Low-cost BLE wireless MCUs offer high-quality RF, power performance

Low-cost BLE wireless MCUs offer high-quality RF, power performance
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Semiconductor company Texas Instruments has announced a new family of wireless microcontrollers (MCU) that are offered as enabling high-quality Bluetooth Low Energy (LE) at half the price of competing devices.
By Rich Pell

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The SimpleLink Bluetooth LE CC2340 family, says the company, features best-in-class standby current and radio-frequency (RF) performance.

“The adoption of Bluetooth LE is accelerating and our embedded world demo of the CC2340 family will show you how to quickly and easily add the technology to any application,” says Marian Kost, vice president and general manager of Connectivity at Texas Instruments. “The new MCUs will provide high-quality RF and power performance at an affordable price, backed by unrivaled technical support and internal manufacturing capacity investments that will help meet our customers’ demand for years to come.”

The CC2340R2 and CC2340R5 wireless MCUs, offering flash memory of 256KB and 512KB respectively, are offered as providing exceptional flexibility for engineers and ample space for application code. Additionally, says the company, with the proliferation of Bluetooth LE applications, designers need additional memory capacity to easily update software remotely. The new wireless MCU family features 36KB of RAM with over-the-air download support.

The new MCUs include standby current of less than 830 nA – claimed to be 40 percent lower than competing devices. The reduction in standby current helps extend battery life for up to 10 years on a coin cell battery in wireless applications such as electronic shelf labels and tire pressure monitoring systems. The CC2340 family also features an operating temperature range of –40ºC to 125ºC to help ensure a stable connection across applications, from industrial sensors and medical laboratories to outdoor environments such as EV chargers or smart meters.

Engineers are also able to expand RF performance and connection range with an output power up to +8 dBm, offered as the industry’s highest among competing Bluetooth LE wireless MCUs. In addition, the CC2340 devices feature an integrated RF balun to enable a simpler design with fewer external components.

With the increased memory, longer battery life, and wider temperature range at an affordable price, says the company, engineers can enable more connected everyday applications such as:

  • Medical devices: In glucose meters, for example, the CC2340 MCUs’ standby current of less than 830 nA leads to an end-product shelf life of 18 to 24 months and two weeks of active Bluetooth LE operation on a coin cell battery.
  • Building automation: Smart-home hubs can take advantage of the CC2340 MCUs’ wireless protocol support and output power range up to +8 dBm.
  • Personal care: For products such as an electric toothbrush, the CC2340 wireless MCUs offer low power consumption in sleep mode, and can extend battery life.

To get started with the CC2340 wireless MCUs, customers can request samples as well as a development kit (LP-EM-CC2340R5) priced at $39. The new wireless MCUs are expected to be in volume production in the first half of 2023. Pricing for the CC2340 family will start as low as $0.79 for 1,000-unit quantities.

Texas Instruments

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