Atmel® Corporation (Nasdaq: ATML) recently announced the AVR® RZ Raven evaluation kit. The RZ Raven kit provides designers a ready-to-use development platform in the rapidly growing low power wireless market for the 2.4GHz ISM frequency band available worldwide. The kit utilizes the AVR picoPower(tm) technology in combination with the superior RF performance offered by the AT86RF230 2.4 GHz ISM transceiver. The new kit is available now at a resale price of US$99.
The RZ Raven kit comprises two Raven boards, one USB Stick and a selection of firmware application and software that will dramatically reduce time to market for designers considering short range wireless ISM band applications based on IEEE802.15.4(tm), ZigBee® or 6LoWPAN.
The Raven board can be used as a multi application wireless node with a LCD graphical user interface. It has two AVR picoPower microcontrollers: an ATmega1284P that can be used to control RF application stacks, and an ATmega3290P that controls the display and user interfaces. The Raven contains a custom LCD display, a 5 position joystick, a microphone and a speaker allowing the evaluation of a variety of user interactions that are appropriate in the target wireless applications. To support application development the following functionalities are available: graphical user interface, communication ports, ATmega1284P port pins available on headers, on-board temperature sensor, voltage sensor, relay driver, boot loader and ISP support for programming.
The USB stick can serve as a PC gateway to the wireless network, or as the hardware platform for wireless protocol analyzer. It is based on the AT90USB1287 AVR microcontroller and the AT86RF230 transceiver.
The firmware provided includes low level drivers and application stacks enabling simple point to point communication, IEEE 802.15.4 compliant solutions, and more complex applications based on ZigBee and 6LoWPAN. Updated source code, libraries and documentation for the applications are available from the Atmel web site. PC software is also provided, including a demo and a management suite for setup, configuration and management of wireless networks. Key features include wireless protocol analyzer and Over-The-Air upgrade (OTA).
The AT86RF230 offers industry best RF performance with a link budget of 104 dB and gives up to 3 times the range of competitor radios. This results in an outdoor range of up to 700 m with the high gain PCB antenna used on the Raven board. Current consumption in active mode is only 15 mA and down to 20 nA in sleep mode.
AVR picoPower devices consume as little as 340 uA in active mode at 1.8V running from the internal RC oscillator at 1 MHz. In power-save mode it is 500 nA with a real time counter running, and 100 nA in power-down mode. picoPower AVRs are pin-, performance-, and code-compatible with existing AVR microcontrollers giving designers flexible hardware options for small, medium sized and complex wireless networks.
The Raven board and the USB Stick holds FCC and ETSI certification.