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Net processor eases Zigbee design

Posted: 18 Apr 2008     Print Version  Bookmark and Share

Keywords:network processor  Zigbee  low-power wireless 

Texas Instruments Inc. has introduced the first 2.4GHz Zigbee-certified network processor from its new Z-Accel line. Engineers can get complete Zigbee functionality from the CC2480 without having to learn the complexities of a full Zigbee stack, allowing easier integration of Zigbee into various applications like home and building automation and industrial monitoring and control. The device also gives engineers the flexibility to use any host MCU.

"The CC2480 Zigbee processor drastically simplifies the design of a new low-power wireless product, or the addition of wireless into an existing product, by allowing customers to separate the application code from the networking component of their systems," said Art George, senior VP of TI's high-performance analogue business unit.

Z-Accel is a comprehensive solution where TI's Zigbee-2006 stack, Z-Stack software, runs on a Zigbee processor and the application runs on an external MCU. The CC2480 handles all the timing-critical and processing-intensive Zigbee protocol tasks, while leaving the resources of the application MCU free to handle the application. The CC2480 communicates with any MCU via an SPI or UART interface, and it can be combined, for example, with TI's MPS430 ultra low-power MCUs.

The CC2480 targets Zigbee wireless network systems used in home and building automation, industrial monitoring and control, asset tracking, low-power wireless sensor networks, STBs, remote controls, automated meter reading and medical applications.

The device supports SimpleAPI, which has only 10 API calls to learn, and promises excellent radio performance, low power consumption and an automatic low-power mode in idle periods.

The CC2480 is available from TI and its authorised distributors in a 7mm x 7mm QFN-48 package. Suggested resale pricing for the CC2480 starts at Rs.326.62 ($8.10) in 1,000-piece quantities.

A comprehensive demonstration kit is available. The eZ430-RF2480 is a USB-based wireless demonstration tool providing all the hardware and software necessary to evaluate the CC2480 network processor and the MSP430 MCU. The eZ430-RF2480 is priced at Rs.3,992.06 ($99).

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