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Nordic Semi claims smallest 2.4GHz wireless SoC

Posted: 15 Sep 2008 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:2.4GHz wireless SoC? wireless? transceiver? MCU core?

2.4GHz ULP wireless SoC

Nordic Semiconductor ASA has released the nRF24LE1, a 2.4GHz ULP wireless SoC solution that enables a single-chip implementation in wireless applications.

The nRF24LE1 integrates a fully featured nRF24L01+ 2.4GHz transceiver core including Nordic's Enhanced ShockBurst hardware link layer. It delivers true ULP operation with peak currents low enough to run on coin cell batteries.

The nRF24LE1 also integrates an enhanced 8051 mixed signal MCU core featuring fewer clock cycles per instruction than legacy 8051 devices. Most instructions need just one or two clock cycles leading to an average performance improvement of 8x using the MIPS benchmark. This performance combined with 16Kbyte of on-chip flash plus 1Kbyte of SRAM ensures the processing platform is powerful enough to run both the RF protocol stack and application layer with ease, said Nordic.

A wide range of peripherals and power saving modes support the RF protocol stack. A ULP 32kHz crystal oscillator provides high accuracy timing for low report rate synchronous protocols and a 16MHz RC oscillator provides fast start-up times from idle. The 32kHz oscillator can provide timing accurate enough for higher report rate protocols without requiring an external crystal. A security co-processor supports AES encrypted wireless communication. The nRF24LE1 provides a range of nanoamp and microamp idle modes specifically designed for ULP RF protocol stacks. Further benefits include higher precision protocol timing, lower power consumption, and improved co-existence performance.

For the application layer, the nRF24LE1 offers a rich set of interfaces and peripherals including an SPI, 2-wire, UART, 12bit ADC, PWM and an analog comparator. As such, the nRF24LE1 is the suitable single chip solution for wireless applications including mice, keyboards, remote controls, game controllers, sports/healthcare sensors, toys and active RFID tags.

The nRF24LE1 is available in three package options. The tiny 4mm x 4mm 24-pin QFN option is said to be the smallest ULP single chip power solution available today and provides 7 programmable generic I/O pins. For applications where more I/O pins are needed the nRF24LE1 is also available in a 5mm x 5mm 32-pin QFN with 15 generic I/O pins, and a 7mm x 7mm 48-pin QFN with 29 generic I/O pins.

Engineering samples of the nRF24LE1 and development tools are widely available today. Pricing starts at $1.95 in 10K unit shipments.

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