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First ZigBee-ready chipset

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ATMEL Corporation, represented by Braemac , has announced the industry's first turnkey solution for ZigBee systems. Atmel's Z-link solution consists of the AT86ZL3201 Z-Link controller, a dedicated, ZigBee-ready, full function device (FFD) for 900MHz and 2.4GHz 802.15.4 frequency bands.

It also includes a low power AT86RF210 Z-Link 868/902-928MHz 802.15.4 radio, and plug-and-play ZigBee, and 802.15.4 protocol stacks.

ZigBee is a low data rate, low power, networked wireless standard for control and monitoring applications based on IEEE Standard 802.15.4.

ZigBee-enabled products do not need hard wiring between a powered device and its switch, offering the potential to save millions of dollars in wiring costs in new and existing construction.

Target applications include home and office lighting, environmental control and security, industrial sensors and controls, and medical monitoring systems.

Atmel is the only vendor to provide an 802.15.4 radio plus a ZigBee-specific microcontroller designed to meet the special memory, security and peripheral requirements of the ZigBee standard, and optimised, plug-and-play protocol stacks.

The AT86ZL3201 Z-Link Controller integrates encryption hardware with an 8-bit AVR RISC processor and memory structures that are optimized specifically to implement the ZigBee standard at the lowest possible cost with the longest possible battery life.

Atmel's Z-Link controller is an FFD that has been optimised to meet the requirements of the ZigBee standard at the lowest cost and lowest possible power consumption. It also eliminates the need for any firmware engineering for the ZigBee and 802.15.4 stacks.

Atmel's AT86RF210 Z-Link radio is an 868/902-928MHz, 802.15.4 and ZigBee-compliant transceiver with 10 channels at 40kbps in the 915MHz ISM band, and one channel at 20kbps in the European 868MHz band.

The air interface is DSSS, including spreading and despreading, using BPSK. The PHY includes receiver energy detection, link quality indication and clear channel assessment. The Z-Link MAC allows network association and disassociation, has an optional superframe structure with beacons for time synchronization and a GTS mechanism for high priority communications.

It supports up to 65,000 nodes in star, cluster or mesh networks, with a range of one to 100 metres. CSMA-CA is used for channel access, using contention-based and contention-free access modes.

With 14.5mA receive current and 4mW (6dBm) transmit current at 1.8 volts, Atmel's Z-Link transceiver consumes 25% less current in receive mode than competing 900MHz 802.15.4 radios.

The Z-Link radio's 1.8V power supply extends battery life beyond that which can be expected from 802.15.4 radios with 2.0V or higher power supplies. Power consumption in sleep mode is 1μA.

The Z-Link radio's ultra low power and extended battery life are significant advantages in ZigBee applications that target a two-year battery life.

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