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ZigBee power chip ready for battery-free apps

27 Dec 2012

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RF-Communication IC specialist GreenPeak Technologies has recently unveiled its new GP410 chip offering the new ZigBee PRO Green Power feature. The company's chip now boasts low cost energy harvesting and ultra-long battery life ZigBee applications for the Smart Home.

The GP410 IEEE 802.15.4 ZigBee PRO Green Power controller is a fully integrated system-on-chip solution for power harvesting end nodes for light switches, smart home devices, or for applications designed to run on a single battery for many years.

The Green Power feature gives battery-free, energy-harvesting devices the ability to join any Green Power enabled ZigBee PRO 2012 network. Without requiring batteries, the self-supporting devices typically generate just enough power themselves to communicate a brief command. For example, a light switch without a battery harvests energy from flipping the switch on or off. This energy is captured to send the "on" or "off" command to the network to switch on or off the appropriate light. Hence, the light switch is a self-powered device that can be located anywhere in the room without a need for running power wires.

The GreenPeak GP410 features a radio transmitter, an integrated real-time Medium Access Control (MAC) processor, a security engine and a harvester interface. Ultra-low power consumption ensures that multiple (redundant) packets can be transmitted with a small harvester or tiny battery. The GP410 is designed to support both bursting and trickling energy harvesters and is therefore well suited to utilise the energy harvested from flipping a light switch as well as solar powered sensors.

The integrated features simplify design complexity. Developers can design low cost light switch products by using simple PCB antennas that require no shielding. No additional components, such as a voltage converter, are required to design a self-powered end node.

Green Power mentioned in the press release above refers to the ZigBee PRO Green Power feature set. ZigBee, ZigBee PRO and ZigBee PRO Green Power feature are trademarks of the ZigBee Alliance.




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