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

MCU-Based Energy-Saving Lighting System with Wireless Digital Connectivity

Zilog, an IXYS Company (NASDAQ “IXYS”) and the legendary supplier of microcontrollers (MCUs), has 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, 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 Module attached, all controlled by a hand-held remote control device, enable RF communication to turn fluorescent lamps on and off, and to 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.

The Fluorescent Ballast with ZAURA Control Reference Design includes the following features:

  • Fluorescent Ballast Base Power Board
  • Two-lamp testing capability
    • ZAURA RF 868 MHz Wireless Module
    • Remote brightness and on/off control
    • 180 VAC to 230 VAC input

ZAURA RF Lighting Systems were developed to provide intelligent energy-saving lighting for schools and other high-occupancy buildings. The ZAURA system consists of a main sensing mechanism and operates wirelessly, communicating to each individual lighting fixture. Zilog is currently working with customers in the Netherlands, installing new ZAURA lighting systems in multiple locations in which reduced energy consumption will dramatically impact the bottom line. “The new ZAURA Lighting System is well suited for existing FL installations, enabling improved energy efficiency without the need to perform expensive retrofits in a typical building. This new system can achieve immediate improvements to energy efficiencies with a low initial investment, yet also provide a fast ROI,” said Steve Darrough, Zilog’s Vice President of Marketing.

IXYS and Zilog, being major players in the power management and energy efficiency marketplace, collaborated in developing ZAURA specifically for lighting applications. The first step in this initiative has been providing occupancy-based lighting controls for the large installed base of fluorescent lights (“FL”) in the market worldwide.

For more information about Zilog’s Fluorescent Lighting Ballast Reference Design, visit www.zilog.com.

About Zilog, Inc.
Zilog has been a pioneer in MCU technology and is a trusted supplier of application-specific, embedded system-on-chip (SoC) solutions for the industrial, telecommunications, automotive and consumer markets. From its roots as an award-winning architect in the microprocessor and microcontroller industry, Zilog has evolved its expertise beyond core silicon to include SoCs, single-board computers, application-specific software stacks and development tools that allow embedded designers quick time to market in areas such as energy management, monitoring and metering, motor control and motion detection. Zilog is an IXYS company. For more information, visit http://www.ixys.com and http://www.zilog.com.

Zilog® and ZAURA™ are trademarks or registered trademarks of Zilog, Inc. in the United States and in other countries. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners in the United States and other countries.

Contact Information


1590 Buckeye Drive
Milpitas, CA, 95035-7418

tele: 1-408-457-9000
toll-free: 1-866-469-4564
fax: 1-408-416-0223

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