Microcontroller suited for low-power RF applications

18th June 2014
Nat Bowers

Featuring improved read zone and battery performance for ultra-low power applications, Texas Instruments has announced the RF430F5978 microcontroller. This highly integrated RF solution is suited for low-power RF applications, such as wireless sensor networks, data-loggers, active transponders, remote monitoring systems, container tracking, access control and asset control/management systems.

The RF430F5978 features a 3D low-frequency (LF) wake-up and transponder interface (which can function even without a battery supply), an integrated 1GHz RF transceiver and programmable MSP430 core. An integrated 128-bit AES security encryption/decryption coprocessor adds advanced security for data protection, product authentication and secure access control. With innovative wake-up and localisation RF connectivity, the MCU enables very small, compact designs with smaller batteries.

The RF430F5978 MCUs further reduce power consumption by allowing the shutdown of the RF radio and quick start up of the LF wake-up function. This significantly extends battery life and the ability to shut down the radio and start up on the LF trigger. Within a 4m radius of a reader’s LF trigger, the MCU can track position and distance to 5cm with the 3D LF transponder using RSSI (return signal strength indicator).

Texas Instruments has also released the RF430F5978EVM evaluation module (EVM) to help users evaluate the key features of the RF430F5978 MCU, 3D LF wake-up and trigger function, passive battery-less transponder operation and resonant trimmings. It includes a USB plug-in LF trigger module, RF430F5978 MCU evaluation board, AP434R01 access point and 3D LF antenna.

Priced from $5.75 (USD) in 1,000 unit quantities, the RF430F5978 MCU is available now. The accompanying RF430F5978 EVM is available for $390 (USD).

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