NEC ZigBee Pro Evaluation Kit for Smart Energy, Home Area Networks

The ZigBee Pro Evaluation Kit, from NEC Electronics America, eases the design, development, and prototyping for designers working with home area networks (HAN) — such as ZigBee Pro Smart Energy networks, and applications for the wireless sensor networking market. The ZigBee Pro Evaluation Kit features a low-power IEEE 802.15.4 radio and a NEC’s low-power 16-bit 78K0R/KE3 microcontroller (MCU) with 17DMIPS performance and 256KB flash memory (enough memory to meet the increasing software demands of the smart energy market). The ZigBee Pro Evaluation Kit is expected to be available November 2009 with a suggested price of $250.

The ZigBee Pro evaluation kit includes three pre-programmed ZigBee Pro nodes — each with a module board with NEC Electronics’ 78K0R/KE3 MCU and 802.15.4 radio, a debug board with USB and RS232 interfaces, and a breadboard area for prototyping. The kit will provide all of the required evaluation software, including NEC Electronics’ software development environment and ZigBee Pro Software Stack, as well as additional network software tools for quick ZigBee Pro network configuration. NEC’s ZigBee Pro software is compliant with the ZigBee Pro standard.

NEC Electronics designed the low-power MCU/radio module for easy plug and play function with other systems running protocols such as powerline communications. The modular design eases prototyping and development work. The radio current consumption is 17.3 milliamps (mA) transmit and 15.8mA receive, while the 16-bit 78K0R MCU features a very low 1.1 microAmp (uA) Stop Mode current. In addition, the MCU has a real-time counter with an advanced calendar function that performs time stamping and extends device battery operating life by enabling low-power system Sleep modes before wake-up is required.

More info: NEC ZigBee Solutions