RF Micro Devices Inc. (RFMD) announced it has teamed with Atmel Corp., a leader in microcontroller and touch solutions, to deliver ZigBee® solutions for a broad range of smart energy applications.

RFMD's newly introduced RF6575 ZigBee front-end module (FEM) has been combined with the Atmel ATmega128RFA1 Single-Chip solution to create the ATmega128RFA1 reference design. This high-performance ZigBee-based solution provides public utilities and consumers more control over how they monitor and save energy. The solution is targeted at portable battery-powered equipment, smart energy advanced metering infrastructure, high performance ZigBee, and Home Area Network (HAN) applications in the 2.4 to 2.5 GHz ISM Band. Working together, RFMD and Atmel address the need for aggressive size reductions in IEEE 802.15.4 designs with a reduced solution footprint and minimized component count.

Bob Van Buskirk, President of RFMD's Multi-Market Products Group (MPG), said, "RFMD and Atmel are leveraging each other's expertise to deliver high performance, highly-integrated solutions that reduce design cycle times, lower customer costs, and accelerate product time-to-market. Large-scale smart energy projects are forecasted to grow rapidly, with particularly strong demand anticipated in low-power wireless technologies like ZigBee."

"As the smart energy market continues to grow worldwide, Atmel is excited to collaborate with companies such as RFMD to enable more battery-powered smart energy systems," said Magnus Pedersen, Director of Wireless Solutions, Atmel Corp. "The RFMD front-end module combined with the Atmel ATmega128RFA1 single-chip solution offers smart energy providers better battery life with their lower power consumption designs without comprising performance."

RFMD's highly integrated RF6575 features a 2.4 to 2.5 GHz, +22 dBm power amplifier, Tx harmonic output filter, double-pole double-throw (DPDT) diversity switch, and a low-noise amplifier (LNA). The RF6575 is housed in a 3.5 x 3.5 x 0.5 mm package that is one-third the size of competitive offerings, greatly reducing discrete component requirements while minimizing footprint and assembly costs. The transceiver interface is a single-port bi-directional Rx/Tx.

RFMD's expanding portfolio of ZigBee FEMs enables customers to accelerate new ZigBee products to market while reducing component count, size, cost and power consumption. RFMD's RF6575 single-chip ZigBee FEM is specifically optimized for Smart Energy applications including smart meters, energy usage control or "demand response," and HAN devices. Other RFMD ZigBee FEMs are designed for industrial applications and wireless sensing and control applications requiring low power consumption, high performance and proven reliability.