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Chipcon Launches a high-performance and low-cost 2.4 GHz SoC with radio, Flash and 8051
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Oslo, Norway - Chipcon AS, the leading provider of low power, low data rate RF ICs, announced today the launch of a new product based on its SmartRF®04 technology platform. The CC2510 System-on-Chip (SoC) includes a 2.4 GHz RF transceiver, 32 kBytes of self-programmable Flash memory, 4 kBytes of RAM, a very low-power single-cycle 8051 MCU and many powerful peripheral modules. All of this fits inside a tiny 6 x 6 mm QLP-36 package.

The CC2510 is ideally suited for applications that require world-wide frequency regulations compliance as well as small size, long battery lifetime and short development times. Examples include wireless keyboard/mouse, wireless VoIP solutions, sports and leisure equipment, remote controls, wireless gaming accessories, cordless payment systems and active RF-ID systems.

"Chipcon has added an excellent new product to its extensive range of high-power, low-cost RF solutions," said Gopal Panchanathan, CEO of ThinkOptics, Inc., a Silicon valley-based innovator in Direct-Pointing remote controls. "The 2510 system allows us to design simple, low cost remote controls for many applications, including TV and PC Navigation, business presentations, and video gaming. We look forward to working closely with Chipcon to utilize its newest chip in our applications that will provide customers with unprecedented control of the appliances in their digital homes with a simple and low cost interactive device."

Unlike competing solutions, the CC2510 delivers everything the designer needs in a single silicon die, without requiring off-chip memory. There is unprecedented integration between the MCU and the radio, meaning that data can be transfered very efficiently without straining the processing power of the MCU. The CC2510 has been designed specifically for battery-powered applications, and includes an extremely low power sleep timer that can be used to wake up the chip from power-down mode at user-programmable intervals. This timer can run either from a 32 kHz watch crystal if high accuracy is needed, or from an internal RC oscillator for minimum parts count. 270 ěA/MIPS MCU power consumption in addition to extremely fast transition time between different operating modes means that designers can maximize battery life time in their systems. The CC2510 has a voltage supply range of 2.0 to 3.6V, so it can be powered directly from two AA or AAA alkaline cells.

The CC2510 MCU is a low-power single-cycle 8051 providing up to 26 MIPS (million instructions per second). In addition, Chipcon has included a powerful 5-channel DMA (direct memory access) controller that can handle data transfers between peripherals and memory without CPU intervention to avoid the traditional weakness of the 8051 core in moving data.

A wide set of peripherals has been included: an 8-channel 8-14 bit ADC, an AES-128 crypto co-processor, two UART/SPI interfaces, three 8-bit timers and one 16-bit timer with PWM capabilities. Together, these peripherals allow the CC2510 to perform all functions needed in a data collection or distribution system.

“In line with Chipcon’s commitment to provide low-cost solutions for emerging markets worldwide, the CC2510 allows electronic designers to put an entire system into an extremely small PCB area”, says Svein Tunheim, Chipcon’s Chief Technology Officer. “The high integration level also saves BOM (bill-of-materials) cost, as only a crystal and a few passive components are necessary to build the entire system. A significant advantage is reduced development time, as Chipcon provides a wide range of examples, libraries and tools to lessen the software development burden. At this point in time, software accounts for 80-90% of our customers’ total development effort. Reducing software development time will save our customers a lot of money and also allow them to bring products to market much faster”, he adds.

The in-system programmable flash memory in the CC2510 means that it is possible to upgrade firmware in the field, even transferring software updates over-the-air for maximum convenience. The AES-128 co-processor can be used to encrypt and authenticate the data so that this vital data is not tampered with or decoded.

The radio part of the chip is based on Chipcon’s highly successful CC2500 transceiver. This means it has the market’s best coexistence performance and the market’s lowest power consumption.

The CC2510 is supported by a world-class set of development tools, including the IAR C compiler with full in-system debugging support, an extensive set of libraries and examples, and an upcoming universal packet sniffer that can be configured to support any protocol.

The CC2510DK development kit will be available in January. In million quantities the CC2510 will be offered at USD 2.30. Volume production will commence in Q1 2006. Chipcon will offer a ROM version of the CC2510 to high-volume customers, pricing for this will be approximately 30% lower than for the Flash version.

About Chipcon's SmartRF®04 technology

The SmartRF®04 technology is Chipcon’s latest platform for product development. It is based on an advanced 0.18 µm CMOS technology facilitating superior RF-performance in combination with high density and low power integration of digital modules. SmartRF®04 includes high performance RF and analogue modules, as well as highly advanced digital signal processing and system design. SmartRF®04 is a unique technology platform for advanced and ultra-compact low-power, high performance mixed RF/analogue/digital integrated circuits, including true System-on-Chips (SoCs)

Dateline: 01/21/05