Ultra-low-power, dual-band wireless MCUs target IoT networks

September 16, 2016 // By Graham Prophet
Intended for tasks such as monitoring IoT networks from a handheld device, Texas Instruments' latest series of microcontrollers are single-chip Sub-1 GHz plus Bluetooth low energy ICs.

As part of TI’s pin-to-pin and software compatible SimpleLink ultra-low power platform, the SimpleLink dual-band CC1350 wireless MCU enables developers to move from a three-chip solution to a single chip, while reducing design complexity, saving power, cost and board space. The CC1350 wireless MCU 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.

Designed for low-power wide area networks (LPWAN), the CC1350 wireless MCU features dual-band connectivity; a sub-1 GHz network together with Bluetooth low energy allows implementations such as beaconing, over-the-air updates, smart commissioning, remote displays and more. Long-range connectivity paired with ultra-low power consumption comes with a sleep current of 0.7 µA which allows for more than 10 years of battery life. The wireless MCU combines a Sub-1 GHz transceiver and Bluetooth low energy radio, as well as an ARM Cortex-M3 core in a single, Flash-based, 4x4 mm QFN package.

Development tools include the low-cost SimpleLink CC1350 wireless MCU LaunchPad development kit; connection to the cloud is demonstrated by the SimpleLink CC1350 SensorTag demo kit supported by TI’s Code Composer Studio integrated development environment (IDE) and IAR Embedded WorkBench. TI has multiple software options including point-to-point communication examples with EasyLink, a wireless M-Bus protocol stack using TI RTOS, as well as the BLE-Stack 2.2 software development kit (SDK) which supports Bluetooth 4.2 specifications.