Products, Materials & Tools | Mar 02, 2011

Semtech and Virtual Extension Join Forces: Advanced Wireless Mesh Network Platform for Smart Lighting and Smart Environment Applications

Semtech Corp., a leading supplier of analog and mixed-signal semiconductors, and Virtual Extension (Beit Dagan, Israel), a leading mesh wireless networks provider, today announced the expansion of their wireless mesh network platform to include a new, ultra-high transmission range (Tx) power chipset that brings a new level of performance to a wide variety of smart environment applications. The chipset pairs Semtech’s SX1231 ISM-band transceiver with Virtual Extension’s VE209S wireless mesh controller to enable reliable wireless data transmission across greater distances, compared to lower Tx solutions.

The ultra-high, +17 dBm RF transmission power of the SX1231 makes this chipset ideal for network applications that need to fully utilize the maximum power allowed by European, North American and other worldwide regulations, as well as for battery-operated devices with up to a 12 year operating lifetime, or a combination of the two, all using very few external components. Designers of smart lighting, metering, alarms, security systems and other smart environment systems now have the highest-performance network solution available, either as chipsets for their own design, or as customized, ready-made modules.

A member of Semtech’s complete platform of ISM-band transceivers, the SX1231 is optimized for asynchronous sensor network designs over a wide frequency range, including the 433 MHz, 868 MHz and 915 MHz bands. The device offers the unique benefit of programmable narrow-band and wide-band communication modes, without the need to modify external components. It offers a world-class, 137 dB link budget and a high receive sensitivity of -120 dBm, along with a high transmitter output power of 17 dBm to enable reliable transmission over greater distances.

The SX1231 extends battery life with an ultra-low, 16 mA (typ) receive mode current consumption, 95 mA (typ) transmit current consumption (at +17 dBm), and a 0.1 µA (typ) sleep mode current consumption.

The VE209 family of high-performance mesh controllers serves as the main building block of a VEmesh network unit, either a gateway or a node. These IP based mesh controllers have the necessary internal elements for performing all networking tasks and the required interfaces, for a wide choice of protocols, with DALI, MODBUS, RS232, USB and TCP/IP compatibility.

VEmesh units provide highly reliable bi-directional communication and best-in-class range and coverage for distributed monitoring and data collection of smart lighting, smart metering and sensor systems. All VEmesh nodes also act as relays to retransmit data from other units in order to create a modular solution with no practical limitation to the number of nodes or size of coverage area.
 
“This new chipset is great news for a wide variety of smart environment applications,” said Sameer Vuyyuru, Vice President Marketing for Semtech’s Advanced Communications and Sensing Group. “Expanding our relationship with Virtual Extension, this chipset joins our lower output power, +12.5 dBm, 3mA version introduced last year. Our wireless mesh platform enables robust, reliable mesh networks that are easier to design, build, install and maintain, and can easily scale when the network expands.”

“With a transmission power of +17 dBm, high selectivity filter and programmable communication modes, the SX1231 is an excellent companion chip to our VE209S wireless mesh controller,” stated Leor Hardy, Chief Technology Officer for Virtual Extension. “It enables wireless mesh networks complying with the most stringent requirements of European and other worldwide smart environment regulations.”

Key Features of Semtech - Virtual Extension High Transmission Power Wireless Mesh Solution:
• Fully bi-directional
• Farthest range in class
• Very low power consumption, for years of operation on a single battery
• Fastest response in class – lowest and most predictable latency
• Secure (frequency diversity) and resistant (space diversity) to multipath fading and propagation changes
• Simple: no knowledge; no training installation, maintenance; no need to manage software
• Built-in unicast and broadcast capabilities
• Instant addition and removal of nodes, with no network downtime
• Practically unlimited number of hops, thousands of nodes per network
• Highly scalable: robustness and network range increase when the network expands

Availability:
SX1231-based chipsets and modules are available now. Evaluation kits (order code: SX1231MESH-868 and SX1231MESH-915) are available from Semtech. Semtech offers comprehensive design assistance, including field- and factory-based support. Data sheets, volume pricing, and delivery quotes, as well as evaluation kits and samples, are available at www.semtech.com/info. For customized ready-to-use modules based on the chipset, please inquire with Virtual Extension at info@virtual-extension.com.

About Semtech:
Semtech Corporation is a leading supplier of analog and mixed-signal semiconductors for high-end consumer, computing, communications and industrial equipment.  Products are designed to benefit the engineering community as well as the global community. The company is dedicated to reducing the impact it, and its products, have on the environment. Internal green programs seek to reduce waste through material and manufacturing control, use of green technology and designing for resource reduction. Publicly traded since 1967, Semtech is listed on the NASDAQ Global Select Market under the symbol SMTC. For more information, visit www.semtech.com/.

About Virtual Extension:
Operating since 2000, Virtual Extension has pioneered Diverse Path Mesh technology for Smart Lighting, Smart Metering and Wireless Sensor Networks. The company’s OEM customers rate its products as having the best range, resiliency and simplicity of deployment. Its VEmesh products are used in numerous applications that require such high performance. Its design wins power smart lighting, emergency illumination, smart metering, security and pipeline, agricultural, and industrial control and monitoring applications. For more information, please visit us at www.virtual-extension.com/.  

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