Low power dual-band wireless microcontroller has Cortex M3 core, 128 Kbytes of flash

By Jim Harrison

The CC1350 cost-effective, low-power wireless MCU is capable
of handling both sub-1 GHz and 2.4 GHz RF frequencies. The device combines a
flexible, very low-power RF transceiver with a 48-MHz Cortex-M3 processor in a platform
supporting multiple physical layers and RF standards. This combination of communications
the longest range RF together with a Bluetooth low energy smartphone connection
that enables great user experience. The chip has a dedicated radio controller (a
Cortex-M0) that handles low-level RF protocol commands that are stored in ROM
or RAM, thus ensuring ultra-low power and flexibility and updatability.

The IC offers a range of up to 20 km on a coin cell battery
for building and factory automation, alarm and security, smart grid, asset
tracking, and wireless sensor network applications. Dual-band connectivity expands
the functionality of a sub-1 GHz network with Bluetooth low energy
implementations such as beaconing, over-the-air updates, smart commissioning, and
remote displays.


 Targeting low-power wide area
networks (LPWAN), the transceiver in the CC1350 can operate in the 315, 433,
470, 500, 779, 868, 915, and 920 MHz bands and the 2.4 GHz ISM band. The IC is
available in a 7 x 7 mm QFN package, and will also come in 4 x 4, 5 x 5 mm versions.
It uses a Cortex M3 processing core with 128 Kbytes of flash and has a sleep
current of 0.7 uA, which allows for as much as 10 years of battery life. It
uses a supply voltage of 1.8 to 3.8 V. In Rx the chip takes 5.4 mA in sub-1 GHz
mode, or 6.4 mA in Bluetooth LE 2.4 GHz Rx operation. Supply current in
transmit at +10 dBm is 13.4 mA for Sub-1 GHz operation and 22.3 mA at +9 dBm using
Bluetooth LE and 2.4 GHz modes.

The IC also offers excellent receiver
sensitivity of –124 dBm using long-range mode, –110 dBm at 50 kbits/s (sub-1
GHz), –87 dBm at Bluetooth LE. Selectivity (±100 kHz) is 56 dB and blocking performance
(±10 MHz) is 90 dB. It has a RTC, an 8-channel 12-bit A/D converter, a AES-128 security
module, a true random number generator, support for eight capacitive sensing
buttons, and a temperature sensor. The LAUNCHXL-CC1350 LaunchPad development kit
is available for only $29. The CC1350F128RGZR IC costs $4.60 ea/1,000.