Microchip Introduces PICDEM Z 2.4 GHz ZigBee Demonstration Kit

12/8/2004 - Microchip Technology Inc., a leading provider of microcontroller and analog semiconductors, announced the PICDEMTM Z 2.4 GHz Demonstration Kit that supports the ZigBeeTM standard protocol for wirelessly networked control and monitoring applications. Microchip's PICDEM Z platform accelerates customer designs by providing hardware and a free ZigBee protocol software stack that can be easily integrated into wireless products. In addition, Microchip offers over 30 PIC18 8-bit microcontrollers that support the ZigBee software stack, and incorporate nanoWatt technology power-managed modes and self-programmable Flash program memory -- key features for ZigBee applications, many of which are battery operated.

Microchip's PICDEM Z 2.4 GHz Demonstration Kit is an easy-to-use evaluation and development platform for ZigBee application designers. The kit includes all of the hardware, software source-code and printed circuit board (PCB) layout files needed to rapidly prototype wireless products. Additionally, an instructional application note is available on Microchip's Web site at www.microchip.com/zigbee. This development platform is based on Microchip's PIC18 high-performance microcontroller family, which supports ZigBee applications and offers a wide selection of products with 32 Kbytes to 128 Kbytes of Flash program memory in 28- to 80-pin packages.

"As one of the earliest members of the ZigBee Alliance, Microchip has helped to define the standard with cost-effective, low-power, reliable wireless control applications in mind," said Ganesh Moorthy, vice president of Microchip's Advanced Microcontroller and Memory Division. "This development platform was designed to enable engineers to accelerate their time-to-market for ZigBee applications."

The PICDEM Z 2.4 GHz development platform allows designers to rapidly evaluate and begin developing a vast array of wirelessly networked ZigBee applications, including: building/home automation (security, lighting, HVAC, access); industrial (monitors, sensors, automation, control, lighting); personal healthcare (diagnostic tools, monitors); consumer electronics (RF wireless remotes for TV/VCR/DVD/CD).

The PICDEM Z platform utilizes the PIC18LF4620 microcontroller with integrated nanoWatt Technology power-managed modes, 64 Kbytes of Flash program memory, and advanced analog, control and communications peripherals. This platform also incorporates Chipcon's CC2420 2.4 GHz RF transceiver. The CC2420 Transceiver easily interfaces to the PIC18 via the SPITM port, providing a cost-effective, highly integrated ZigBee node.

"As a leader in the RFIC market, we are proud to partner with the number one supplier of 8-bit microcontrollers to offer a comprehensive ZigBee development platform," said Geir Forre, president & CEO of Chipcon. "The combination of our industry-leading transceivers with Microchip's world-class development tools and advanced 8-bit microcontrollers allows engineers to jumpstart their ZigBee designs."

Microchip's PICDEM Z platform and ZigBee software stack is supported by the Company's full suite of MPLAB® development tools, including the MPLAB Integrated Development Environment (IDE) and MPLAB C18 C Compiler. Additional PICDEM Z features include:

Availability and Pricing
The three tools in the PICDEM Z 2.4 GHz development platform are available for orders now and production shipment is expected at the end of December. The PICDEM Z 2.4 GHz Demonstration Kit includes two motherboards, two RF cards, and a CD containing the ZigBee protocol software and a PCB layout database. An instructional application note is available on Microchip's Web site, and part numbers and pricing for the three tools is listed below. A PICDEM Z 900 MHz demonstration kit is also in development. For additional information, please contact any Microchip sales representative or authorized worldwide distributor, or visit www.microchip.com/zigbee.

About Microchip Technology
Microchip Technology Inc. (NASDAQ: MCHP) is a leading provider of microcontroller and analog semiconductors, providing low-risk product development, lower total system cost and faster time to market for thousands of diverse customer applications worldwide. Headquartered in Chandler, Arizona, Microchip offers outstanding technical support along with dependable delivery and quality. For more information, visit the Microchip website at www.microchip.com.

About Chipcon AS
Chipcon is a leading provider of proprietary and standards based CMOS RF-ICs for wireless connectivity. Chipcon's RF-ICs provide low-cost, low-power and high-performance RF solutions for a large number of wireless applications. Chipcon's single-chip high-performance RF transceivers and transmitters target low-power wireless applications in the 300 to 1000 MHz and 2.4 GHz frequency bands and are distributed worldwide.

The Microchip name and logo, PIC and MPLAB are registered trademarks of Microchip Technology Inc. in the USA and other countries. PICDEM is a trademark of Microchip Technology Inc. in the USA and other countries. ZigBee is a trademark of the ZigBee Alliance. SPI is a trademark of Motorola.

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