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GreenPeak's ZigBee power chip enables smart home

Posted: 27 Dec 2012 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:ZigBee PRO? power chip? GP410? smart home? power harvesting?

GreenPeak Technologies has revealed its GP410 chip that boasts the ZigBee PRO Green Power feature that the company said allows for low cost energy harvesting and ultra-long battery life ZigBee applications for the smart home. The device claims to be a fully integrated SoC 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, added the company.

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 (harvest) 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, noted GreenPeak. The GP410 is designed to support both bursting and trickling energy harvesters and is therefore well suited to use the energy harvested from flipping a light switch as well as solar powered sensors.

The integrated features simplify design complexity, the company stated. 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.

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