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Jennic touts sub-$3 price for new wireless MCUs

Posted: 12 Jan 2007 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:wireless microcontroller? MCU? IEEE802.15.4B? ZigBee? new MCU?

Jennic's JN513x family of wireless MCUs

Jennic has unveiled its JN513x family of wireless microcontrollers (MCUs). IEEE802.15.4B and ZigBee variants of the MCUs are available.

The company touts a sub $3 price target in 100,000-unit quantities for the MCUs. In addition to achieving this new price threshold the devices provide performance, price and power improvements over the current JN5121 family. Coupled with the release of the wireless MCU family is a range of modules, evaluation kits, software and protocol stacks.

The JN513x family second-generation wireless MCUs realizes a number of improvements over the existing solution. The devices use a new modem architecture that provides 97dB receive sensitivity, and is more robust in noisier environments with greater tolerance to carrier offset and EVM. Transmit power is also improved to 3dbm. The JN513x family is the only single-chip wireless MCU with a 100dB link budget and specified over the full industrial temperature range and wide supply voltage.

Deep sleep current consumption is 400nA allowing products waiting for a user-event to consume virtually no power. For an active part of a wireless sensor network, with on-chip oscillator and protocol timers running, sleep current consumption is under 2?A. The memory available has been increased to 192k ROM and 96k RAM allowing full exploitation of the on-chip 32bit RISC processor for complex applications and algorithms coupled with ZigBee or other mesh protocol stacks. Variants are available with 32-, 16- or 8Kbyte RAM for simpler, low cost applications.

The on-chip ROM includes the IEEE802.15.4 version B media access protocol layer, provision for a range of external serial EEPROM devices, over-the-air download, hardware abstraction layers and a simple serial interface. Embedding these features in ROM free up memory space for applications and allow simple dongle products at low cost. IEEE802.15.4B and ZigBee variants of the JN513x family are available.

Each device shipped has a unique MAC address identifier allowing the saving of external FLASH devices. A further 256 bits of one-time-programmable memory is available for customers to program on-chip AES security keys and other unique identifiers.

Package and pin-out of the JN513x remains the same as the first generation JN5121, allowing upgrade of current designs to second generation with no board changes.

A family of modules provide ceramic antenna, SMA and UFL connector options. Standard power and high power modules are also available offering link budgets of 100dB and 119dB, respectively. The standard module has demonstrated operation over 1km and the high-power module over 4km in open-space environments. Modules meet FCC, ETSI and TELEC regulations, reducing the effort needed to integrate Jennic devices into end products.

A new generation of evaluation kits are available. These provide a controller and four sensor units with a range of plug-in modules, offering power and antenna options. Users will now be able to evaluate different module types to suit their application and environment, with a range of site survey tools, including a customizable packet error rate measurement routine.

Development tools and support
Developers can lower their tool investments and learning curves using a new release of Jennic's free, Integrated Developer Environment. This includes a new C compiler offering a 10 percent code density improvement.

Jennic's full range of application notes, reference designs and protocol stacks will be fully functional with this second-generation product family and are publicly available

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