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Cheapest solution for RF links?

Posted: 28 Apr 2005 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:chipcon as? smartrf 04? cc1100? rf transceiver? cc1150?

Chipcon AS launched two new products based on its SmartRF 04 technology platformthe CC1100 multi-channel RF transceiver and the CC1150 multi-channel rf transmitter that operate in the 315-, 433-, 868- and 915MHz license-free ISM bands. According to the press release, these two new devices provide the market's lowest total system cost solution for multi-channel one-way and two-way RF links.

The CC1100 and the CC1150 enable designers of applications such as AMR, home-automation and alarm/security systems to lower the cost of their RF solutions. "The low cost means that for the first time, multi-channel systems can be considered to replace obsolescent single-channel systems," said John Helge Fjellheim, VP of worldwide sales. "A multi-channel solution will have much better coexistence capabilities, and provide a much better fit to regulatory requirements such as frequency hopping in the United States and listen-before-transmit in Europe."

The two new devices have been designed from the start for very low power consumption, said the company. In addition to the low RX current consumption of 14mA to 15mA (depending on the required communication range), the CC1100 includes a wake-on-radio function that will lower the average system power consumption in a polled receiver system. The voltage range of the devices (1.8V to 3.6V) enables full utilization of the battery capacity. Both products are equipped with so-called burst mode data transmission capabilities, which allow the user to utilize the chips' high over-the-air data rate to lower the average current consumption. The programmable RF data rate (1.2kbps to 500kbps) allows designers to freely trade off range versus power consumption to find an optimal solution for their system.

The receiver of the CC1100 has a high sensitivity (-110dBm at 1.2kbps) and is designed for robust operation with excellent selectivity and blocking performance. The multi-channel capabilities of both the CC100 and CC1150 make them suitable for frequency-agile, listen-before-transmit and frequency hopping (FHSS) systems. In addition, they support FSK, GFSK, ASK/OOK and MSK modulation methods.

Both new products can transmit with a sufficiently broad signal frequency spectrum to satisfy the most recent FCC requirements (47.CFR15.247), where higher output powers than -1dBm are allowed in the 902MHz to 928MHz frequency band without utilizing frequency hopping. They also provide 10dBm output power in all frequency bands.

Cuts external component count

The devices have on-chip support for full packet handling, including preamble generation, sync word insertion/detection, address check, flexible packet length, and automatic CRC. These features off-load the external MCU and enable the use of low cost MCUs.

"The CC1100 and CC1150 usher in a new era for sub-1GHz RF chips, with their advanced digital functionality including forward-error correction (FEC), large 64-byte FIFOs and software compatibility with Chipcon's latest 2.4GHz radios," commented Chipcon CTO Svein Anders Tunheim. "The devices also require extremely few external components, dispersing with the SAW filters and tight-tolerance inductors often used in competing solutions."

The CC1100 is offered in a 4-by-4mm 20-pin QFP package, while the CC1150 in a 4-by-4mm 16-pin QFP package. They are supported by a combined development kitthe CC1100/CC1150DK. Customers who have already bought the CC2500/CC2550DK can buy the CC1100EMK and the CC1150EMK to upgrade the development kit they already have. In million quantities, the CC1100 and CC1150 will be priced at $1.3 and 8 cents, respectively. Volume shipments will start in Q3 2005.

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