Zarlink Semiconductor has introduced a new low-power, high-efficiency microchip that can enable a broad variety of medical and sensing applications. Currently, customers are evaluating the ZL70250 radio chip for use in such applications as electrocardiograms (ECGs) that record heart activity, oximetry systems that measure oxygen levels in the blood (SpO2), continuous glucose monitors (CGM) for diabetes patients, and sound and voice communication systems. The radio chip is also being used in devices that must operate within very confined spaces, such as inside the mouth. Consuming less that 2 milliwatts (mW) with an efficiency of 11 nanojoules per bit (nJ/bit) - fives times less power than competing devices - the radio chip allows designers to significantly shrink the size of existing wireless devices and extend operating life. In addition, the ultra-low power performance allows the device to be operated directly from coin cell batteries, enabling the design of very compact devices previously not possible due to battery size limitations. “Zarlink has solved the power and size challenges faced by designers when developing compact wireless devices that must support continuous monitoring," said Didier Sagan, marketing manager with Zarlink's Medical Products Group. “Building on this expertise, the ZL70250 chip makes wireless telemetry possible in a new generation of devices. In addition, the highly integrated chip and supporting application development kit helps simplify design complexity, reduce component count, and speed time-to-market."