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TI and Ember Team to Offer World's Lowest Power ZigBee Chipset Solution

TI's Signal-Chain-on-Chip MSP430 MCU Lowers Cost and Design Time for Interoperable Wireless Sensor Networks

Jun 15, 2005

HOUSTON (June 15, 2005) - Texas Instruments Incorporated (TI) (NYSE:TXN) announced a collaboration with Ember Corporation to unveil the world's lowest power consuming ZigBee&#8482 networking and microcontroller (MCU) platform. ZigBee is a wireless, standards-based radio technology that addresses the unique needs of remote monitoring, control and sensor network applications including home control and awareness, building automation, industrial automation, asset management and homeland security. Ember has paired its EM2420 802.15.4/ZigBee-compliant semiconductor platform with TI's MSP430F161x series of ultra-low power MCU for developers building ZigBee applications that require the lowest possible power requirements. TI's MSP430 platform of MCUs will also support Ember's next-generation EM260&#8482 network processor, which debuted today at the ZigBee Open House in Oslo, Norway.

The new dual-chip network module provides a complete, integrated MSP430 MCU, a radio and the ZigBee software platform for OEMs wishing to tap into the booming market for ZigBee/802.15.4 wireless sensing and control applications. To reduce the device's footprint and bill of materials (BOM), the MSP430F161x MCU series integrates all peripherals including high-performance analog and up to 55KB of flash memory, which reduces the need for EEPROM. The device also features on-chip, high-precision control peripherals such as a 12-bit 200k samples per second (ksps) analog to digital converter (ADC) and a 12-bit digital to analog converter (DAC) with a settling time of 1 microsecond.
"The MSP430F161x MCU series is a great partner with Ember's platforms because it sports highly integrated peripherals, such as its dynamic memory access (DMA) and digital to analog (DAC) and analog to digital converters (ADC), that are high performance yet consume very little power," said Venkat Bahl, vice president of marketing, Ember. "Our combined solution set gives OEMs everything they need to get into the ZigBee game, including the need for ultra low-power, low-cost, simple programming and debugging, and fast time-to-market."

Ultra-Low Power, Optimized Performance and Interoperability Enable Ideal Solution

The MSP430F161x MCU series offers the industry's lowest current consumption with only 1.1 micro amps (uA) standby mode with real-time clock operation, as well as a 300 uA (1 MHz) active mode that allows engineers to tune system clocking to meet precise power requirements. With fast instruction execution enabled by a modern 16-bit RISC CPU, a start-up time of less than six microseconds from standby and a fully synchronized, high-speed system clock, the chip's total power consumption is 10 times lower than competing devices. CPU power requirements are also kept to a minimum by the DMA controller which allows movement of data from one memory address to another without CPU intervention. The DMA controller reduces system power consumption by allowing the CPU to remain in sleep mode without having to awaken to move data to or from a peripheral. The device also features a flexible clock system with five low-power modes and a zero power brown out reset (BOR). For more information on TI's MSP430 platform of ultra-low-power MCUs, see



The 2.4 GHz Ember EM2420 is the highest performing, most power-efficient radio transceiver in its class, providing a flexible, simple interface to a wide range of microcontrollers. The new EM260 is a ZigBee wireless network processor for OEMs who have standardized on TI and other select MCU platforms. The processor enables for the first time a ZigBee-compliant network node with "location awareness," which allows for easier commissioning, management and network sub-segmentation. The EM260 also has the highest RF output and Rx sensitivity for power consumption than competitive ZigBee products. For more information on Ember ZigBee solutions see,



Start Ultra-Low Power Zigbee Designs Today With Available Development Board

The EmberNet Developer Kit includes hardware, development tools, and software for embedded applications-everything needed to build intelligent, robust, decentralized device networks using Ember and TI devices. The kit is available now and can be ordered from


at $4,995 for the JumpStart Kit and $13,950 for the Full Developer Kit.

ZigBee: Wireless Control That Simply Works

The ZigBee Alliance is an association of companies working together to enable reliable, cost-effective, low-power, wirelessly networked, monitoring and control products based on an open global standard. The ZigBee Alliance is a rapidly growing, non-profit industry consortium of leading semiconductor manufacturers, technology providers, OEMs, and end-users worldwide. Membership is open to all. Additional information can be found at



TI Enables Innovation With Broad Range of Controllers

From ultra low power MSP430 and 32-bit general purpose TMS470 ARM7-based MCUs to high performance TMS320C2000&#8482 digital signal controllers, TI offers designers the broadest range of embedded control solutions. Designers can also accelerate their design to market by tapping into TI's complete software and hardware tools, extensive third party offerings and technical support. For more information on the broad range of TI's controllers, see