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Microsemi has developed a low power, sub-GHz RF transceiver for industrial, security and medical (ISM) applications. The ZL70550 is highly integrated, with a small footprint and best-in-class power dissipation. The IC is well-suited for wireless applications operating on coin-cell batteries or energy harvesters, such as electronic shelf labels, retail asset tracking, process control, wearable monitoring and medical diagnostics. To operate for years on small batteries, these applications require a transceiver with much lower power dissipation than Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and Zigbee provide.

The ZL70550 operates in the 779 to 965 MHz unlicensed ISM band and handles data rates up to 200 kbps. The transceiver consumes 2.8 mA, while transmitting at -10 dBm output, and 2.5 mA during receive. The “sleep state” current is only 10 nA, believed to be the industry’s lowest and optimum for low duty cycle applications. The operating voltage range is 1.7 to 3.6 V. For applications requiring extended range, the transmitter output power, receiver input sensitivity and data rate can be adjusted to increase receive sensitivity to -107 dBm, with a slight increase in power consumption. In a 3 × 2 mm chip scale package, the ZL70550 is highly integrated: other than the antenna and, in some cases, its matching network, only a crystal, resistor and two coupling capacitors are required for operation.

The transceiver includes an advanced media access controller (MAC) that performs most link support functions, received signal strength indications (RSSI), clear channel assessment, sniff, preamble and synchronization, packetization, whitening and forward error correction (FEC). Microsemi offers an application development kit (ADK) and a wireless sensor network evaluation kit to speed hardware and software development. The ADK provides all the necessary hardware and software to demonstrate the performance of the ZL70550. The optional Microsemi Z-Star protocol enables rapid product development and offers a full star configuration to deploy a full network.

Microsemi Corp.
Aliso Viejo, Calif.