The industry’s first zigbee alliance certified zigbee platform with zigbee PRO and Green Power features, formerly known as zigbee 3.0, from a semiconductor company is now available from Microchip Technology Inc., a leading provider of microcontroller, mixed-signal, analog and Flash-IP solutions. With greater interoperability and lower latency than ever before, this software stack, and corresponding BitCloud 4.0 software development kit, is ideal for the design of home automation, commercial lighting, smart energy and Internet of Things (IoT) applications.
The zigbee certified solution enables cross-functional device support and will be backward-compatible with existing zigbee certified products for seamless interoperability. Together with the zigbee PRO (2015) feature set, developers can expect to find features such as low-latency suitable for RF remote applications, mesh networking for large networks such as lighting applications, and the Green Power benefits of an energy harvesting switch.
The zigbee PRO Green Power feature, making its debut on the new certified software stack, enables battery-less devices to securely join a network while leveraging eco-friendly energy sources such as light, vibration or motion. Additionally, zigbee Light Link and zigbee Home Automation device types are now fully supported.
“We’re proud to be the first silicon manufacturer to offer a zigbee certified platform with zigbee PRO and Green Power features,” said Steve Caldwell, vice president of Microchip’s Wireless Solutions Group. “With both our hardware and SDK, we’re able to provide best-in-class functionality for a wide range of applications from large-scale commercial lighting to ultra-low power battery-less devices.”
“Having a long-standing member company like Microchip continue to invest in the creation and commercialization of new platforms based on our latest standards shows the strength of the zigbee market,” said Victor Berrios, vice president of Technology, zigbee alliance. “This zigbee platform enables developers to create new, ground-breaking and interoperable designs for connected applications.”
To bring zigbee designs to market faster, Microchip offers the BitCloud 4.0 Software Development Kit (SDK). The SDK enables application development on the SAM R21 Xplained Pro Evaluation Kit, a Cortex M0+-based 32-bit microcontroller with an integrated 2.4GHz 802.15.4 compliant radio. When used with the newly certified software stack, the SDK provides a complete zigbee certified development platform.
Pricing and availability
Microchip currently offers two platforms to begin zigbee development. The SAM R21 Xplained Pro Evaluation Kit (ATSAMR21-XPRO) is available for $58 and the SAM R21 zigbee Light Link Evaluation Kit (ATSAMR21ZLL-EK) can be purchased for $92.