Chipcon Targets ZigBee IEEE 802.15.4 Low Power Wireless Sensor Networks

Chipcon AS, the world’s leading provider of low system cost, low power RF chipsets and networking software, today announced the availability of the CC2431, a true System-on-Chip IEEE 802.15.4 low power wireless sensor networking solution targeting also ZigBee(TM) solutions. The new SoC solution from Chipcon includes a licensed location detection hardware core from Motorola.

The solution is based on the world’s first available System-on-Chip (SoC) in this field, the CC2430 (launched by Chipcon in September), and Motorola’s IEEE 802.15.4 standards based radiolocation solution, all in one single silicon die.

The CC2431 includes the industry leading CC2420 IEEE 802.15.4 & ZigBee compliant RF transceiver core, 128 kByte flash memory, a high performance 8051 microcontroller core and a radiolocation hardware core. The part comes in a 7×7 mm package, is fully pin to pin compatible to the existing CC2430 SoC and is available with the market leading Z-Stack(TM) ZigBee protocol software from the Chipcon company, Figure 8 Wireless. It will enable OEMs to seamlessly develop compact, high performance and reliable wireless networking products using the chip as the only active device in the system, thus reducing both time-to-market as well as keeping production and test costs to a minimum.

Motorola’s radiolocation hardware core enables a CC2431-based network node to determine its own physical position in a IEEE 802.15.4/ZigBee network deployment. The core applies a proprietary algorithm based on maximum likelihood estimation, using information from infrastructure nodes to perform a location estimation. Because the algorithm is executed in a hardware core, the process of location estimation completes in less than 1/10000 second, consumes very little power and keeps the CC2431′s integrated microcontroller free to perform other operations. Applications already in large scale field tests are showing a majority of results better than 2 meters indoor.

The availability of this SoC solution with Motorola’s radiolocation feature is a strongly desired combination in wireless embedded networks, beneficial to applications such as asset tracking, container or pallet tracking, equipment tracking, security, access and control systems. The feature can also be advantageous in commissioning ZigBee networks.

“At Motorola, we understand the need for highly scalable networks, systems and application connectivity and are committed to providing distributed and autonomous ZigBee-based solutions that feature device location to industrial, commercial, consumer and enterprise markets. We are pleased to be working with Chipcon to enable such standards-based solutions by offering the world’s first System-on-Chip ZigBee/ IEEE 802.15.4 Solution with Location Detection Engine,” commented Bob O’Dea, Director of Things-to-Things Research, Motorola Labs.

Chipcon is the leading ZigBee/IEEE 802.15.4 technology provider who became the first company to surpass 1 million chip shipments in this field in April of this year. Bob Heile, chairman of the ZigBee Alliance comments, “The addition of a location detection core opens significant new opportunities to our members in the exciting and booming wireless sensor network market.”

“The fact that Chipcon is a Promoter of the ZigBee Alliance and has delivered the world’s first IEEE 802.15.4 radio, the world’s first ZigBee one-chip solution, the world’s leading ZigBee software and now together with ZigBee promoter Motorola the first SoC solution with a location detection feature is not a simple coincidence. It is a testament to our ability to deliver real market leading solutions,” added Chipcon CEO and co-founder Geir Forre.

The CC2431 will be demonstrated at the ZigBee Alliance Open House at the Langham Palace Hotel, Mongkok, Hong Kong on December 8th 2005. The price for CC2431 will be USD 4.55 in 1 mill quantities. Full development kits (including training and support) and samples will be available in Q1 2006.