ZMDI Adds Security to Wireless Mesh-Network Module

March 3, 2011

The ZWIR4512 wireless low-power communication module based on IPv6 can easily be integrated into existing networks and includes a VPN-like security solution.

DRESDEN, Germany-- ZMD AG, a global supplier of energy-efficient analog and mixed-signal solutions for automotive, industrial, and medical applications, has announced the ZWIR4512, a uniquely secure and easy-to-integrate low-power wireless data communication module for sensors and other small devices found in industry and building automation, health monitoring, smart metering and keyless entry systems. The ZWIR4512 is more than a radio—it implements full data networking based on the IPv6 Internet protocol.

The ZWIR4512 provides reliable and secure communication for scalable networks by integrating a 32-bit ARM Cortex M3 processor with a complete communications software solution and an integrated radio. The radio operates in the 868/915MHz frequency band, which is compatible with European and North American standards. These frequencies offer wide coverage range, optimized battery life, and minimal signal interference.

"The ZWIR4512 provides a highly secure energy-efficient solution which is extremely easy to integrate," said Torsten Limberg, ZMDI product manager. "We developed the ZWIR4512 for customers who want simplicity in network management, mesh routing with self-healing capability, data encryption and authentication, and multiple interfaces to support all types of sensors and other peripherals."

Networks built with the ZWIR4512 can connect directly to existing networks without the requirement for custom programmed gateways. This makes it easy to extend networking to applications previously too difficult or expensive.

Designers can run their application software directly on the modules. This helps to save design time and cost as no external MCU and other circuitry is required. Different low-power modes help to save energy in battery-operated devices.

The complete ZWIR4512 module measures only 28 by 16.5 by 3.5 mm, including the antenna connector. It consumes 3.5 µA in sleep mode, and only 18.5 mA when transmitting data at 0 dBm output power.

Communication is based on IPv6, the next-generation Internet protocol. 6LoWPAN is used to optimize IPv6 packets for embedded low-power device networks. Data encryption and authentication is provided by the Internet Protocol Security (IPSec) protocol suite. IPSec keys can be exchanged and renewed automatically based on the Internet Key Exchange version 2 (IKEv2) protocol. IPSec and IKEv2 enable secure end-to-end communication, thus providing the same security level as virtual private networks. IPv6, 6LoWPAN, IPSec, and IKEv2 are all open standards developed by the IETF.

ZWIR4512 firmware offers a command interface and a C-language applications programming interface (API). Pre-programmed units are also available. Modules and development kits are available today.

ZMDI will present its new ZWIR4512 at Embedded World 2011 (March 1–3, 2011) in Nuremberg, Germany, at the Rutronik booth, Hall 12 - Booth 352.

About ZMDI
Zentrum Mikroelektronik Dresden AG (ZMDI) is a semiconductor company focused on energy efficiency. The company is a leading supplier of innovative, highly precise, robust and cost-efficient analog and mixed-signal semiconductors which allow for a maximum of energy efficiency and environmental protection in the automotive, mobile medical, industrial automation, and consumer markets. The company designs and markets application-specific standard products (ASSPs) and application-specific integrated circuits (ASICs) which are known for their robust, cost-effective performance in demanding environments characterized by high temperature, high voltage, and the need for ultra-low power.

Headquartered in Dresden, Germany, ZMDI has 280 employees worldwide and serves customers from its offices in Dresden, Stuttgart, Germany; Milan, Italy; Pocatello, ID, Melville, NY, USA; Tokyo, Japan; Taipei, Taiwan, and Seoul, Korea. ZMDI has design centers in Dresden, Stuttgart, Munich, Germany; Varna, Bulgaria and Madison, Wisconsin.

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