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Chipcon Launches New State-of-the-Art Sub-1 GHz RF-Chips

Apr 25, 2005

OSLO, Norway (April 25, 2005) -- Chipcon AS, the leading provider of low power, low data rate RF ICs, announced today the launch of two new products based on its SmartRF®04 technology platform. The CC1100 multi-channel RF transceiver and the CC1150 multi-channel RF transmitter operate in the 315, 433, 868 and 915 MHz license-free ISM bands, and provide the market’s lowest total system cost solution for multi-channel one-way and two-way RF links. The CC1100 and the CC1150 share many similarities to Chipcon's 2.4 GHz CC2500 RF Transceiver and CC2550 RF Transmitter that were released in December last year. Pin- and register compatibility allows Chipcon's customers to utilize the same firmware for systems operating both at 2.4 GHz and below 1 GHz.
The CC1100 and the CC1150 enable designers of applications such as AMR, home-automation and alarm/security systems to lower the cost of their RF solutions considerably. "The very low cost means that for the first time, multi-channel systems can be considered to replace obsolescent single-channel systems," says John Helge Fjellheim, VP Worldwide Sales. "A multi-channel solution will have much better coexistence capabilities, and provide a much better fit to regulatory requirements such as frequency hopping in the US and listen-before-transmit in Europe," he continues.
"The CC1100 and the CC1150 follow in the footsteps of Chipcon's award-winning SmartRF®02 sub-1 GHz products," comments Geir Forre, President and CEO of Chipcon. "We are proud of launching new state-of-the-art products that affirm Chipcon's track record of innovation in this market area," he continues.
The CC1100 and the CC1150 have been designed from the start for very low power consumption. In addition to the already very low RX current consumption of 14-15 mA (depending on the required communication range), the CC1100 includes a wake-on-radio function that will dramatically lower the average system power consumption in a polled receiver system. The voltage range of the devices (1.8V to 3.6V) enables full utilization of the battery capacity. Also important for low power consumption, the start up time from power-down mode is as short as 0.5 ms. Both devices are equipped with so-called burst mode data transmission capabilities, which allow the user to utilize the chips' high over-the-air data rate to lower the average current consumption. The programmable RF data rate (1.2 to 500 kbps) allows designers to freely trade off range versus power consumption to find an optimal solution for their system.
No compromises have been made on the radio performance of the devices. The receiver of the CC1100 has a high sensitivity (-110 dBm at 1.2 kbps) and is designed for robust operation with excellent selectivity and blocking performance. The multi-channel capabilities of the CC1100 and CC1150 make them ideal for frequency-agile, listen-before-transmit and frequency hopping (FHSS) systems. The devices support FSK, GFSK, ASK/OOK and MSK modulation methods.
Both the CC1100 and the CC1150 provide 10 dBm output power in all frequency bands. Together with the excellent sensitivity, this provides a very good link budget and therefore long range. Also, the chips can transmit with a sufficiently broad signal frequency spectrum to satisfy the most recent FCC requirements (47.CFR15.247), where higher output powers than -1 dBm are allowed in the 902-928 MHz frequency band without utilizing frequency hopping.
The devices have on-chip support for full packet handling including preamble generation, sync word insertion/detection, address check, flexible packet length and automatic CRC. These features significantly off-load the external MCU and enable the use of very low cost MCUs. Svein Anders Tunheim, CTO of Chipcon says "The CC1100 and CC1150 usher in a new era for sub-1 GHz RF chips, with their advanced digital functionality including forward-error correction (FEC), large 64-byte FIFOs and software compatibility with Chipcon's latest 2.4 GHz radios. The devices also require extremely few external components, dispersing with the SAW filters and tight-tolerance inductors often used in competing solutions."
The CC1100 is offered in a 4x4mm 20 pin QFP package and the CC1150 in a 4x4mm 16 pin QFP package. The very small chip footprints combined with the very small number of external components enables the smallest possible form factor of a transceiver/transmitter solution.
The CC1100 and CC1150 are supported by a combined development kit, the CC1100/CC1150DK. Customers who have already bought the CC2500/CC2550DK can buy the CC1100EMK and the CC1150EMK to upgrade the development kit they already have. In million quantities the CC1100 and CC1150 will be offered at USD 1.3 and USD 0.8 respectively. Volume shipments will start in Q3 2005.