Batteries and Portable Power

Security MCU Integrates sub-GHz RF Transceiver

Expanding its broad portfolio of low-power, radio frequency (RF) solutions, Texas Instruments, Inc. (TI) today introduces the RF430F5978 microcontroller (MCU) and accompanying evaluation module (EVM). Building on TI’s CC430 product family, the RF430F5978 MCU is a highly-integrated RF solution with improved read zone and battery performance for ultra-low power applications. The RF430F5978 MCU includes a 3D low-frequency (LF) wake-up and transponder interface, an integrated 1GHz RF transceiver and programmable MSP430(TM) core. The LF transponder can even function without a battery supply. The 128-bit AES security encryption/decryption coprocessor adds advanced security for data protection. With its innovative wake-up and localization RF connectivity, this highly integrated system-in-a-package solution enables very small, compact designs with smaller batteries.

This MCU 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. One example that can help designers visualize the endless application possibilities using the RF430F5978 MCU is a data-logging and wireless-communication application for produce containers:

An RF4305978 MCU-based data-logger on a produce container can be triggered to wake up (via the LF wake-up interface) and programmed to send out temperature measurements (via the sub 1GHz RF interface) to an external reader when the container is within a pre-defined read zone. Security encryption on the MCU ensures that any information read or sent is only to and from an intended and authorized reader.

To get started evaluating the RF430F5978 MCU system, developers can purchase the RF430F5978EVM 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. The EVM includes a USB plug-in LF trigger module, RF430F5978 MCU evaluation board, AP434R01 access point and 3D LF antenna.

Using this EVM, designers can set up a demo where the RF430F5978 MCU captures data from multiple sensors over a period of time, and once triggered by the LF wake-up trigger from the reader, it will transmit collected data to the access point via RF link. This data is then sent on to the included host GUI to visualize the data curve and position of the object. The EVM comes with demo code, MSP430 code examples and the Code Composer Studio v. 6 integrated development environment. Designers can order the RF430F5978 MCU today. The MCU start at $5.75 in 1 ku volumes. The accompanying RF430F5978 EVM is available for $390 USD.

Texas Instruments Incorporated
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