Wireless Applications

ZeroG Wireless Teams With Microchip Technology

February 17, 2009

ZeroG will work with Microchip to introduce ZeroG Wi-Fi development kits for PIC microcontrollers.


SUNNYVALE, CA /PRNewswire/ -- ZeroG Wireless, Inc., an innovator in low-power embedded Wi-Fi design, announced the ZeroG "Wi-Fi I/O" development kits for Microchip Technology Inc.'s (NASDAQ:MCHP) PIC microcontrollers. The ZeroG development kits are based on the standard Microchip PICtail and PICtail Plus daughter-board connectors, which allows a designer to easily plug Wi-Fi connectivity into a variety of Microchip development kits. The Wi-Fi I/O kits are now available to select customers as part of an early-access program, with general availability expected in April.

"We needed to develop a solution that would enable customers to easily and seamlessly add Wi-Fi to their existing designs," said David Friedman, vice president of Business Development for ZeroG. "Teaming with Microchip to develop a tightly integrated PICtail daughter board approach ensures that there is no need to buy a lot of additional hardware or software, or do a lot of re-engineering to make it work. Customers can begin prototyping with Wi-Fi the very same day they receive their ZeroG Wi-Fi PICtail Daughter Board."

The PICtail daughter board-based kits contain a ZeroG Wi-Fi module mounted to a PICtail daughter board, along with software drivers. As a result of the joint development by ZeroG and Microchip, the ZeroG software stack runs on the 8-bit PIC18, 16-bit PIC24 and 32-bit PIC32 microcontrollers as well as the dsPIC digital signal controller families, requiring little additional system resource to add Wi-Fi connectivity. The driver is highly integrated with Microchip's royalty-free TCP/IP networking stack, so customers that have used the stack can easily migrate from wired Ethernet to Wi-Fi communication. The module is being FCC certified and has an onboard antenna, with options for several external antennas for production.

"We have seen a growing interest in Wi-Fi from our customers, over the last two years," said Rodger Richey, director of applications for Microchip's Advanced Microcontroller Architecture Division. "Working with ZeroG, we are jointly engineering a solution that leverages our customers' existing investments in hardware and software. Their PICtail daughter board and module is an easy-to-use Wi-Fi prototyping system with a fast path to production."

Pricing and Availability
The ZeroG development kits are currently available to customers as part of an early-access program. General availability is expected to follow at the beginning of April 2009. Development kit pricing ranges from $219 to $595 (U.S.), and is dependent on the configuration of the kit. Interested customers can register on the ZeroG Web site.

The kits will be on display at ZeroG's Booth #541, at the Embedded Systems Conference in San Jose, March 31–April 3.

About Microchip
Microchip Technology Inc. (NASDAQ:MCHP) is a leading provider of microcontroller and analog semiconductors, providing low-risk product development, lower total system cost and faster time to market for thousands of diverse customer applications worldwide. Headquartered in Chandler, AZ, Microchip offers outstanding technical support along with dependable delivery and quality.

About ZeroG Wireless
ZeroG Wireless is a fabless semiconductor company focused on creating a world of connected devices, the "Internet of Things." With ZeroG low-power Wi-Fi chips, there is no limit to the type of device that can now leverage the massive and rapidly growing Wi-Fi infrastructure. The company's products are designed from the ground up to enable simple, low-cost connectivity for nearly any system, regardless of architecture. The result: faster time to market and significantly lower overall system cost.

Privately held, ZeroG Wireless is headquartered in Sunnyvale, CA. Investors include Battery Ventures, Greylock Partners, Morgenthaler Ventures, and Miven. Additional information may be found at www.zerogwireless.com.


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