Module Enables Long-Term, Low-Power Wireless Sensor Nodes

Microchip Technology unveils what it is calling the industry’s smallest IEEE 802.15.4-compliant module that combines an ultra-low-power microcontroller (MCU) with a sub-GHz radio. Promising to accelerate time to market, the SAM R30 module also meets the needs of space-conscious designs such as home automation sensors and controls.

 

Based on IEEE 802.15.4, the SAM R30 module supports proprietary networks and is viable for applications where interoperability is not desired due to their inherent vulnerability to remote attacks, such as alarm systems, building automation, smart cities and industrial sensor networks. An advantage of an IEEE 802.15.4-based network is that member devices can sleep for extended periods of time and remain part of the network.  The SAM R30 module features ultra-low-power sleep modes, with wake from General-Purpose I/O (GPIO) or its built-in Real-Time Clock (RTC) while consuming approximately 800 nA. Devices can sleep for years, only waking as needed to transmit data.

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For compact sensor designs, the SAM R30 module measures 12.7 mm x 11 mm and includes the necessary features to drive any remote connected sensor, thereby eliminating the need for a separate MCU in the design. The device also offers up to 256 KB of Flash and 40 KB of RAM, as well as serial data interfaces, USB, and digital and analog I/O for advanced sensor development.

 

The SAM R30 module is certified with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), Industry Canada (IC) and Radio Equipment Directive (RED), enabling designers to reduce time to market and RF testing certification costs. Microchip provides developers the ability to implement a proprietary point-to-point, star or self-healing mesh network configurations with the free MiWi protocol stack.

 

Developers can begin prototyping with the ATSAMR30M-XPRO Extension Development Board, supported by the Atmel ICE Debugger/Programmer (ATMEL-ICE) and the easy-to-use Atmel Studio 7 Integrated Development Environment with demo code examples supporting each network configuration. The SAM R30 module (ATSAMR30M18) is available now starting at $4.29 in 1,000-unit quantities. The ATSAMR30M-XPRO Extension Development Board (AC164159) is available for $38 each. For additional information, checkout the SAM R30 datasheet and/or call Christie Haber at 888-624-7435.

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