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Non-standard wireless protocols challenge Bluetooth, Zigbee

Posted: 17 Mar 2006 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:IIC? International IC Conference & Exhibition? Bluetooth? Zigbee? Wireless Protocol?

During the recently concluded 11th Annual International IC-China Conference & Exhibition (IIC-China), Nordic Semiconductor ASA demonstrated its non-standard wireless protocol applications.

In the 2.4GHz unlicensed frequency band, non-standard wireless protocols challenge Bluetooth, Wi-Fi and Zigbee standard wireless protocols. "Benefits of unlicensed wireless protocols are lower power, lower cost and easier for development," said Chen Zhi Qian from Nordic. "Our nRF24L01-based wireless mouse consumes current that is several hundreds lower than that of competitors; thus, increasing battery life cycle 15 to 600 times!" Chen added that its nRF24L01 chip supports data rates of up to 2Mbps with only 12.5mA current consumption in receiver mode.

End product reliability
Since the 2.4GHz frequency band is crowded with many wireless applications, it is crucial for the data transceiver to work in continuous mode without any interruption. To address end product reliability, said Chen, the nRF24L01 features detection functions to monitor any fixed frequency network, for example nearby existing WLANs, so as to automatically transmit and receive data packet and ACK signals to prevent data loss.

"Since all RF parts, protocols and filters are integrated into a single chip to cut customer costs, a whole system can be built with just a crystal, a few resistors, capacitors and a low cost MCU to ease development," added Chen. The MCU and nRF24L01 are linked with a UART or synchronized serial interface.

During the IIC-China event, Nordic also showcased a wireless speaker with CD quality output based on the nRF24Z1 chip. According to Chen, this system supports data rates up to 4Mbps, enabling high quality audio signal transmission.

- Richard Zhang
Electronics Engineering Times-China

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