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SiLabs debuts wireless microcontrollers

March 01, 2010 // By R. Colin Johnson

Silicon Laboratories has combined its line of microcontrollers with its line of wireless transceivers to create a family of 12 wireless microcontrollers which can single handedly handle many battery operated applications.

"Our new family offers the best of both worlds, a radio-frequency (RF) transceiver with a built-in power amplifier married to an extremely low-power high-performance microcontroller," said Mike Salas, director of business development at Silicon Labs (Austin, Texas).

Silicon Labs claims its ultra-low-power family of 8051-compatible microcontrollers already had the industry's lowest active current consumption, and its lowest sleep current. Plus its line of wireless transceivers already offered +20 dBm output power without an external PA and -121 dBm receiver sensitivity.

Together with an on-chip dc-to-dc converter for operating at .9 volts, the new Si10xx family of wireless microcontrollers is claimed to increase the lifetime of the battery powered RF devices using it by five times.

The 12 members of the new Si10xx family of wireless microcontrollers all have integrated analog-to-digital converters and on-chip flash memory ranging from 8-to-64kbytes.

Silicon Labs is targeting its new wireless microcontroller family at RF battery-operating applications such as home automation, smart meters, on-site utility monitors and security systems.


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