POWER: TI targets sensor nets, energy harvesting with MSP430 MCU/RF combo - Embedded.com

POWER: TI targets sensor nets, energy harvesting with MSP430 MCU/RF combo

Munich, Germany – At the Electronica show here, Texas Instruments Inc. introduced its new CC430 platform that it claims is the lowest power, single-chip radio-frequency (RF) solution for microcontroller- (MCU) based applications.

By reducing system complexity, shrinking package and printed circuit board (PCB) size by up to 50 percent and making RF design easy, the company said the CC430 platform is designed for such applications as RF networking, energy harvesting, industrial monitoring and tamper detection, personal wireless networks and automatic metering infrastructure (AMI).

The first CC430 devices are monolithic with high integration to allow for a 50 percent reduction in package and PCB space compared to two-chip solutions. Smaller board space and reduced complexity also help shrink the size of heat cost allocators and AMI smart metering systems, which are expected to make up 28 percent of all electric meters by 2013.

An extensive MSP430 MCU peripheral set will be available for CC430-based devices including intelligent, high-performance digital and analog peripherals like a 16-bit ADC and low power comparators that provide high performance ” even during RF transmissions ” and consume no power when not in operation.

Designers will be able to get up and running easily with a CC430 development kit and tools, such as the Code Composer Essentials (CCE) or IAR Integrated Development Environment (IDE). Third-party support, training and university programs, code examples and libraries also facilitate ease of use and shorten time to market.

Initial devices in the CC430 platform will be based on the 16-bit MSP430F5xx MCU and the industry's leading sub-1GHz CC1101 RF transceiver. TI's low power RF transceivers offer leading selectivity and blocking to ensure reliable communications even in noisy environments.

The F5xx MCUs are designed to allow developers to tap into peak execution performance of up to 25 MHz while consuming as low as 160uA/MHz (microamp per megahertz). As the CC430 platform evolves, future devices will leverage the newest TI MSP430 MCU and low power RF technologies.

The CC430 platform is 100 percent instruction set-compatible with other MSP430 platforms such as the MSP430F5xx, making upgrades easy and allowing choices from the entire portfolio for a range of applications.

In addition, the CC430 platform will enable code and design reuse with standalone MSP430 MCU and low power RF transceiver solutions. The first CC430 samples will be available in limited quantities in 1Q09 with mass-market sampling and further device introductions scheduled for later in the year. Pricing for initial devices will start at less than $2 in volume.

For more about the CC430 platform, go to www.ti.com. To learn more about energy harvesting, go to Good vibrations for energy harvesting andDesigning power systems to meet energy harvesting needs.

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