Electronic Design

Wireless Pot Pourri Serves Diverse Applications

Consider wireless for your next project. Engineers are designing wireless capability into almost everything these days. With so many wireless chips and modules available at low prices, it’s easy to do and often provides the differentiation you’re looking for in a new product.

Radiometrix’s TR1M narrowband VHF multichannel transceiver module operates from 135 to 175 MHz. It supports 128 channels in 12.5- and 25-kHz increments and contains a 1200-baud modem. Also, it can support up to 5 kbits/s over a distance to 1 km. The transmit power is +20 dBm (100 mW), and the receiver has a –118-dBm sensitivity for 12-dB signal, noise and distortion (SINAD).

The module operates from a dc supply in the 4.5- to 16-V range. It consumes 110 mA in transmit mode and 27 mA in receive mode. The TR1M targets handheld terminals, vehicle and machine remote control, environmental monitoring, data loggers, industrial telemetry, and security/fire alarms. Radiometrix has a full line of wireless modules for many applications.

The ultra-low-power nRF24L01+ 2.4-GHz transceiver from Nordic Semiconductor suits higher frequencies. Its 250-kbit/s data rate and –94-dBm receiver sensitivity of –94 dBm extend the communications range by a factor of three over the pin-compatible, 1-Mbit/s nRF24L01. Its proprietary Nordic protocol isn’t compatible with ZigBee, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, or other protocols.

This chip’s primary claim to fame is its very low-power operation. With a maximum current of 13.5 mA, it can operate from a common coin cell, making it useful in wristwatches, wireless body sensors, and other portable and mobile devices. It can also operate for up to a year on AAA cells, suiting it for wireless mice, keyboards, and RF remote controls.

The nRF24L01+ provides enhancements in wideband blocking and inermodulation performance, so it’s less prone to Wi-Fi interference. A fast front-end automatic gain control (AGC) further improves the dynamic range and operational robustness with close proximity interferers. Production samples and evaluation kits are available now. Production volume will occur in June. Contact Nordic for pricing.

For very high frequencies, Radiospire’s AirHook chip sets implement HDMI cable replacement in modern home HDTV systems. They can transmit uncompressed video in HD formats at 1.6 Gbits/s over 15 to 20 feet. Also, they use an Ultra-Wideband (UWB) variant with orthogonal frequency-division multiplexing (OFDM) in the same frequency range of the WiMedia Alliance UWB standard (3.1 to 10.6 GHz). They use the equivalent of about three of the standard 528-MHz channels as well.

The protocol is proprietary and optimized for HD video transmission. The RSN1080, RSN1050, and RSN1020 chips make up the transmit side of a system that would go in a dongle that would plug into an HD set-top box, while the RSN1080, RSN1055, AND RSN1025 would make up the receive side that attaches to the HDMI input on the TV set.

The chips’ LDPC forward-error correction help yield a 10–9-pixel error rate. HDCP keys protect the HD content for wireless HDCP AES encryption. All standard HD, standard-definition, and PC video formats up to 1080p are supported as well.



Nordic Semiconductor




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