Texas Instruments Incorporated introduced what is said to be the industry’s first System-on-Chip (SoC) with a hardware location engine targeting low-power ZigBee/IEEE 802.15.4 wireless sensor networking applications. The CC2431, from the company’s Chipcon product line, targets applications such as asset and equipment tracking, inventory control, patient monitoring, remote controls, security and commissioning networks. The device is supported by TI’s ZigBee protocol stack, Z-Stack. The device is based on the industry’s first available SoC for low-power RF applications, the CC2430. Both devices combine the excellent performance of the industry-leading CC2420 RF transceiver core with an enhanced 8051 microcontroller, up to 128 kB flash memory, 8 kB of RAM and many additional features – all in a 7 mm × 7 mm package. Its RSSI-based location engine accurately calculates the node’s position based on the receive signal strength from CC2430-based reference nodes with known locations and can then send the location information to a collector (e.g. computer, PDA, handset). This capability reduces network traffic and communication delays compared to centralized location systems. In typical applications, accuracy of 3 m to 5 m can be achieved. The CC2431 is sampling now, with volume production scheduled for 3Q 2007. The device is available in a RoHS-compliant QLP-48 package and is priced at $6.45 in 1,000-piece quantities.
Texas Instruments Inc.