STMicroelectronics (NYSE:STM), a leader in wireless technology, today announced a new single-chip ZigBee(TM) wireless networking solution — the SN250 — which integrates a 2.4GHz IEEE 802.15.4-compliant radio transceiver and a state-of-the-art 16-bit microprocessor with EmberZNet(TM) software stack. The power-efficient chip includes comprehensive, hardware-supported, network-level debugging features for easy application development.
ZigBee is a standards-based wireless-networking technology that addresses the unique needs of remote monitoring, sensing, and control-network applications. Managed and promoted by the ZigBee Alliance, of which ST is a Promoter-level member, this emerging technology will offer simplicity, reliability, low-cost, and low-power consumption as it is embedded in a wide range of products and applications across consumer, commercial, industrial, and government markets worldwide.
The new chip’s embedded EmberZNet(TM) software stack was developed by ST’s strategic partner for ZigBee technology, Ember Corporation. This highly- regarded, field-upgradeable, ZigBee-compliant stack is optimized for designs that require long battery life, a low external component count and a reliable, proven, industry-standard networking solution.
The integrated transceiver of the SN250 provides performance above and beyond those specified in IEEE 802.15.4. A transmission (TX) Boost mode offers up to 5dBm increase in output power to deliver an increased communication range. Receiver (RX) sensitivity in Boost mode is -98dBm. A flexible antenna interface enables easy antenna connection, with or without an external power amplifier.
“ST is delighted to present its first Zigbee product resulting from our collaboration with Ember,” said Jean-Claude Kaire, General Manager of ST’s Low Data Rate Networks Business Unit. “It promises to be the first of many such co-developments with the goal of making ZigBee-standard devices more accessible for a wide range of applications.”
The power-efficient 16-bit RISC-core processor includes 128-kbytes of embedded Flash and 5-kbytes of SRAM, plus a hardware encryption engine (AES 128) with true random number generator. A wide range of peripherals — including two serial controllers with DMA (I2C master, SPI master/slave, and UART), two 16-bit all-purpose timers, one 16-bit sleep timer, a watchdog timer, and power-on-reset circuitry — allow for fully-featured application designs with few additional devices.
ZigBee technology differs from other wireless networking solutions in addressing specifically the requirements of remote sensing and control systems. It enables the implementation of broad-based wireless mesh networks that are able to run for years on inexpensive primary batteries, making it a viable alternative to costly hard-wired systems. The standards-based, lower-cost technology is especially suited to building automation, for complete lighting, ventilation, and climate-control systems; and for reducing installation costs for industrial control and sensor applications.
The SN250 is available in sample quantities now, in a space-saving 7mm x 7mm QFN48 package, with volume production planned for October 2006. It is priced at $5.00 in volumes of 5,000 units.
STMicroelectronics is a global leader in developing and delivering semiconductor solutions across the spectrum of microelectronics applications. An unrivalled combination of silicon and system expertise, manufacturing strength, Intellectual Property (IP) portfolio and strategic partners positions the Company at the forefront of System-on-Chip (SoC) technology and its products play a key role in enabling today’s convergence markets. The Company’s shares are traded on the New York Stock Exchange, on Euronext Paris and on the Milan Stock Exchange. In 2005, the Company’s net revenues were $8.88 billion and net earnings were $266 million.