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GreenPeak Reveals Multi-RF ZigBee Chip

Utrecht, The Netherlands – Semiconductor manufacturer GreenPeak Technologies has introduced its GP501 generation of ZigBee transceivers that allow Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and ZigBee chips to work side by side in the same device.

GreenPeak said the GP501 also contains Deep Packet Inspection (DPI), allowing deep sleep modes of set-top boxes and other host devices by means of Wake-on-LAN messages.

ZigBee shares the 2.4GHz frequency band with other Wi-Fi equipment. The GP501 has a coexistence interface to allow optimized and co-located ZigBee/Wi-Fi radios to work in the same device, avoiding RF interference when operating simultaneously.

“Smart-home networks will incorporate a variety of wireless technologies — all working in the same space,” said Bill Ablondi, Strategy Analytics’ Smart Home Strategies advisory service director. “Having reliable and robust resistance to possible interference in the 2.4 GHz band enables set-top box makers to create compact solutions that can support wireless Smart Home networks employing ZigBee for sensor and control networks and Wi-Fi for high-volume content and entertainment networks.” Another advantage of the GP501 is its small size: its 32-pin, 5mm-by-5mm footprint allows integration into the smallest product form-factors.

A new key feature of the GP501 ZigBee transceiver chip is the DPI for ZigBee applications, which enables advanced packet management, allowing the host processor to go into a deep-sleep mode to conserve power. While most other ZigBee transceiver chips only include a superficial inspection of the MAC and PHY headers, the GP501 looks beyond these layers and executes a Deep Packet Inspection and based on the outcome, the chip can decide if the packet has to be passed on to the higher layer application or can be ignored.

The DPI engine is also security aware, blocking unauthorized packets without involving the host processor and ensuring the system does not waste energy analyzing non-compliant packets. The DPI feature can be used for Wake-on-LAN functionality, where ultra-low power ZigBee is used to wake up the main processor from its sleep mode to enable Wi-Fi networking.

“The Wi-Fi Coexistence Interface and Deep Packet Inspection enabling Wake-on-LAN are new and exciting features of the GP501,” said Cees Links, GreenPeak CEO. “These features make the GP501 the optimal choice for the set-top box/gateway market. With its small 32-pin footprint, the GP501 is a great successor to the already very successful GP500. Once again, GreenPeak is leading the industry in adding smart functionality and superior performance to its ZigBee devices.”