Texas Instruments Releases Zigbee Home Automation Gateway Reference Design Based on BeagleBone Black

Texas Instruments has recently release a complete Linux based Zigbee home automation gateway based on BeagleBone Black development and CC2531 Evaluation Module Kit hardware which you can purchase for about $100 in total, and including Z-STACK Ubuntu gateway installer, as well as Z-STACK Home, a ZigBee Home Automation (ZHA 1.2) compliant protocol stack for the company’s CC2530 and CC2538 SoCs.

CC2531 USB Dongle Connected to BeagleBone Black

I won’t go into details about the BeagleBone Black as I have already covered it into details previously. However, the hardware has slightly changed since the initial release, as the 2GB eMMC has now been replaced by a 4GB eMMC, and price has been increased to about $55.

CC2531 evaluation module kit is comprised of CC2531 USB Dongle which you can connect to the USB port of a PC, or in this case a BeagleBone Black, for 802.15.4 / ZigBee applications. TI also provides CC2531 USB Firmware Library on their site to let developers design their own software to utilize this part.

Home Automation Gateway Software Block Diagram
Home Automation Gateway Software Block Diagram

On the software side, as you can see on the diagram above, the company provide the kernel, drivers, Zigbee middleware, home automation client application, firmware update application for the BeagleBone Black,. and the Zigbee firmware for CC2531 USB dongle.

The full project also appears to be open source hardware. As you may know the BeagleBone Black is open source hardware which means all hardware designs can be downloaded and modified, and the company has also released the schematics, PCB layout, BoM, and PCB manufacturing files for CC2541 Zigbee USB dongle.So you could create your own automation gateway based on these documents.

You can find all documentation, software packages and hardware files, as well as links to order the required hardware, on Texas Instruments’ Zigbee Home Automation Gateway Reference Design page. The same hardware can also be used with another recently released reference design for a Zigbee gateway for lighting application, which also includes all resources necessary to try it out, and make your own. It also includes example applications for local and remote control of ZigBee nodes, including Android and Java-script for cloud connectivity agents and C-clients, as well as Wiki that’s currently missing for the Zigbee Home Automation Gateway reference design.

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