The Internet of Things moves a step closer with open source, ultra-low-power JenNet-IP


May 18, 2011

Much has been written about the "internet of things." Right now, not every human being has an IP but in the very near future, low cost smart chips will be added to every device to give it an IP address and everything in one's life will become part of your private secure network to be monitored and controlled (and hence become smart) via a smartphone, tablet or PC.

Earlier this week, Dutch-based NXP Semiconductors announced its GreenChip, which for the cost of about US$1.00, enables every light bulb to have its own wireless IP address. NXP has subsequently announced it is to make its JenNet-IP, ultra-low-power, IEEE 802.15.4-based, wireless network layer software available under an Open Source license in Q4, 2011.

This development is very significant as it reduces the cost and greatly simplifies adding "smart" connectivity and two-way communication into a wide range of devices, and might well establish a cross-application standard for wireless connectivity in both residential and industrial environments.

About the Author
Mike Hanlon Mike grew up thinking he would become a mathematician, accidentally started motorcycle racing, got a job writing road tests for a motorcycle magazine while at university, and became a writer. As a travelling photojournalist during his early career, his work was published in a dozen languages across 20+ countries. He went on to edit or manage over 50 print publications, with target audiences ranging from pensioners to plumbers, many different sports, many car and motorcycle magazines, with many more in the fields of communication - narrow subject magazines on topics such as advertising, marketing, visual communications, design, presentation and direct marketing. Then came the internet and Mike managed internet projects for Australia's largest multimedia company, (Australia's largest Telco), (Australia's largest employment site),,, and a dozen other internet start-ups before founding Gizmag in 2002. Now he writes and thinks. All articles by Mike Hanlon

I wonder how many IP addresses will be available? We are just starting IP v6 and somehow I don\'t think that they had thought of every lightbulb, and God knows what else having unique addresses.



I believe they are referring to internal LAN IP addressing. I think IPV4 should still work unless you have more than 255 light-bulbs. :-)

Knowledge Thirsty

@Knowledge Thirsty,

You are correct that IP V4 will work behind NAT, but we\'re gonna be needing subnets too!

255 lights is a lot, but add into that an IP address for each light switch, plug, plug socket, milk bottle, coke bottle, pizza box, toliet roll, etc etc, and 255 is suddenly a very small number!


Hmm, an IP address for my car ignition ? My house\'s front door ? I can let that repair man in remotely :)

Clay Sim

Every device in your life with an IP address that can attacked? hacked? Come home and be assaulted by your vacuum cleaner? Or when you trying to sleep some hacker turns on every appliance in your house? Or in the middle of winter shuts down your heating system?? Has anyone thought this out with regards to security?

Dave Merriam


We will never run out of IPv6 addresses. We could assign an IPV6 address to EVERY ATOM on the SURFACE OF THE EARTH, and still have enough addresses left to do another 100 earths. It isn't remotely likely that we'll run out of IPV6 addresses at any time in the foreseeable future.

Number of unique IPv6 addresses possible: 2^128= 340,282,366,920,938,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000

That's 340 trillion, 282 billion, 366 million, 920 thousand, 938 followed by 24 zeroes. There's no short way to say it.

So actually, they did think of that. :)

BJ Hinkle
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