NXP – Ultra low-power wireless MCUs for ZigBee and Thread IoT networks


NXP Semiconductors’ JN517x series is a range of ultra low-power wireless microcontrollers suitable for Thread and ZigBee networking systems, and intended to support the development of smart home, smart lighting and other Internet of Things (IoT) applications.

The range is comprised of the JN5174, JN5178 and JN5179, which have 160kbytes, 256kbytes and 512kbytes of embedded Flash memory, as well as 32kbytes of RAM and 4kbytes of EEPROM. All are based on an ARM® Cortex®-M3 processor core with programmable clock speeds, and allow system designers to implement both a network protocol stack and application code on a single wireless device. The devices can read over-the-air downloads of software stacks into their embedded Flash memory.

The JN517x MCUs also include a 2.4GHz transceiver which complies with the IEEE802.15.4 radio specifications, and a comprehensive mix of analogue and digital peripherals, including a six-channel ADC with internal temperature sensor.

Radio transmit power is configurable up to an output of 10dBm. Drawing just 12.7mA when receiving in low-power mode, and 0.6μA in sleep timer mode, the JN517x MCUs allow systems to achieve excellent battery run-times and support operation directly from a coin cell.


  • Integrated power amplifier
  • Flexible sensor interfacing
  • -96dBm receiver sensitivity
  • Configurable Transmit power for reduced current:
    • 10dBm at 22.5mA
    • 8.5dBm at 19.6mA
    • 3dBm at 14mA
  • Compensation for crystal oscillator’s frequency drift
  • 128-bit AES security processor
  • Accelerator for media access controller
  • Fail-safe I2C interface
  • Battery-voltage sensor


  • Commercial building and home automation
  • Smart lighting networks
  • IoT devices
  • Toys and gaming peripherals
  • Energy-harvesting devices