Zilog Announces New “ZAURA™ RF Fluorescent Ballast Reference Design” Featuring Advanced Wireless Technology

Zilog ®, a wholly-owned subsidiary of IXYS Corporation (NASDAQ:IXYS) and a pioneer supplier of application-specific, embedded microcontroller (MCU) system-on-chip (SoC) solutions for the industrial, telecommunications, automotive and consumer markets, today introduced a fluorescent ballast reference design featuring ZAURA™ RF wireless technology to enable wireless connectivity and control for lighting systems in offices, schools, factories and other facilities. Because lighting consumes major amounts of energy worldwide, and with numerous global economic and environmental imperatives toward reducing and eliminating wasted energy, Zilog has designed the ZAURA™ RF fluorescent ballast reference design to provide a quick time-to-market reference solution that will assist in achieving reduced energy expenditures.

This reference solution integrates Zilog’s ZAURA RF 868 MHz wireless module onto a fluorescent ballast base power board to create a fluorescent ballast demonstration board designed to showcase the features and performance of an inductor-based fluorescent lamp driver with active power factor correction (PFC) and a microcontroller (MCU). Because it is a reference design, it can be used as a basis for developing systems that can control fluorescent lighting installations. On its own and without the ZAURA RF wireless module attached, the base power board functions as a demonstration board providing current to power fluorescent lamps. However, the fluorescent ballast base power board cannot control lamp brightness because the source of the PWM pulses required to perform this operation is generated by the Z8F2480 MCU on the RF module.

And yet in combination, the fluorescent ballast base power board with the RF module attached, all controlled by a hand-held remote control device, enable RF communication to turn fluorescent lamps on and off and adjust the brightness of these fluorescent lamps within a 10%–100% range. For purposes of demonstrating RF control, the hand-held ZAURA RF remote control device is also included with this reference design.

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