Building on its automotive electronics and its commitment to connecting the car, NXP Semiconductors has introduced the NCK2983, a low-power multi-channel two-way UHF transceiver with an embedded microcontroller system that can uniquely receive up to three channels in parallel rather than sequentially. The device is suitable for use in both key fob and body control module-type applications, including keyless entry, remote start, tyre pressure monitoring systems (TPMS) and wireless diagnostics (WD).
Existing multi-channel transceivers are only able to poll for signals sequentially, one channel after another, in order to check every possible frequency that an application may be transmitting on. By enabling reception across three channels simultaneously, the NCK2983 device shortens the period it needs to be ‘awake’ when polling, significantly reducing overall power consumption while increasing system robustness.
The NCK2983 is able to receive multiple channels in parallel because it uses a pioneering Wideband Digital IF approach. Similar in concept to a Software Defined Radio, the high-performance, low-noise front end presents the down-mixed RF signal to a high-speed Sigma-Delta ADC, serving as input to up to three discrete receive channels in the DSP unit. Each channel can be configured independently, mixing down the signal to baseband according to the specific channel frequency, and applying relevant channel filter, demodulation and clock recovery settings.
The NCK2983 features a Fractional–N based frequency synthesiser that enables the device to operate in any of the common ISM bands and supports carrier frequency hopping at each of the three baseband channels. The NCK2983 also includes an embedded microcontroller system with 32 kB EROM (Flash) allowing complete applications to be implemented as single-chip solutions. The transceiver supports special power modes for battery-powered key and car operation such as sleep mode and low power polling mode.
With this feature set, the NCK2983 combines outstanding RF performance with highly sophisticated baseband signal processing - making the chip an ideal solution for two-way multi-channel applications in the automotive market.