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Wednesday, May 04, 2011

RF Monolithics cuts size of Zigbee Pro module in half

Footprint 20-50% Smaller Than Competing Modules with 1MB of flash
By Nick Flaherty

RF Monolithics in Dallas has launched an RF module for the ZigBee Smart Energy and Home Automation Profile that adds a megabyte of flash storage for data logging and still reduces the footprint by half. 
The ZPM3570 ZigBee Pro module uses a Coretex M3 ARM processor and Ember RF chip and is aimed at smart homes that can control appliances, lighting, environment, energy management and security. According to the ZigBee Alliance, “Smarter homes allow consumers to save money, be more environmentally aware, feel more secure and enjoy a variety of conveniences that make homes easier and less expensive to maintain.”
“As a long time member of the ZigBee Alliance who has seen the standard grow and mature, RFM is excited to bring to market the latest in our line of ZigBee modules. The combination of its tiny size, on-board 1MB flash for data logging, and easy-to-integrate API, make the ZPM3570 the ideal choice for designers looking to add Smart Energy ZigBee functionality to their products,” said Tim Cutler, Director of M2M Business at RFM.
“For many devices that need ZigBee PRO functionality, size is critical and real estate is at a premium. The ZPM3570 really delivers on this account. In addition to the small footprint, the surface mount design of the ZPM3570 eliminates the need for costly connectors,” he said. The ZPM3570 is less than 0.63 square inches in area, and provides a complete ZigBee PRO solution including on-module chip antenna and 1MB flash memory for data logging.
Quickly implementing products that provide vendor-interoperable Smart Energy and Home Automation is achieved through an intuitive API that simplifies connectivity of the ZPM3570 to an application processor. OEMs wishing to implement their own application in addition to the ZigBee stack can take advantage of the on-board 32-bit M3 Coretex ARM processor. This can eliminate the additional cost and complexity of a separate application co-processor.
The ZPM3570 incorporates Ember’s EM357 ZigBee RFIC and is coupled with a power amplifier, plus low noise amplifier that increases the RF transmit power and receive sensitivity. The ZPM3570 provides a 250 kb/s RF data rate with +20dBm (100mW) RF power coupled with a receive sensitivity of -103dBm. The on-module antenna keeps device costs low by eliminating the cost of a separate antenna.
RFM also offers the ZPM3570DK development kit that will be available from RFM distributors in mid-June, 2011. ZPM3570 samples are available to qualified customers. 
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