Integrated ZigBee single-chip solution with an ARM Cortex-M3 MCU

May 20, 2013 // By Graham Prophet
Texas Instruments has announced the CC2538 system-on-chip (SoC); TI aims the ZigBee chip at applications in smart energy infrastructure, home and building automation, and intelligent lighting systems.

Positioned as the most integrated ZigBee solution available, the CC2538 is cost-efficient with an ARM Cortex™-M3 MCU, memory and hardware accelerators, including a security engine, on one piece of silicon. It supports ZigBee PRO, ZigBee Smart Energy and ZigBee Home Automation and lighting standards to deliver interoperability with existing and future ZigBee products. The SoC also supports IP standards-based development using IEEE 802.15.4 and 6LoWPAN IPv6 networks for maximum flexibility.

“The dynamic nature of smart energy, home automation and lighting systems require performance and flexibility to meet the varying memory, security and standard support needs of manufacturers,” said Mark Grazier, program manager, Wireless Connectivity Solutions, TI. “The CC2538 is truly a unique product in the market with its integration and support of ZigBee and other IP-based standards like 802.15.4 and 6LoWPAN IPv6.”

CC2538 offers: efficient processing for centralised networks and reduced bill of materials cost through the integrated ARM Cortex-M3 core; support for smart energy infrastructure applications with scalable memory options from 128K to 512K of flash; and the ability to sustain a mesh network with hundreds of end nodes via integrated 8K to 32K RAM options that are pin-for-pin compatible for maximum flexibility. It enables secure, fast bring-up of a system while using less energy through AES-128/256, SHA2 integrated hardware encryption engine, optional ECC-128/256, and RSA hardware acceleration engine for secure key exchange. The chip is optimised for battery-powered applications using only 1.3 uA in sleep mode; it operates up to 125 C and supports fast digital management—no interfaces are required externally or between system-on-chip components.

The CC2538 development kit (CC2538DK) provides a complete development platform and comes with CC2538 evaluation modules (CC2538EMK) and mother boards with an integrated ARM Cortex-M3 debug probe for software development and peripherals. The boards are also compatible with TI’s SmartRF™ Studio for running RF performance tests. The CC2538 comes in an 8 x 8mm QFN56 package for under $3.00 in high volumes. The