MeshNetics Launches ZigBit 900 RF Module with ZigBee PRO Feature Set

MeshNetics, a leading provider of ZigBee modules and embedded software for OEMs and system integrators, at the Sensors Expo show in Rosemont, Illinois, announced its launch of the ZigBit 900, the world’s first RF module for sub-1 GHz band that uses the ZigBee PRO Feature Set. The new IEEE 802.15.4-2006 module is designed to operate in the ISM bands 915 MHz in the US and 868 MHz in Europe.

The ultra-compact ZigBit 900 module features an exceptional sensitivity of -110 dBm and output power of 11 dBm that result in the line-of-sight range of up to 6,000m (over 3.7 miles). The power consumption stays at a remarkably low level: less than 6 µA in sleep mode, 11 mA in receive mode, and 26 mA in transmit mode, which translates into many years of battery life. The ZigBit 900 operates in the European ISM band from 863 to 870 MHz and in the North American ISM band from 902 to 928 MHz. The ZigBit 900 offers regional alternatives to the global 2.4 GHz band where the channel characteristics of the lower frequencies can result in performance advantages in certain environments.

“We are pleased to offer the world’s first RF module for the 900 MHz band which reuses our 2.4 GHz BitCloud[tm] ZigBee PRO Feature Set,” said Alexey Rybakov, Managing Director of MeshNetics’ ZigBit Business Unit. “We are committed to offering OEMs and system integrators the utmost flexibility for their ZigBee-enabled products and solutions, and now they can choose between 2.4 GHz and 900 MHz technologies. Along with our ability to offer hardware, software and engineering support from a single source, this is what makes MeshNetics the premier ZigBee House in the market.”

The ZigBit 900 module ships with BitCloud[tm], a robust 802.15.4-2006/ZigBee PRO Feature Set used for all the 2.4 GHz MeshNetics modules. Supporting self-healing, self-organizing mesh networks and up to 1Mbit/s data rates, BitCloud stack optimizes network traffic while minimizing power consumption. Customers can choose between the C API for embedded application development and SerialNet — a ZigBee Manufacturer Specific Profile based on BitCloud[tm] supporting a serial AT-command interface to ZigBit 900.

“We are actively working with other ZigBee Alliance members to enable interoperable and certified ZigBee applications for the sub-1 GHz frequency band,” said Vasiliy Suvorov, CEO of MeshNetics. “ZigBee is experiencing tremendous growth across a wide variety of industries and we believe that sub-1 GHz solutions will further extend ZigBee’s appeal and fuel its growth.”

The ZigBit 900 module is based on Atmel’s innovative hardware platform featuring AVR Microcontroller and the latest RF transceiver. The brand new AT86RF212 is a low-power, low-voltage transceiver designed specifically for low cost IEEE 802.15.4-2006, ZigBee, and high data rate ISM applications. The AT86RF212 boasts the best-in-class sensitivity combined with the very low power consumption. Its MAC and AES hardware accelerators improve overall system power efficiency and timing. The ZigBit 900 packs the MCU, RF transceiver and all the circuitry in just under half a square inch of space.

“We congratulate our partners at MeshNetics with being the first company to deliver RF modules for 900 MHz band paired with the ZigBee PRO Feature Set software,” said Magnus Pedersen, Atmel’s Director of Product Marketing MCU Wireless. “Atmel’s industry-leading ZigBee hardware and MeshNetics expertise in module manufacturing and software create a winning combination for OEMs and system integrators that look to adding ZigBee capability to their products.”

Pricing and availability
Engineering samples of the ZigBit 900 (Part# MNZB-900-B0) and Development Kits are available immediately. They can be ordered online at www.meshnetics.com, and also available through distribution. The new module is priced at USD 27.60 for volume quantities of 1K. Mass production is scheduled to begin in the third quarter of 2008. By then, the ZigBit 900 module is expected to gain FCC, CE and ARIB certifications. Both 2.4 GHz and 900 MHz ZigBit modules are pin-compatible, which allows a seamless migration from one platform to another. All ZigBit modules are precision manufactured in Germany.

About MeshNetics
MeshNetics makes the industry’s highest performance IEEE802.15.4/ZigBee wireless modules with the best-in-class range, longest battery life, and the smallest footprint. MeshNetics is a single source of ZigBee modules, networking software, technical support, and design services. This combination of products and services achieves faster time-to-market and significant cost savings for OEMs and system integrators. MeshNetics products are used to create reliable, self-healing wireless networks that enable solutions in building automation, energy efficiency, HVAC, AMR, predictive maintenance, asset tracking and other application areas.