DALLAS -- Texas Instruments Inc. here today added a new radio-frequency transceiver IC with a recently introduced low-power microcontroller to expand its portfolio for RF transmission applications. The TRF6900 transceiver and the MSP430 MCU make up what TI says is the industry's first two-chip set combining RF data transmission and reception with a microcontroller for 850-950 MHz operation.
For the past five years, TI has been working on RF devices, mostly focused on cellular telephones. The new bipolar transceiver moves the company into other handheld-device applications, using narrow-band FM, FSK and OOK/ASK transmission links, said Ron Drafz, strategic marketing manager for mixed-signal RF products.
The TRF6900/MSP430 chip set is aimed at a wide range of handheld and wireless systems, including utility meter reading, home control systems, digital cordless phones, wireless modems and PC peripherals, smart toys, security systems, and medical products. TI said a complete system can have a bill of materials less than $6 using the chip set.
The new transceiver is made with a bipolar process technology, but it also has CMOS circuits on the device, Drafz said. About half of the chip is digital circuitry and the other half is RF. The TRF6900 chip saves space by integrating phase-locked loop (PLL), voltage controlled oscillator (VCO), and transmit power amplifier. It also has an on-chip 24-bit direct digital synthesizer (DDS) with an 11-bit digital-to-analog converter (DAC), making it possible to support design that can communicate with 50 or more external system with channel hopping capability.
Samples of the transceiver are available now with production slated to begin in November. In quantities of 10,000, the TRF6900/MSP430 chip set has a listed price of $7.95 each.
In addition to the bipolar transceiver, TI is also developing other RF devices for wireless applications, including ICs made with silicon germanium (SiGe). Silicon-based BiCMOS, CMOS and bipolar products are also being produced of developed by TI. "The only thing we're not working on is gallium arsenide after TI sold off its GaAs foundry activities to Triqunit," Drafz said.