Connect devices to the IoT with energy harvesting

25th February 2015
Nat Bowers

Texas Instruments' SimpleLink ultra-low power wireless MCU platform helps customers go battery-less with energy harvesting or enjoy always-on, coin cell-powered operation for multiple years. This industry-first technology provides customers with the flexibility needed to develop products that support multiple wireless connectivity standards using a single-chip and identical RF design.

The ultra-low power platform is designed for low power operation, which includes a unique integrated sensor controller that interfaces external sensors autonomously while the rest of the device sleeps. The platform includes radio peak currents below 6.2mA and MCU active current of less than 61μA/MHz. The complete chip can stay in standby at only 1μA with memory retention and RTC running. This enables the platform to offer half the power of other MCUs according to EEMBC’s ULPBench with a score of 143.6. This ultra-low power consumption means that the MCUs can operate on a coin cell battery to power a light switch for 10 years and enable battery-operated mesh networks or energy harvesting-based sensor nodes.

The SimpleLink ultra-low power platform supports BLE, ZigBee, 6LoWPAN, Sub-1GHz, ZigBee RF4CE and proprietary modes up to 5Mb/s. The platform integrates an ARMCortex-M3 MCU, Flash/RAM, ADC, peripherals, sensor controller and built-in robust security on chip.

The first members of the SimpleLink ultra-low power wireless MCU platform are the CC2640 for Bluetooth Smart and the CC2630 for 6LoWPAN and ZigBee. For additional flexibility, customers can use the CC2650 wireless MCU supporting multiple 2.4GHz technologies including Bluetooth Smart, 6LoWPAN, ZigBee and RF4CE. Additional members of the platform, the CC1310 for Sub-1GHz operation and the CC2620 for ZigBee RF4CE, will be available later in 2015.

The platform is also easy to design with through ready-to-use protocol stacks, TI RTOS, Code Composer Studio IDE, development tools, online training and E2E community support. Minimal RF expertise is required with available reference designs, which simplify development and layout. Additionally, TI makes it easier for customers to connect to the cloud through the TI IoT cloud ecosystem.

SimpleLink ultra-low power wireless MCU platform-based development kits are available now. All development kits for 2.4 GHz operation are based on the CC2650 solution and are customised with technology-specific software for Bluetooth Smart, 6LoWPAN, ZigBee or ZigBee RF4CE operation.

The SimpleLink ultra-low power wireless MCU devices will be available in 4x4, 5x5 and 7x7mm QFN packages. The 7x7mm package is available now as part of TI’s sample programme, the other devices will follow in the coming month.

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