Texas Instruments (TXN) Unveils New Wireless MCU Platform

Texas Instruments (TXN - Analyst Report) or TI recently extended its low-power microcontroller (MCU) leadership with the launch of SimpleLink, its lowest power consuming MCU platform.

The SimpleLink platform consists of the CC2640 for Bluetooth Smart, and the CC2630 for 6LoWPAN and ZigBee. Also, customers can use the CC2650 wireless MCU supporting multiple 2.4 GHz technologies including Bluetooth Smart, 6LoWPAN, ZigBee and RF4CE for extra flexibility.

The CC2650EMK is priced at $99 and has two optimized plug-in boards to test RF performance with more nodes in a CC2650DK network. CC2650STK, which supports the next-generation Bluetooth Smart SensorTag, costs $299.00. Priced at $29, CC2650DK is a complete 2.4 GHz hardware, software and RF development platform for Bluetooth Smart, ZigBee and 6LoWPAN.

These SimpleLink-based development kits are now available at the TI Store and through TI authorized distributors. Other members – the CC1310 for Sub-1 GHz operation and the CC2620 for ZigBee RF4CE – will be available later in 2015.

The SimpleLink platform is the lowest-power-consuming and simplest-to-use wireless connectivity offering in the industry for the Internet of Things (IoT). The platform integrates a combination of ARM (ARMH - Snapshot Report) Cortex-M3 MCU, Flash/RAM, analog-to-digital converter, peripherals, sensor controller and built-in robust security on chip. It is also simple to develop with ready-to-use protocol stacks, TI RTOS, Code Composer Studio integrated development environment (IDE), development tools, online training and E2Ecommunity support.

The available reference designs can be handled with minimal RF expertise, which simplifies its development and layout. Also, TI enables customers to connect to the cloud through the TI IoT cloud ecosystem.

Of late, Texas Instruments is focusing on the emerging IoT and wearables market. The scope of IoT, which connects every possible electronic device and wearable, is huge for semiconductor companies. Research firms Gartner and IDC project stable growth in IoT-related spending through 2020. Primary focus areas of devices for the space include the ability to reduce energy consumption and cost.

Therefore, TI is in the process of revamping its product line and much of the recent growth in the embedded business is attributable to MCUs, some of the primary growth driving products.

Leveraging the latest MCUs with multi-standard support will enable high performance in applications with a reduction of overall power consumption along with sensor controller solutions that interface external sensors separately, while the rest of the device is sleeping. Also, it will enable customers to create future-proof designs and organize their chosen technology at the time of installation in the field.

Moreover, the latest products will enhance Texas Instruments’ differentiated product pipeline, thereby boosting revenues. However, Texas Instruments operates in an intensely competitive industry and companies such as Broadcom (BRCM - Analyst Report) and Analog Devices (ADI - Analyst Report) can pose stiff competition.

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