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TI and Airbee Deliver Industry's Lowest Power, Free 4-Node ZigBee(TM) Solution

TI Ultra-Low Power MSP430 MCU-Based Reference Design Incorporates Airbee Software, Making ZigBee-Based Product Development a Snap

Sep 14, 2005

HOUSTON (September 14, 2005) – Helping speed ZigBee and 802.15.4 compliant systems to market, Texas Instruments Incorporated (TI) (NYSE: TXN) today announced the availability of Airbee Wireless’ (OTC Other: ABEW) ZNS-Lite™, ZigBee-ready networking stack software for the MSP430 platform of ultra-low power microcontrollers (MCUs). Airbee software helps designers and third parties to quickly develop with MSP430 MCUs for ZigBee-based applications that are optimized for low cost, low data rate applications that require long battery life capability, robust security, high data reliability and product interoperability. By partnering with Airbee, TI provides developers a complete platform that includes a free 4-node Zigbee-ready protocol stack for rapid development and prototyping of mesh based networks. For more information on TI Zigbee products, see www.ti.com/msp430wireless.

ZigBee’s wireless, standards-based radio technology 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. ZigBee-based products are expected to reach tens of millions of units per year by 2008, according to Strategy Analytics, a global research and consulting firm. By incorporating Airbee’s networking stack, TI will offer designers a complete reference design to enable speedy development of more flexible, interoperable ZigBee-compliant systems.
“We look forward to partnering with TI on this market-leading initiative. Our expertise in building ZigBee-ready products using MSP430 MCUs across multiple module providers will ensure true interoperability,” said Raj Sundaresan, chief executive officer, Airbee. “Our ZigBee-ready stack software for peer-to-peer, mesh and star topologies saves precious development time while achieving a higher return on investment for ZigBee networks.”

Complete Software and Hardware Design Availability

Based on the MSP430F161x MCU with a Chipcon 802.15.4 radio for receiving and transceiving, TI’s reference design will also include an example application note and PCB layout files. The free 4-node ZNS-Lite software for MSP430 devices will be available via the Airbee Wireless website at www.airbeewireless.com. The software stack includes a “getting started” guide and a programmer’s reference manual. A full version of the Airbee ZNS™ (protocol stack) software can be purchased directly from Airbee.

A hardware evaluation board (DZ1612) is also available from SoftBaugh Inc. with Airbee’s ZNS-Lite Zigbee software pre-programmed on an MSP430F1612 MCU and also includes a Chipcon CC2420 transceiver and PCB antenna. DZ1612 evaluation boards can be purchased today for $199 at www.softbaugh.com.  SoftBaugh is a leading provider of development and programming systems for MSP430 MCUs and TMS320C2000™ digital signal controllers.

MSP430F161x Signal-Chain-on-a-Chip Extends Battery Life and Reduces System Costs

MSP430 ultra-low-power MCUs are an ideal fit for energy efficient, low power RF networks based on standards such as IEEE 802.15.4 and ZigBee. The duty cycle of battery powered nodes within a ZigBee network is designed to be very low, resulting in very overall low average power consumption. MSP430 MCUs offer the industry’s lowest current consumption with only 1.1 micro-amps standby mode with real-time clock operation, as well as a 300 micro-amps (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, an “instant-on” wake-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 that of competing devices.

The MSP430F161x MCU’s unmatched combination of performance, power efficiency and integration provides developers with previously unavailable signal-chain-on-chip (SCoC) functionalities. The integrated 12-bit analog-to-digital converter (ADC) has 8-input channels with greater than 200 thousand samples per second (KSPS) and two 12-bit digital to analog converter’s (DAC) have 1 microsecond settling time. The 3-channel DMA eliminates data transfer delays to the on-chip DACs, ADC and other peripherals and frees up the 16-bit RISC CPU to spend time processing data, instead of performing “handling” tasks. Also, compared to using an external DAC and software, the MSP430F161x on-chip DAC module, coupled with the DMA, provides a greater than ten times increase in achievable analog output signal frequency. The For more information on TI’s MSP430 platform of ultra-low-power MCUs, see www.ti.com/msp430.

TI Enables Innovation with Broad Range of Controllers

From ultra low power MSP430 and 32-bit general purpose TMS470 ARM7™ family-based MCUs to high-performance TMS320C2000™ 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 www.ti.com/mcu.