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Monday, October 17, 2011

Antenna diversity comes to cost-sensitive consumer applications

Atmel RF's latest transceiver offers low-power, antenna diversity and AES security for ISM, IEEE 802.15.4 and ZigBee RF4CE

By Nick Flaherty

Atmel has launched a new RF transceiver that brings antenna diversity into the high-volume consumer markets in the 2.4GHz ISM (Industrial, Scientific and Medical) band. The AT86RF232 transceiver includes all the necessary features to support the latest wireless applications in the consumer segment including excellent RF performance, lower power consumption, high-link budget and antenna diversity. The $1.60 device also supports ZigBee RF4CE, a specification designed to control a wide range of wireless consumer products including remote controls for home entertainment devices, human interface devices such as mice and keyboards, and 3D glasses.

The AT86RF232 transceiver supports automatic antenna diversity and AES security in  cost sensitive ISM applications
Applications in the high-volume portable consumer segment, including key fobs, remote controls for toys and game consoles, require very low-power transceivers to extend the overall battery life of the device. The transceiver also supports automatic antenna diversity to improve RF performance and link reliability and includes onboard AES encryption for secure wireless end-to-end communication.
"With the growing high-volume consumer segment, manufacturers are looking for transceivers with low power, high RF performance and enhanced security at an attractive price-point to ensure a top-notch user experience," said Magnus Pedersen, product marketing director for microcontroller wireless solutions at Atmel. "The AT86RF232 transceiver addresses all these issues with the lowest power, antenna diversity, larger link budget and robust RF performance for this cost-sensitive market. This new device will enable a consumer to have a richer wireless experience for all the latest consumer applications."
The transceiver offers a voltage range of 1.8V to 3.6V, -100dBm in sensitivity and an output power of 3dBm for extended battery life in various applications. The device also offers a receiver current consumption of 11.8mA, transceiver current consumption of 13.8mA, antenna diversity and AES encryption. All these features are important to offer a robust wireless transceiver for high-volume consumer applications.
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