Low-power-radio transceiver takes more onboard

A Micrel product story
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Edited by the Electronicstalk editorial team May 27, 2004

The MICRF505 is Micrel's next-generation RadioWire transceiver, designed to save space and cost while increasing performance and ease of use.

The MICRF505 is Micrel's next-generation RadioWire transceiver, designed to save space and cost while increasing performance and ease of use.

It is also the first product resulting from the recent acquisition of Oslo, Norway-based Bluechip Communications.

The MICRF505 transceiver operates from 850 to 950MHz and supports frequency shift keyed (FSK) modulation at datarates up to 200Kbit/s.

Many functions are user programmable including the frequency synthesiser, making the MICRF505 suitable for frequency-hopping applications.

Reducing the overall size and lowering the total bill of materials (BOM) has been the primary objective in the design of the new transceiver.

Through high integration, the number of external components has been reduced to just a few capacitors, an inductor and a crystal.

Packaged in a 5 x 5mm MLF, the MICRF505 is designed to accommodate low cost, low accuracy crystals.

To address this, Micrel has added a frequency error estimator to determine frequency mismatch between communicating transceivers and an internal crystal tuning mechanism to enable automated crystal tuning on the fly.

The MICRF505 also incorporates an internal clock recovery circuit to reduce the burden on its companion baseband device enabling the use of a lower cost microcontroller.

"We are really focused on doing all we can to drive our customers' system cost down to an absolute minimum", says Scott Brown, Director of Mixed-Signal and RF Products.

"Within the company we are referring to this as the 'BEST' RF product - an acronym for better, smaller, easier transceiver", says Brown.

"And we really feel we've pushed the envelope in all directions to produce a superior product in every respect: best-in-class performance, best in-class-integration and easier to both use and manufacture", he concludes.

For Micrel Norway, formed after the Bluechip acquisition, Managing Director Stein Eskerud says: "We have been working with Micrel on the codevelopment of the MICRF505 for some time and are very pleased to now be part of the Micrel family and very excited at the release of this product".

"This new transceiver continues our leadership in wireless products and we expect a great deal of interest from the marketplace".

The MICRF505 features high sensitivity, selectivity and transmit power so RF performance has not been sacrificed in the process of driving down BOM cost.

In fact by integrating the transmit/receive (T/R) switch there are no switch losses, making the system level RF performance even higher.

Samples are available, and production quantities are stock to 8 weeks ARO.

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