Upper Saddle River, N.J. Zensys has rolled a ZW0201 controller chip that enables the development of mesh networks in home environments. This controller chip, which is delivered in a 5 x 5-mm QFN package, combines an RF transceiver with an 8051 microcontroller and a 12-bit analog-to-digital converter (ADC). The chip sports several general-purpose I/Os, a power-on reset circuit, a brown-out detector, a Triac controller, a serial peripheral interface, an interrupt controller, and a UART. It also comes equipped with the company's Z-Wave mesh networking protocol software. The ZW0201 is priced below $3 and additional information can be found at: http://www.zen-sys.com/index.php?page=295. Zensys, www.zen-sys.com.
David Patterson, known for his pioneering research that led to RAID, clusters and more, is part of a team at UC Berkeley that recently made its RISC-V processor architecture an open source hardware offering. We talk with Patterson and one of his colleagues behind the effort about the opportunities they see, what new kinds of designs they hope to enable and what it means for today’s commercial processor giants such as Intel, ARM and Imagination Technologies.