.

The reference designs will be delivered with a protocol stack of less than 4KB. The embedded IEEE 802.15.4 MAC layer allows a short time to market and a simple, stable and reliable software application. Additionally, the reference designs are based on a single layer low cost PCB with integrated antennas guaranteeing a very low cost BOM (Bill of Materials - low manufacturing cost).

GreenPeak’s reference designs provide high speed low latency two-way communication with high throughputs, allowing high speed content browsing, touchpad operation, gaming, as well as high resolution displays on the remote control.

According to Cees Links, the CEO of GreenPeak, their new RF communication controller opens a market for low cost, reliable high speed RF remote controls and is expected to have a huge impact on the user experience, as IEEE 802.15.4 remote controls will allow a completely new way to use a remote control.

Let's hope he's right, cause if this doesn't end up as vaporware this could revolutionize the industry.

For more information visit www.greenpeak.com.

Unless otherwise indicated, this is a preview article for the featured product. A formal review may or may not follow in the future.

About the author:
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As Associate Editor at Audioholics, Tom promises to the best of his ability to give each review the same amount of attention, consideration, and thoughtfulness as possible and keep his writings free from undue bias and preconceptions. Any indication, either internally or from another, that bias has entered into his review will be immediately investigated. Substantiation of mistakes or bias will be immediately corrected regardless of personal stake, feelings, or ego.

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