Wireless Systems Design

Development Platform Hastens ZigBee Products

The IEEE 802.15.4 standard (ZigBee) is quickly emerging. This wireless standard is already making a name for itself in personal-area networks (PANs) and the automotive, consumer, industrial, and medical applications. With its low power, low cost, and application flexibility, ZigBee holds the promise of becoming a ubiquitous standard and garnering broad acceptance.

Now, CompXs, Inc. has introduced a fully functional IEEE 802.15.4 development platform. Dubbed the CompXs Blencathra, it promises to enable rapid product development. It also will hasten the deployment of products for a wide range of applications based on this standard.

The evaluation platform demonstrates a fully-compliant 802.15.4 MAC and PHY running in a field-programmable gate array (FPGA). Among its notable features are a Hopegill logic core with verification logic, over-the-air data rates of 250 kbps, and an RSSI measurement for 802.15.4 ED measurement. Blencathra also boasts fast turnaround receive and transmit and on-board transmit-signal-strength measurement. Its transmit power is 0 dBm ±1 dB over all channels.

The development platform's IQ modulator flaunts an error vector magnitude (EVM) of less than 15%. In addition, Blencathra promises sensitivity above −90 dBm (1% PER). It has 16 channels in the 2450-MHz band. Rounding off the platform is frequency accuracy better than ±1 ppm and full compatibility with the ZigBee network layer. The culmination of these features make this platform well suited for testing other radios.

Thanks to its on-board FPGA, the radio can present a protocol-free interface. This interface allows the direct connection to Blencathra with easily observable and comprehensible control and data signals. To accelerate the time to market for this platform, CompXs chose Xilinx's Platform FPGA products.

For more information on this product and its availability, please contact the company directly.

CompXs, Inc.
2700 Augustine Dr., Suite 190, Santa Clara, CA 95054; (408) 986-8844, FAX: (408) 986-8843, www.compxs.com.

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