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Smart radio targets wireless metering, medical apps

Posted: 10 Oct 2011     Print Version  Bookmark and Share

Keywords:smart radio  wireless metering  networking solution 

Freescale Semiconductor releases an ultra-low power, sub-1GHz MC12311 smart radio, expanding the company's portfolio of wireless connectivity solutions. The MC12311 features software and development tool support, making it a ready-to-go wireless networking solution ideal for smart metering, medical, building and home automation applications.

The MC12311 platform combines a sub-1GHz RF transceiver featuring high link budget and strong blocking immunity and a low-power, high-speed 8bit HCS08 MCU in a single land grid array (LGA) package, along with outstanding support in the form of multiple protocol stacks, development tools and reference designs to decrease design effort and time to market.

"Our new MC12311 smart radio offers consistent and robust RF performance as well as feature-rich flexibility to help simplify and speed our customers' path to market," said Bruno Baylac, director of Freescale's metering, medical and connectivity solutions business.


Freescale's MC12300 is a ready-to-go wireless networking solution that integrates a 1-subGHz RF transreceiver.

The MC12311 helps designers quickly connect to the smart grid by making it easier to add wireless connectivity to many types of equipment. The device provides improved propagation and increased range for home area network RF communication to perform the wireless last mile connection for utility meter reading. It can connect smart meters to remote displays that show consumption data and thermostats that help control energy use.

For medical applications, the MC12311 can replace cables to eliminate problems associated with wired connectivity, including cable or connector damage as well as the potential spread of infection. Additional application examples include ultra-low-power medical sensors worn on the body, wireless building sensors that detect temperature and humidity, garage door openers and general cable/wire replacement.

Freescale's MC12311 platform solution supports 290 to 340MHz, 424 to 510MHz and 862 to 1020MHz frequencies while complying with global and local regulations. The MC12311 also includes the HCS08QE 8bit MCU with up to 50MHz bus clock, embedded 32Kb flash memory and 2Kb RAM to support wireless communication protocol and application software in a single chip. The MCU offers multiple 16bit timers, up to 33 GPIO, 13bit port keyboard interrupt, 10-channel 12bit ADC, SCI, I2C and dual analogue comparators.

Leading RF performance and security features include:
 • Budget link up to +137 dB
 • Up to -120 dBm sensitivity at 1.2Kbps, -105 dBm at 38.4Kbps, -18 to +17 dBm output in step of 1 dBm
 • "Bulletproof" front end: IIP3 = -18 dBm, IIP2 = +35 dBm, 80 dB blocking immunity
 • Low-power features such as 100 nA configuration retention, 16 mA Rx current, 20 mA Tx current at 0 dBm and 33 mA Tx current at +10 dBm make the MC12311 suitable for battery-operated equipment
 • Support of multiple modulation schemes (GFSK, MSK, GMSK and OOK), enabling a common, flexible platform development compliant with multiple standards
 • Embedded full packet engine with FIFO, synch word recognition, CRC computation and AES128 encryption and decryption without MCU running, enabling low-power implementations

The MC12311 platform solution is available in a RoHS-compliant 8x8, 60-pin LGA package, supporting -40 to 85°C operating temperatures with a voltage range from 1.8V to 3.6V to meet industrial and medical application requirements. Sample quantities of the MC12311 are now available from Freescale, with pricing starting at $2.79 in 1,000-unit quantities. Development kits are expected to be available from authorised distributors by December 2011.

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