Driving down the cost of 2.4 GHz SoCs to under €2

October 02, 2012 // By Nick Flaherty
Texas Instruments has launched a 'value' line of low-cost radio frequency (RF) system-on-chip devices (SoCs) under €2 to drive 2.4 GHz links into more consumer applications.

The CC2543, CC2544 and CC2545 SoCs integrate a microcontroller (MCU), 32kB flash and one or two kB RAM on a single die, making them ideal solutions for consumer electronics requiring cost and space efficiency. Examples of such devices include computer peripherals, gaming devices, remote controls and toys. The three SoCs are distinguished by different numbers of general I/O pins and, for USB dongle applications, the CC2544 also comes equipped with a USB interface.

TI has also released the CC2543-CC2544DK development kit, which provides a complete hardware performance test platform and software development environment for 2.4 GHz proprietary applications. Additionally, for $99, developers can reuse the same base boards and upgrade to a Bluetooth low energy development environment.

“Building on the success of our sub-1 GHz value line, the 2.4 GHz RF value line SoCs offer solutions to engineers looking for compact, yet high performing radio frequency technology demanded by the consumer electronics applications market,” said Erling Simensen, product marketing manager, Wireless Connectivity Solutions at TI. “The level of integration achieved with the CC2543, CC2544 and CC2545 SoCs enables remote controls, keyboards, mice and more to be designed with a single chip as the only active component.”

The CC2543/44/45 feature a 2 Mbps data rate, 102 dB link budget and a less than 1 µA sleep current with sleep timer running. They are distinguished by different numbers of general I/O pins (with the CC2544 also supporting the USB interface). The three SoCs are over-the-air compatible with CC2500- and CC2510-based products, and the TPS62730 step down converter with bypass mode for ultra-low-power wireless applications. Additionally, developers can upgrade to have more memory or to include Bluetooth low energy support—the latter made possible by easily switching to the CC2540/41 SoCs, which also support Bluetooth low energy applications. Both CC2543/44 and CC2540/41 development kits (DKs) are using the same base-board and IDE.

The 2.4 GHz RF value line is available now and pricing starts