LONDON Centre Suisse d'Electronique et de Microtechnique (Neuchatel, Switzerland) has produced a one-volt RF transceiver with an integrated DSP tailored for portable wireless communications in such things as wireless sensor networks and body area networks.
CSEM is due to present technical details of its "icycom" chip at the International Solid State Circuits Conference in San Francisco held Feb 7 to 11 but already has samples and development kits available.
While battery life is partly driven by the radio transmission, in such wireless systems, it is also dependent on sensor data acquisition and associated local processing. Efficient local digital signal processing (DSP) would allow compression of the sensor information and thereby reduction of the energy consumption associated with the transmission of the resulting information.
CSEM has developed an RF system-on-chip (SoC) integrating a 900-MHz RF transceiver, a 32-bit 150-microamp/MHz dual-MAC DSP RISC core with 96kbytes of SRAM. Named icycom, the SoC runs off a 1-V supply, compatible with a single alkaline cell, and is optimized for long battery life, consuming 3.5mA in receiving active mode, 40mA for 10dBm transmission and 1.1 microamps in standby with a real-time clock running. Additional peripherals such as a voltage-divider to also address lithium batteries, ADC, SPI, I2C, UART, I2S, etc, are all included on the same chip, resulting in a compact system solution.
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