In support of the draft IEEE 802.15.4 standard being driven by the ZigBee Alliance - 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 - Motorola Inc. is delivering hardware and software samples to several development partners. In fact, the company was the first to demonstrate ZigBee 2.4 GHz wireless networking technology at the ZigBee Alliance European Open House in Berlin, Germany, in June 2003. Furthermore, engineering samples of the comprehensive, standard-compliant Motorola solution are expected to be available in November.

A void in the wireless networking spectrum is filled by the IEEE 802.15.4 standard as it empowers designers to create products with low cost, very low power and highly flexible wireless networking capabilities. ZigBee-enabled products are engineered to allow businesses to automate, control and wirelessly connect their enterprise systems.

The IEEE 802.15.4 standard details the Physical Layer (PHY) and Medium Access Control (MAC) specifications, and offers the building blocks for different types of networking - star, mesh and cluster tree. Motorola's MAC/PHY 802.15.4 solution is designed to support the global 2.4 GHz band at data rates of up to 250 kbps over air. The PHY is enabled with an RF transceiver data modem and a number of features have been incorporated to allow flexibility for engineers incorporating ZigBee into their products. An on-chip power management circuit can manage power sources from 2.0 to 3.6 V.

The transceiver integrates a power amplifier, a LNA with filtering, and is engineered to support multiple power-down states. A standard serial peripheral interface can connect with the host controller to send and receive digitised data packets, and a MAC code is offered for use with an extensive family of microcontrollers.