Electronic Design

Large RAM ZigBee

Oki Semiconductor has combined its ML7065 transceiver with its ML67Q4061 ARM7TDMI microcontroller in its ZDK (Zigbee Development Kit). It adds some great docs along with Daintree’s Network Sensor Analyzer software (see Sniffing Zigbee) and Integration Associates 802.15.4/ZigBee Dongle Developers Kit. The latter includes a pair of USB-based dongles that let a PC become part of an 802.15.4 or ZigBee network. The dongles can be used for application integration as well as supporting monitors like Daintree’s. The kit also includes a battery-powered ZigBee Network Evaluation/Demonstration (zNED) platform. with the ML67Q4061 microcontroller and the transceiver module with the ML7065 ML7065. The baseboard includes a range of sensors including a light sensor plus switches and LEDs for application status. A connector supports an optional LCD display. Only one baseboard is included with the kit but additional units can also be purchased for larger networks. As is, the ZDK can support three nodes including the two USB-based nodes. Software development for the ARM microcontroller is done using IAR System’s Embedded Workbench. This works with tools like IAR’s Visual State. It is a top notch C/C++ development environment. A 30-day version is included with the ZDK in addition to IAR Systems’s J-Link JTAG emulator. Getting started was a very easy chore. The four-page Quick Start Guide was excellent and starts with the setup of the USB dongles and using the basic demo programmed in the baseboard. The Oki Semiconductor CD has all the source code, documentation, schematics and all remaining software. The Guide does handle installation of the JTAG emulator while the CD documentation addresses everything else including installation of the IAR and Daintree software. Those packages also include their own CDs and documentation. Basic walkthroughs for these tools is also found in Oki’s online documentation. In addition to the demo application, I was able to check out the system using its serial port and a standard terminal emulator. The interface can be used to change EEPROM settings like the MAC address and channel number. The demo applications utilized Segger’s emboss RTOS. There is an embOS plug-in for IAR workbench that provide operating system awareness to the debugger. Oki’s software includes both the smaller end-node and full ZigBee stack. The latter can also act as a network coordinator or router in a tree or mesh environment. Source code for the demo application is included and the walkthrough covers the basics of changing it. In a sense, Oki Semiconductor’s solution is similar to Jennic’s except that the ML7065 is a two chip solution. This makes little difference if the two chips are placed onto a module. It also provides more flexibility in choosing the microcontroller. Developers will feel very comfortable Oki Semiconductor’s approach. It only takes a couple hours to get everything installed and tested. Then it is time to move onto more useful tasks like generating new applications. Oki Semiconductor also includes details about the ZigBee Alliance and its requirements, something developer targeting ZigBee should know about (see Zigbee Surprise). From a packaging and value standpoint, Oki Semiconductor’s offering is one of the best of all the ZigBee kits I have looked at thus far. Related Links IAR Integration Associates Oki Semiconductor Segger

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