Dust Networks Announces IEEE 802.15.4 SoC

April 29, 2010

The ARM Cortex-M3 processor-based chip sets a new benchmark for ultra-low power wireless sensor network performance.

HAYWARD, CA --(BUSINESS WIRE)-- Dust Networks, the leading supplier of wireless sensor networks (WSN), announced that its new IEEE 802.15.4 products will include the powerful, low power ARM Cortex -M3 processor. Dust Networks' new family of system-on-chips (SoCs) will be the basis for a variety of upcoming standards-based WSN products, including IEC 62591 (WirelessHART), 6LOWPAN (IP), and Zigbee PRO products that will provide unprecedented low power consumption while delivering a compelling set of energy saving, high performance features including:

  • A 32-bit ARM Cortex-M3 processor and rich interfaces enable a powerful computing platform while conserving power.
  • The world's lowest power IEEE 802.15.4 radio: a new benchmark is set, with a mere 3 mA transmit at 0 dBm and 3 mA receive current, delivering 5–10 times the battery life of competing technologies, and further expanding the applicability of energy harvesting power sources.
  • Extended range capabilities, with up to 8 dBm output power on-chip PA and an optional external power amplifier.
  • The industry's first IEEE 802.15.4E-ready product, incorporating the emerging standard for time synchronization and channel hopping, while providing legacy support for 802.15.4-2006.

"Our new SoCs are geared to deliver the highest performance while running at a fraction of the power of competing silicon," said Dr. Kris Pister, Chief Technologist at Dust Networks. "In selecting the ARM Cortex-M3 processor for our SoC, we did not have to trade-off performance for power. Dust Networks new IEEE 802.15.4 SoCs will require less than one-tenth of the energy per operation of comparable SoCs."

The level of systems integration in the SoCs is very high, including on-chip power amplifier, DC-to-DC converter, 10-bit ADC and a built in temperature sensor. With configurations up to 512 kB of flash and 72 kB of RAM, these SoCs will have both the highest computational horsepower of any 802.15.4 chip on the market, and the lowest power consumption. In doze mode, with full processor state and RAM retention, current consumption is under 1 µA.

"Dust Networks' adoption of the ARM Cortex architecture is a clear demonstration of the growing support for ARM Cortex-M3 processor-based for low-power applications, " said Eric Schorn, VP marketing, Processor Division, ARM. "The ARM Cortex-M3 CPU is ideal for battery operated or energy harvesting designs where performance really matters and the feature-filled Dust SoC is a powerful example of what can be done with a 'green' approach to SoC design, in applications where every nanoamp counts."

"Low power radios such as IEEE 802.15.4 and wireless mesh networking, epitomized by Dust Networks' TSMP protocol and its "Smart Dust" roots, have transformed the industrial wireless sensor network landscape", said Mareca Hatler, ON World research director. "With the introduction of ultra low power versions of SmartMesh IP (6LoWPAN) systems and ZigBee products, Dust Networks will expand the growing number of 'Smart World' applications that span Smart Buildings, Cities, Government and Homes."

About Dust Networks
Dust Networks, the leader in standards-based intelligent wireless sensor networking (WSN), provides ultra low-power, highly reliable systems to OEMs. Dust Networks wireless technology enables unprecedented access to information from the physical world, in markets that range from industrial monitoring and control to emerging markets such as the Smart Grid, Smart Cities and Smart Buildings. Dust Networks' embedded products combine extremely low-power RF System-on-Chip (SoC) technology with revolutionary wireless networking capabilities, providing OEMs with a full range of standards-based WSN solutions that are flexible and easy to integrate. Dust Networks partners with industry and standards groups such as the HART Communication Foundation, IEEE, IETF, IPSO, ISA, SunSpec Alliance and the Zigbee Alliance to ensure the broad adoption of interoperable wireless sensor networking products.

About ARM
ARM designs the technology that lies at the heart of advanced digital products, from wireless, networking and consumer entertainment solutions to imaging, automotive, security and storage devices. ARM's comprehensive product offering includes 32-bit RISC microprocessors, graphics processors, video engines, enabling software, cell libraries, embedded memories, high-speed connectivity products, peripherals and development tools. Combined with comprehensive design services, training, support and maintenance, and the company's broad Partner community, they provide a total system solution that offers a fast, reliable path to market for leading electronics companies.

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