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Atmel rolls 2.4GHz low-power RF transceiver

Posted: 23 Apr 2012 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:RF transceiver? MCU? wireless application?

Atmel Corp. has unveiled an RF transceiver for battery-operated wireless applications. The AT86RF233 transceiver, the company said, is aimed at industrial and consumer products that comply with ZigBee/IEEE 802.15.4, IPv6 over low-power wireless personal area networks (6LoWPAN) and high data rate 2.4GHz industrial, scientific and medical (ISM) band applications.

According to Atmel, the AT86RF233 transceiver offers 60 percent lower power consumption than its closest competitors. At the same time, the transceiver claims to improve RF performance, making it an ideal solution for products such as 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 0.02?A. For a complete solution, design engineers can use a low-power, high-performance Atmel AVR or an Atmel ARM processor-based MCU as a companion chip. Together, the AT86RF233 transceiver and an AVR XMEGA MCU can deliver a low-power, cost-optimized solution to meet the operational requirements of applications that spend most of their time in low-power sleep mode and need fast wake-up times and short, active cycles, added Atmel.

As a highly integrated solution, the AT86RF233 requires minimal external components, noted the company. Design engineers can, therefore, lower BOM costs and 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, Atmel continued.

Supported by kits, tools and communication stacks, the AT86RF233 transceiver can be integrated into any design with efficiency. Designers who pair the transceiver with an AVR XMEGA MCU can further optimize their design environment with Atmel Studio 6. Supporting both AVR MCUs as well as Atmel ARM Cortex-M processor-based devices, Atmel Studio 6 comes with 1,000 project examples with source code that eliminate most of the low-level coding in a design.

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, network software and programming examples, including the BitCloud ZigBee PRO and the BitCloud Public Profile Suite.

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