Zigbee network processor eases task of adding wireless

Texas Instruments has introduced the first product from the company's Z-Accel family of 2.4 GHz ZigBee-certified network processors. Providing engineers with full ZigBee functionality without having to learn the complexities of a ZigBee stack, the CC2480 suits applications as wide ranging as home and building automation, asset tracking, remote controls, industrial monitoring and control.

“The CC2480 ZigBee processor drastically simplifies the design of a new low-power wireless product, or the addition of wireless into an existing product, by allowing customers to separate the application code from the networking component of their systems,” said Art George, senior vice president of TI's High-Performance Analog business unit.

In the Z-Accel product range, TI's ZigBee-2006 stack runs on a ZigBee processor, whilst the application runs on an external MCU. So in this case, the CC2480 handles the timing-critical and processing-intensive ZigBee protocol tasks, leaving the MCU's resources to handle the application. The CC2480 can communicate with any MCU via an SPI or UART interface, such as TI's ultra-low power MPS430 MCUs.

Available in a 7 mm x 7 mm QFN-48 package, the CC2480 is said to offer low power consumption and an automatic low-power mode in idle periods. Design engineers wishing to evaluate the CC2480 and the MSP430 together can use TI's eZ430-RF2480 USB-based wireless demonstration tool.

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