RF & Wireless

Remote Control

For televisions, set-top boxes, hi-fi and air conditioning systems and many other devices, a wireless remote control has now become standard

Although most remote controllers still work on an infrared basis, RF technology using RF4CE could soon be introduced in this field. RF4CE operates in the universal ISM band at 2.4 GHz and to some degree resembles a cut-down version of ZigBee. After a pairing between the remote control and set-top box, TV set, games console, air-conditioning system, etc., there is a clear association between the device and the peripheral area. An RF4CE solution consists essentially of a transceiver component, and a microcontroller, or a special single-chip (SoC) solution. RF4CE technology is in direct competition with WLAN, with which most of the devices discussed here are currently equipped. Using WLAN, the device can connect to an app that runs on a smartphone or a tablet computer. Due to the widespread use of smartphones and tablet computers, remote control apps are thus a massive competitor to conventional (comfortable) remote controllers.

Computer Peripherals

A wireless solution must be implemented with a strategy of maintaining a high-performance system while keeping power consumption to an optimum level to prolong battery life

Wireless keyboards, mice, etc., linked to a PC or laptop are becoming more and more popular. Communication between the computer and its peripherals is usually bi-directional via Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) or in the ISM band via ZigBee, etc. Current hot trends in wireless mouse & wireless keyboard design, such as the nano dongle, fuel the need for small integrated circuit solutions. Even in presentations and other applications, wireless peripherals have proved their worth, for example, for changing a presentation to the next slide. The category of computer peripherals also includes headsets and headphones, which have a wireless connection to smartphones, PCs, laptops and tablets, or even to stereo systems.

Gaming

Modern games consoles offer a taste of what the future holds for this field

Games consoles still mainly use infrared technology and proprietary solutions for connecting their peripherals, but BLE and RF4CE have a good chance of playing a significant role in the future of this area too. RF4CE operates in the universal ISM band at 2.4 GHz and to some extent resembles a simplified version of ZigBee. After a pairing between the remote control and the games console, etc., there is a clear association between the device and the remote control.

PND

Personal navigation devices (PNDs) provide geolocation, maps, turn-by-turn directions, and, in some newer models, real-time traffic and weather updates

Portable or Personal navigation devices rely heavily on a GPS module and also any other radio interfaces that range, depending on the equipment and facilities, from mobile connection via Bluetooth to WLAN.  PNDs make up one of the largest consumer markets for GPS enabled devices.

STB/TV

STBs and OTTs are more often than not rented by operators with specific security & home comfort systems involving wireless networks

Without matching tuner and demodulator ICs, set-top boxes or digital programme receivers built in to TV sets would not be economically feasible regardless of whether one is dealing with a DVB-S, DVB-T, ISDB-T or a combo receiver. Cable amplifiers and satellite-or home-receivers also come into consideration. Furthermore, set-top boxes and TV sets need a suitable remote control, and although this still works on an infrared basis, it could soon also operate with RF technology using RF4CE (Radio Frequency for Consumer Electronics) or WLAN. RF4CE operates in the universal ISM band at 2.4 GHz and to some extent resembles a simplified version of ZigBee. After a pairing between the remote control and set-top box, TV set, game console, etc., there is a clear association between the device and the peripheral area. When a set-top box is to be installed as a fixed installation (for example, a satellite receiver in a caravan or mobile home) RF4CE technology is often the best option, especially when infrared remote control is ruled-out as a solution due to the lack of a line of sight connection to the built-in receiver. Such a solution consists essentially of a transceiver component, and a microcontroller, or a special single-chip (SoC) solution.

Tablet/eBooks

New age tablets advanced by using super-fast networks (like 4G LTE) offers immediate pairing and avoidance of compatibility issues

In tablets, the standard technologies in the wireless area are essentially used: WLAN and Bluetooth, together with a GPS module and/or a module radio link, depending on the system.