TEXAS Instruments has announced the new SimpleLink ultra-low power wireless MCU platform. The platform has been designed to use so little energy it can be powered from harvested energy or will run for years on a coin cell. For versatility the platform supports multiple wireless connectivity standards using a single-chip and identical RF design. The SimpleLink ultra-low power platform supports Bluetooth low energy, ZigBee, 6LoWPAN, Sub-1 GHz, ZigBee RF4CE and proprietary modes up to 5 Mbps.

The first members of the SimpleLink devices to be introduced are the CC2640 which supports Bluetooth Smart and the CC2630 for 6LoWPAN and ZigBee. The CC2650 wireless MCU supports multiple 2.4 GHz technologies including Bluetooth Smart, 6LoWPAN, ZigBee and RF4CE. The support for such a wide range of radio standards helps future-proof designs and gives the ability to configure a chosen technology at the time of installation in the field. Planned for introduction later in 2015 are the CC1310 for Sub-1 GHz operation and the CC2620 for ZigBee RF4CE.

At the heart of the SimpleLink ultra-low power platform is an ARM Cortex-M3 MCU, with Flash/RAM, analog-to-digital converter, peripherals, sensor controller and built-in on-chip security. Optimized for low-power operation, the platform has an integrated sensor controller that interfaces external sensors autonomously while the rest of the device sleeps. The maximum current during transmission is 9.1 mA (+5.0 dBm) and MCU active current of less than 61 µA/MHz. The complete chip can stay in standby at only 1.1 µA with memory retention and the real time clock running.

Development kits are also available and the platform supports ready-to-use protocol stacks, TI RTOS, Code Composer Studio integrated development environment (IDE), development tools, online training and E2E community support. Minimal RF expertise is required with available reference designs, which simplify development and layout.

The SimpleLink ultra-low power wireless MCU devices will be available in 4 x 4, 5 x 5 and 7 x 7 mm QFN packages. The unit price in 1000 unit quantities works out at $3.00 for the SimpleLink Bluetooth Smart CC2640 wireless MCU and $5.10 for the SimpleLink 6LoWPAN and ZigBee CC2630 wireless MCU.