Wireless Applications

Freescale launches single-chip ZigBee Platform

March 29, 2007

Ultra-low-power wireless platform designed to enable up to 20-year battery life; features data rates up to 2 Mbps.


AUSTIN, TX -- Freescale Semiconductor has introduced a single-chip platform solution based on the ZigBee specification that is designed to deliver the industry's lowest power consumption and highest performance. The MC1322x platform is engineered to support battery life of up to 20 years, doubling the expectations for current ZigBee solutions.

Freescale's MC1322x is available in a Platform in Package (PiP) solution that integrates the essential components of a ZigBee application within a single package, thereby reducing component count and system cost. The MC1322x platform contains a 32-bit microcontroller (MCU), a fully compliant IEEE 802.15.4 transceiver, balun and RF matching components—all integrated into a small-footprint land-grid array (LGA) package that virtually eliminates the need for external RF components. The platform solution also features a TurboLink technology mode, engineered to increase data rates by up to 2 Mbps between nodes.

"We have worked closely with our customers to determine the optimal features for our next-generation ZigBee solution," said Brett Black, manager of Freescale's Wireless Connectivity Operation. "We designed our ZigBee Platform in Package from the ground up to deliver the lowest power consumption and highest performance within a highly integrated package. The MC1322x is designed for a new class of wireless applications that require faster streaming of audio and data files across an IEEE 802.15.4 or ZigBee network."

Itron, a leader in advanced metering technology for the global utility industry, has selected the ZigBee standard for home energy management and load control applications for its OpenWay Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI) platform.

"By providing high-performance functionality at a cost-effective price point, ZigBee solutions such as Freescale's MC1322x Platform in Package are designed to enable utilities to deploy advanced energy management and load control capabilities to their mass market residential customers," said Arun Sehgal, product line manager for Itron's OpenWay AMI system. "This capability gives electric utilities new tools to manage peak load while providing consumers with the ability to make smart choices to conserve energy and save money in their homes. ZigBee wireless communication not only makes this possible for the mass market, but cost-effective as well."

"Freescale's Platform in Package raises the bar for other global ZigBee wireless communication platform providers," said Jean-Pierre Desbenoit, electronic and software research director of Schneider Electric. "This platform illustrates what an open-standard technology can provide to OEMs: active competition between best-in-class players who continue to produce innovative solutions. I am confident that the MC1322x platform will contribute to new successes for ZigBee technology."

TurboLink technology delivering up to 10X data
ZigBee technology currently targets industrial, commercial and medical applications, such as energy management and asset tracking. Freescale's proprietary TurboLink technology mode boosts the data rate up to 2 Mbps, providing an ideal platform to support diverse applications, such as voice, wireless headsets and compressed audio, as well as large data transfers. For healthcare-related applications, such as patient monitoring systems, TurboLink technology also enables real-time data collection from sensors on the body. That data then can be sent via a ZigBee network to a central location for monitoring.

The MC1322x devices will switch automatically between the IEEE 802.15.4 protocol and TurboLink technology packets, allowing the developer to take advantage of the high-speed capabilities, while simultaneously controlling and monitoring a ZigBee mesh network. This high-speed capability creates a tremendous opportunity for new designs and applications.

Ultra-low-power consumption
The MC1322x platform was designed from the ground up to support battery-powered applications. Optimized for Lithium-ion or NiCad batteries, the MC1322x is designed to support batteries as small as coin cells or use standard alkaline batteries that can provide up to 20 years of system life.

MC1322x PiP solution features

  • 32-bit processor capable of running up to 26 MHz
  • IEEE 802.15.4 transceiver
  • Hardware accelerator and security
  • Onboard buck converter for ultra-low-power applications
  • Dual 12-bit analog-to-digital converters
  • Multiple serial ports and peripherals
  • Onboard ROM, containing device drivers and a fully compliant IEEE 802.15.4 2006 MAC
  • RAM and flash memory to provide a flexible and robust platform for cost-sensitive wireless applications

All RF tuning components and balun are contained within the MC1322x package, requiring only an antenna and crystal to be connected for operation. Freescale plans to add RAM- and flash-based PiP solutions to the MC1322x family.

Freescale's BeeKit Wireless Connectivity Toolkit provides an easy-to-use configuration tool for creating networks ranging from simple point-to-point to full ZigBee mesh networks.

Pricing and availability
Freescale plans to offer MC1322x device samples to key OEM customers in May 2007. General market sampling is planned for December 2007. The company plans to offer the MC1322x device in two package options: a 9.5mm x 9.5mm LGA and a 7mm x 7mm QFN. The devices also are planned to be available in standard mode or TurboLink technology mode. Suggested resale pricing for the standard mode devices in LGA packaging is $5.50 (USD) in 10K quantities.

About ZigBee technology
ZigBee is a low-power wireless communications technology and international standard protocol for the next-generation wireless network, reducing data size and allowing for lower-cost network construction with simplified protocol and limited functionality. ZigBee uses the PHY and MAC layers defined by IEEE 802.15.4, which is the short-distance wireless communication standard for 2.4 GHz band. ZigBee comprises the ZigBee platform specifications and ZigBee profiles defined by the ZigBee Alliance. For more information on Freescale's ZigBee-compliant solutions, visit the Web site.

About Freescale Semiconductor
Freescale Semiconductor, Inc. is a global leader in the design and manufacture of embedded semiconductors for the automotive, consumer, industrial, networking and wireless markets. The privately held company is based in Austin, TX, and has design, research and development, manufacturing or sales operations in more than 30 countries. Freescale is one of the world's largest semiconductor companies with 2006 sales of $6.4 billion (USD).


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