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Module runs entire ZigBee apps suite

Posted: 29 Dec 2008     Print Version  Bookmark and Share

Keywords:ZigBee  radio module  transceiver 

Apex LT Module

California Eastern Laboratories (CEL) has added a high end ZigBee radio module to its family of ZigBee/802.15.4 transceiver solutions.

Based on Ember Corp.'s EM260 transceiver platform, the Apex LT Module runs the entire ZigBee suite of applications and profiles as specified by the ZigBee Alliance. The Apex LT module supports both ZigBee and ZigBee Pro Certified software stacks and full mesh networking, as well as the ZigBee Alliance Smart Energy profile. It is FCC, CE, and IC certified, which means no regulatory testing is necessary.

The module is a complete hardware and software solution that helps customers to get to market much faster than raw ICs or hardware modules that are neither certified nor support ZigBee profiles.

The Apex LT module is designed for applications such as automated heating, lighting, air conditioning and ventilation systems in commercial and residential buildings. A system deployed with the Apex LT can enable simple and low cost installations of security, irrigation, and other building systems. The module fits well into Automated Meter Reading and Automated Meter Infrastructure (AMR/AMI) systems, making it a suitable choice for electrical and gas utilities devices that monitor and reduce energy use.

The Apex LT module features 20dBm output power and over 4,000 feet of range in a typical deployment. Inside is an EM260 network co-processor IC combined with a transceiver with a flash-based network processor. The module's native low power processor handles the radio and network management functions, offloading these tasks from the host controller.

The module also features an onboard power amplifier with software-configurable output from 1mW to 100mW. At 100mW, power consumption is 170mA, making it a suitable choice for battery-powered applications. It is designed to deliver constant RF output across its full 2.1 to 3.6V voltage range, ensuring consistent performance over the entire life of its battery.

Apex LT modules have a footprint of 25 x 33 mm. An integrated antenna helps to reduce system size and cost while an interface for an external antenna allows various antenna options.

Pricing is under Rs.750.55 ($15) per module in volume quantities.

CEL offers Apex LT evaluation kits that provide two modules mounted on self-contained interface boards. These boards can be battery-powered, enabling developers to create and test network connections under real-world environmental conditions.

-Toni McConnel

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