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2.4GHz low-power RF transceiver redefines power consumption

23 Apr 2012

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Atmel Corp. has announced a new RF transceiver for battery-operated wireless applications. The AT86RF233 is optimized for industrial and consumer products that comply with ZigBee/IEEE 802.15.4, IPv6 over low-power wireless personal area networks (6LoWPAN). It is also suited to high data rate 2.4GHz industrial, scientific and medical (ISM) band applications. The AT86RF233 transceiver offers 60 percent lower power consumption, and improves the RF performance making it ideal for gas and water meters, monitoring and control systems, and energy-harvesting equipment.

The AT86RF233 provides transceiver current consumption of 14mA, receiver current consumption of 6mA and sleep current consumption of 0.02uA. For a complete solution, design engineers can use a low-power, high-performance Atmel AVR or an Atmel ARM processor-based microcontroller (MCU) as a companion chip. The AT86RF233 and AVR XMEGA MCU deliver a low-power solution for applications that spend most of their time in low-power sleep mode, need fast wake-up times, and short, active cycles.

As a highly integrated solution, the AT86RF233 requires minimal external components. Design engineers can lower their bill of material (BOM) costs and also reduce system board space. With support for antenna diversity, the AT86RF233 enhances RF performance and link reliability. Onboard Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) ensures secure wireless end-to-end communication.

"Wireless applications continue to integrate more functions while demanding longer battery life and better scalability. By using Atmel's unique picoPower low-power technology, the latest AVR XMEGA devices have 20x lower sleep current than existing solutions in the market with similar memory and integration levels. AVR XMEGA devices and the AT86RF233 transceiver are the perfect companions for low-power wireless applications," said Ingar Fredriksen, senior director, MCU marketing at Atmel.

The AT86RF233 transceiver is available with the REB233SMAD-EK evaluation kit, which includes two AT86RF233 radio evaluation boards paired with the AVR XMEGA ATxmega256A3 MCU. Atmel also provides, free of charge, a variety of network software and programming examples, including the BitCloud ZigBee PRO and the BitCloud Public Profile Suite.

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