Tag Archives: transceiver

Maximizing sub-1GHz spectrum for the IoT

The Internet of Things (IoT) refers to a future world where all types of electronic devices link to each other via the Internet. Today, it’s estimated that there are nearly 10 billion devices in the world connected to the Internet, a figure expected to triple to nearly 30 billion by 2020.

As Magnus Pedersen, Atmel’s Product Marketing Director MCU Wireless points out, engineers need to review anticipated use cases and select an appropriate wireless transceiver before embarking on a new IoT design.

“While there are many technical considerations, developers also need to be mindful of any tools that might be available to aid a faster development cycle,” he explained in a recent article published by EE Times Asia. “Any tools that analyze power consumption and error testing together with library code for the host MCU will greatly assist this aspect of the design.”

Availability of low-level IEEE802.15.4 MAC drivers, and for smart metering and other mesh-based applications, a mesh networking stack is essential. A well-supported wireless transceiver will have a readily available development or evaluation board on which prototype designs can be quickly tested and debugged prior to the design’s completion.

“Leading the development of sub-GHz applications are the new wireless transceiver ICs such as Atmel’s AT86RF212B, a low power, low voltage 769 – 935MHz transceiver specifically designed for ZigBee / 802.15.4, 6LoWPAN and high-speed ISM applications,” Pedersen continued. “The only external components required are a crystal, bypass capacitors and an antenna. All analogue radio, digital modulation/demodulation and data buffering takes place on the chip.”

The transceiver also incorporates an on-board 128bit AES encryption engine. In addition to supporting current IEEE 802.15.4 modulation schemes, the  AT86RF212B supports proprietary data rates up to 1,000 kb/s, enabling high-speed ISM applications.

“Many Internet of Things (IoT) designs will be battery powered, and in most cases from a single cell. Smart energy and building controls will rely on wall-mounted sensors, so having an ultra-low-power consumption profile will be essential if the product is to gain wide consumer and industry acceptance,” Pedersen added.

“Developers need to profile the overall power budget and take full advantage of sleep modes of the host microcontroller and wireless transceiver. And that is why Atmel’s AT86RF212B device has a sleep consumption of 0.2 uA, receiver on of 9.2 mA and when transmitting at 5 dBm power a consumption of 18 mA.”

The full text of “Maximizing sub-1GHz spectrum for IoT” is available here on EE Times Asia.

LIN networking for the automotive masses

LIN (Local Interconnect Network) is a serial network protocol used for communication between various vehicle components. The LIN Consortium was founded by five automakers (BMW, Volkswagen Audi Group, Volvo Cars, DaimlerChrysler) in the late 1990s, with the first fully implemented version of the new LIN specification (1.3) published in November 2002. Version 2.0 was introduced in September 2003, offering expanded capabilities and support for additional diagnostics features.

Specifically, low-cost local interconnect networking (LIN) systems are used throughout the automobile in comfort, powertrain, sensor and actuator applications. Vehicular LIN applications include roofs (sensors), steering wheels (cruise control, wiper, turning light, climate control, radio), seats (position motors, occupant sensors, control panels), engines (sensors), climate control (small motors, control panel) and doors (mirror, central ECU, mirror switch, window lift, seat control switch, door lock).

Atmel offers unique BCD-on-SOI technology for LIN, which combines high-voltage capability with the benefits of rugged SOI technology: high temperature resistance (T-junctions up to 200°C), optimized radiation hardness, very low leakage currents, low parasitics, high switching frequency and latch-up immunity.

“Our LIN devices operate in standard temperature environments to support roof, door, and car body sensors among others. They also perform flawlessly in very hot engine environments, up to 150°C/302°F ambient air temperatures,” an Atmel engineer told Bits & Pieces.

“The modular Atmel LIN family ranges from simple transceiver ICs to complex system basis chips with LIN transceiver and voltage regulator. At higher integration levels, our System-in-Package (SIP) solutions feature an Atmel AVR microcontroller, LIN transceiver, voltage regulator and watchdog in a single package.”

Interested in learning more about Atmel’s LIN solutions? Additional information is available here.

New Devices for Automotive Switch Scan Apps

Atmel has a new ultra-small, low-power LIN family for automotive switch scan applications and in-vehicle ambient light control. At only 5x5mm and 7x7mm, the ATA664151 and ATA664251 include a wide range of on-chip functionalities, so you can save the costs of otherwise using multiple chips. Some device highlights:

  • Eight-channel high-voltage switch interface with current sources and analog voltage multiplexer
  • Integrated state change detector for switch scan apps with extremely low current consumption
  • Three independent PWM signals
  • LIN 2.2 and SAEJ2602-2-compliant transceiver

Get more device details here.