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Wireless mesh networks target smart lighting apps

Posted: 10 Jun 2010     Print Version  Bookmark and Share

Keywords:Wireless mesh  smart lighting  network chipset 

Semtech Corp. and Virtual Extension have jointly developed a low-power, high performance two-chip wireless mesh network chipset for smart lighting applications that promises no single point of failure and very robust signal processing. The chipset pairs Semtech's SX1211 transceiver for industrial, scientific and medical (ISM) band applications with VE209S mesh controller from Virtual Extension. This low-power chipset is also perfectly adapted to battery-operated applications with a 10-year operating lifetime.

The SX1211 is part of Semtech's complete platform of ISM-band transceivers and is optimised for asynchronous sensor network designs in unlicensed ISM frequency bands (868-870MHz and 902-928MHz). The device features the industry's lowest receiver current consumption (<3mA) for increased battery life. All of the transceiver's major RF communication parameters are programmable and can be configured dynamically, with RF output power programmable up to +12.5 dBm.

The VE209 family of high-performance mesh controllers serves as the main building blocks of a VEmesh unit, either a gateway or a node. These mesh controllers have the necessary internal elements for performing all the interfaces and network management.

VEmesh units provide highly reliable bi-directional communication and best-in-class range and coverage for distributed monitoring and data collection of sensor and metering systems. All VEmesh nodes also act as relays to retransmit data from other units in order to create a modular solution with no practical limitation to the number of nodes or size of coverage area with no network downtime. It promises no-knowledge, no-training installation and maintenance is required. It's software does not need managing. It is highly scalable and the robustness and network range increase when the network expands. They feature the fastest response in class with the lowest and most predictable latency. They enable secure (frequency diversity) and resistant (space diversity) to multi-path fading and propagation changes.

"This new chipset is great news to smart lighting designers, who now have now a highly reliable network that also has great potential for additional applications, such as smart metering or home and building automation," said Sameer Vuyyuru, Semtech VP marketing for Semtech's Advanced Communications and Sensing Group. "The relationship with Virtual Extension means we can offer good integration between two of the industry's highest performing ICs, and comes at the right time for Semtech to expand its leadership in these times of growing focus on energy efficiency."

"Until now, the market has not had a mesh option that offers the winning combination of high performance, low power consumption and low cost," said Yariv Oren, CEO of Virtual Extension. "Semtech brings the high-performance transceivers that, when combined with our 'diversity path mesh' technology, results in networks that are easier to design and build, are much more robust, easier to install and maintain, and have higher scalability. This chipset offers a simple, low-power, robust routing solution for wireless mesh networks".

Evaluation kits SX1211MESH-868 and SX1211MESH-915 are available immediately from Semtech.

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