10 November 2010


RFMD teams with Freescale to deliver ZigBee solutions for smart energy applications

RF Micro Devices Inc of Greensboro, NC, USA has teamed with Freescale Semiconductor of Austin, TX, USA (which designs and makes embedded semiconductors for the automotive, consumer, industrial and networking markets) to deliver ZigBee solutions for a broad range of smart grid applications.

RFMD’s RF6535 ZigBee front-end module (FEM) has been combined with Freescale’s MC1321x system-in-package (SiP) to create the RF6535/MC1321x reference design, which simplifies RF design requirements while reducing product cost and complexity. The reference design is targeted at ZigBee smart energy and home-area network (HAN) applications that require high RF performance to ensure a robust and reliable operation in varying environments. Working together, RFMD and Freescale aim to address the need for aggressive size reductions in IEEE 802.15.4 designs with a reduced solution footprint and minimized component count.

“RFMD and Freescale are leveraging each other's expertise to deliver high-performance, highly integrated solutions that reduce design cycle times, lower customer costs, and accelerate product time-to-market,” says Bob Van Buskirk, president of RFMD’s Multi-Market Products Group (MPG). “Large-scale smart energy projects are forecast to grow rapidly, with particular demand anticipated in low-power wireless technologies like ZigBee,” he adds.

“Emerging markets such as smart energy require increased output power for extended range and reliable communications,” says Brett Black, manager of Freescale’s Wireless Connectivity Organization. “Freescale and RFMD are building on each other's strengths to offer complete solutions for these markets.”

RFMD’s highly integrated RF6535 features a 2.4–2.5GHz +22dBm power amplifier, Tx harmonic output filter, double-pole double-throw (DPDT) diversity switch, and a low-noise amplifier (LNA). It is housed in a 3.5mm x 3.5mm x 0.5mm package that is claimed to be three times smaller than competitive offerings, reducing discrete component requirements while minimizing footprint and assembly costs. The transceiver interface is a two-port Rx/Tx integrated balun. 

RFMD says that its expanding portfolio of ZigBee FEMs enables users to accelerate new ZigBee products to market while reducing component count, size, cost, and power consumption. The RF6535 single-chip ZigBee FEM is specifically optimized for smart energy/AMI (advanced metering infrastructure) applications including smart meters, and HAN devices including home energy gateways, in-home displays and appliances.

Freescale’s MC1321x family incorporates a low-power 2.4GHz radio-frequency transceiver and a microcontroller into a single LGA package to meet cost and limited product space budgets while providing excellent RF system performance. Coupled with RFMD’s RF6535 FEM, the MC1321x suits most ZigBee applications in consumer electronics, energy management, healthcare, home automation, telecom services, and building and industrial automation.

Search: RFMD Freescale ZigBee Smart energy




For more: Latest issue of Semiconductor Today