News | February 26, 2019

Develop Low-Power Wireless Sensor Nodes With The Industry's Smallest Regulatory-Certified Sub-GHz Module

Microchip’s SAM R30 module provides multiple years of battery life for robust proprietary networks while reducing time to market

Nuremberg, Germany (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Designers of wireless, space-constrained sensor nodes require connectivity solutions that minimize size and provide multiple years of battery life. Microchip Technology Inc. (Nasdaq: MCHP) today announced the industry’s smallest IEEE 802.15.4-compliant module that combines an ultra-low-power microcontroller (MCU) with a sub-GHz radio, accelerating time to market and providing long-lasting battery life in wireless-networked sensors. At half the size of the next smallest module on the market, the SAM R30 module 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 that can be easily customized and configured. This is ideal 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. A key 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 Input/Output (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.

Compact sensor designs can significantly reduce installation components and simplify device deployment. Applications often rely on simple double-sided tape for mounting, making decreasing the size of the sensor a priority. The SAM R30 module measures just 12.7 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 kilobytes (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.

Operating in the sub-GHz RF spectrum, the SAM R30 module delivers two times the connectivity range and better propagation through walls and floors than similarly powered devices using the 2.4 GHz frequency band. This robustness is critical in applications such as leak detection, where the sensor may be buried deep in a remote cabinet, or for pool and spa controllers, which require reliable sub-GHz solutions that can communicate through exterior walls.

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 flexibility to implement a proprietary point-to-point, star or self-healing mesh network configurations with the free MiWi™ protocol stack.

“The Internet of Things consists of millions of battery-powered sensors that rely on low-power operation and reliable wireless performance,” said Steve Caldwell, vice president of Microchip’s Wireless Solutions business unit. “The SAM R30 certified module meets these needs while also providing a way for developers to build more compact designs and accelerate time to market.”

The SAM R30 module joins Microchip’s IEEE 802.15.4-compliant wireless portfolio. With devices that meet the unique needs of a variety of applications, developers can select a single-chip 32- or 48-pin SAM R30 System-in-Package (SiP) for flexible design layout or the certified SAM R30 module for fastest time to market.

Development Tools
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.

Pricing and Availability
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, contact a Microchip sales representative, authorized worldwide distributor or visit Microchip’s website. To purchase products mentioned here, visit Microchip’s purchasing portal or contact an authorized distributor.

About Microchip Technology
Microchip Technology Inc. is a leading provider of microcontroller, analog, FPGA, connectivity and power management semiconductors. Its easy-to-use development tools and comprehensive product portfolio enable customers to create optimal designs which reduce risk while lowering total system cost and time to market. The company’s solutions serve more than 130,000 customers across the industrial, automotive, consumer, aerospace and defense, communications and computing markets. 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.

Note: The Microchip name and logo, and the Microchip logo, are registered trademarks of Microchip Technology Incorporated in the U.S.A. and other countries. All other trademarks mentioned herein are the property of their respective companies.

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SOURCE: Microchip Technology Inc.