A transceiver chip targets the ZigBee standard and includes a thin-media access controller (MAC).
The ZMD44101 is done in low-power CMOS and is optimized for data rates to 40 kbits/sec. It incorporates direct sequence spread spectrum transmission (DSSS) to keep communications reliable in hostile RF environments. Frequency selection is controlled via software to allow use with future spectrum expansion in the range of 860 to 930 MHz. Transmit output power is 0 dBm for a transmission range exceeding 100 m line-of-sight. With a typical supply voltage of 2.4 V, typical current draw in transmit is less than 19 mA, less than 20 mA during receive, and below 1 mA during power down, enabling a multiyear battery life.
The chip can handle virtually any low-band ZigBee application but is expected to find widest use with industrial sensors including those for temperature, humidity, pressure, and angle. Development kits for the device consist of two transceiver boards with antennae, microcontroller, and interface cables.ZMD AG, 15373 Innovation Drive, Suite 115, San Diego, CA 92128, (858) 674-8433, www.zmd.biz