Cheap ISM Band Chips Make Wireless Design Simple

Aug. 10, 2011
Low cost sub-1 GHz ISM band transceivers improve wireless connectivity.

The Texas Instruments CC110L transceiver works in the assigned industrial, scientific, and medical (ISM) bands with any one of several modulation methods. It provides flexible support for packet-oriented systems. On-chip support for sync work detection, flexible packet length, and automatic cyclic redundancy code (CRC) calculation is included. An on-chip 64-byte RX and TX FIFO is provided. External control is by way of an serial peripheral interface (SPI) port.

The Value Line family from Texas Instruments offers wireless connectivity solutions using low-power sub-1-GHz radio frequency (RF) technology. Its low-cost radio chips target applications such as remote controls, toys, home and building automation, industrial monitoring and control, and alarm and security systems.

The family includes the CC115L transmitter, the CC113L receiver, and the CC110L transceiver, which are all available immediately (see the figure). In high volume, the line provides a complete, one-way RF link for less than $1. The devices are based on TI’s sub-1-GHz CC1101 RF technology, and they are pin-, register-, code-, and backward-compatible with existing sub-1-GHz systems.

The family boasts a one-way RF link for $1 in high volumes (transmitter + receiver bundle), as well as a complete design with reduced component count that’s ready for Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI) certification. The low-cost reference design features a compact printed-circuit board (PCB) antenna.

The Value Line also promises low-power operation with long battery life, with a fast startup time of 0.24 ms from power down to receive or transmit and a 0.2-µA sleep current. The devices are flexible and backward-compatible with existing sub-1-GHz systems as well. They support multiple modulation formats with two-level frequency-shift keying (2-FSK), four-level frequency-shift keying (4-FSK), Gaussian frequency-shift keying (GFSK), and on-off keying (OOK) in addition to multiple frequency bands, including 300 to 348, 387 to 464, and 779 to 928 MHz.

Furthermore, their programmable data rate ranges from 0.6 to kbits/s. It’s easy to switch between one-way and two-way solutions with their pin, register, and code compatibility. And, the parts are compatible with the TI CC1190 range extender, the MSP430 Value Line microcontroller, and the TPS62730 step-down converter with bypass mode for ultra-low-power wireless applications

When longer-range communications are needed, the CC1190 range extender is the must-have accessory. This chip provides up to +27-dBm transmit output power, –120-dBm receive sensitivity, and up to +20-dBm output power without frequency-hopping spread spectrum (FHSS) under FCC guidelines.

The sub-1-GHz RF Value Line is available today from Texas Instruments and through authorized TI distributors. The chips comply with the European Union’s Restrictions on Hazardous Substances (RoHS) and come in 4- by 4-mm QFN-32 packaging. Pricing starts at $0.75 in 1000-unit quantities.

The CC11xLDK-868-915 development kit is available today for $299 at TI’s e-store. An additional CC11xLEMK-433 development kit is available for $99. The CC11xLDK-868-915 and CC11xLEMK-433 development kits provide complete hardware performance testing and software development platforms for the new product family.

Also, the kits offer new low-cost reference designs, with a compact PCB antenna for 433, 868, and 915 MHz, featuring a reduced component count and complete design ready for FCC and ETSI certification. The small-size, compact PCB helix antenna is only a quarter of the size of previous PCB antennas, and it’s useful for applications requiring high antenna efficiency in a compact area.

Texas Instruments Inc.

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