ELECTRONICS: Microchip Technology Inc. recently announced that it has achieved certification for its ZigBee® RF4CE Compliant Platform, which enables the next generation of RF remote controls and consumer electronics. The platform consists of Microchip’s nanoWatt XLP eXtreme Low Power PIC® microcontrollers, the MRF24J40 IEEE 802.15.4 transceivers and FCC-certified modules, and the industry’s smallest memory footprint ZigBee RF4CE certified protocol stack.The consumer electronics industry is rapidly transitioning from infrared remote controls, which require line-of-sight operation and have limited range, to the more robust and versatile RF wireless technology. The ZigBee RF4CE protocol provides an industry standard for this transition, ensuring interoperability between OEM or aftermarket remote controls and consumer electronics, and facilitating interoperable communication among audio/visual entertainment equipment for an improved user experience.
In addition to low power consumption, the compliant PIC XLP microcontrollers offer a wide range of integrated peripherals for capacitive touch sensing, USB and a host of analog functions. Free software is also provided to enable these peripherals, including Microchip’s USB stacks and libraries, and mTouchTM sensing software. Together with its IEEE 802.15.4 compliant 2.4 GHz MRF24J40 transceiver and agency certified transceiver modules, Microchip provides a highly efficient, cost-effective, platform for implementing the new RF4CE protocol in RF-enabled remote controls and equipment.
Microchip’s certified RF4CE protocol stack is currently available to Beta program participants, with general availability planned for March. The MRF24J40 transceiver and FCC certified modules are available today, as are the compliant families of PIC XLP microcontrollers.
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