LONDON Wireless chip specialist Nordic Semiconductor ASA (Oslo, Norway) is readying a range of devices it suggests will set the benchhmark for ultra low power wireless sensors.
The nRF24AP2 family will initially comprise the single-channel nRF24AP2-1CH, and the more advanced 8-channel nRF24AP2-8CH chips that Nordic says will extend battery life by up to 25 percent in target small battery (coin cell up to AA) wireless sensor applications.
Nordic says the devices will feature best-in-class co-existence (interference resistance), an enhanced ANT protocol stack, full ANT+ multivendor compatibility, a roadmap for AES security, and be fully backward compatible with the company's current nRF24AP1 family of ultra low power networking parts.
The 8-channel version is being designed for hubs with up to 8 active wireless sensor channels. This will allow products like sports watches, bike computers and gym machines to connect to up 8 different sensors or users simultaneously.
Thomas Embla Bonnerud, Product Manager for Ultra Low Power Wireless at Nordic, said the proprietary ANT and ANT+ is fast establishing itself as the de-facto standard for ultra low power sensor networks in a wide range of applications.
"ANT+ is currently the only true ULP wireless technology that provides multivendor interoperability and already has an installed product base numbering millions of sensor nodes around the world," said Bonnerud.
Nordic says production samples and development tools for the initial parts should be available in June 2009.
The devices will incorporate Nordic's nRF24L01+ enhanced transceiver core, said to provide substantial enhancements in wideband blocking and intermodulation, plus a new frequency agility mode. This will make the nRF24P2 family highly immune to disturbance from other 2.4GHz radios like Bluetooth and Wi-Fi.
At the core of all nRF24AP2 range is an enhanced ANT stack implementation designed to increase performance, provide more product design feature options and further reduce unnecessary power consumption compared to the previous nRF24AP1 range.
Fully embedded AES encryption and decryption will be available as a new revision of the two parts by the end of 2009.
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