Low cost high performance multi-channel RF module

13 January 2009

Radiocrafts AS, a leading provider of compact RF modules, now expand their product line with a completely new module series, the low cost high performance RC11x0.

This is a multi-channel RF transceiver with embedded protocol, breaking the USD 10 limit in volume. The series includes models for use in the license free ISM bands at 433, 868 and 915 MHz. The new modules have numerous applications in M2M communication, sensor and control networks.

The module is a complete RF system solution with a high performance multi-channel FSK radio transceiver and a packet protocol handler with an easy-to-use UART interface. The embedded RC232 protocol provides a point-to-multipoint solution with individual addressing or broadcast, and CRC check for signal integrity. The module can also be used as a wireless RS232 / RS485 cable replacement.

The compact RC11x0-RC232 module, measuring only 12.7 x 25.4 x 3.3 mm, makes up a complete RF modem in one single tiny package, replacing tens of components compared to a discrete design. No external components are required, except an antenna. The modules are delivered on tape and reel for efficient volume production. It’s small size and low power consumption makes it ideal for integration into size constrained battery operated equipment.

The modules are based on a new very low cost platform, and have been developed for volume applications with a price target of less than USD 10 at 50k.

The ISM bands are used and shared by more and more applications, putting higher demands on the coexistence of radio systems. Due to cost reasons ASK systems have been preferred in the low cost segment, but these are more subject to interference. The new RC11x0 series from Radiocrafts offers a high performance solution based on robust FSK modulation, and outstanding selectivity and blocking properties. By combining state-of-the-art RF technology, and a streamlined module assembly and test production line, the new module series offers a unique combination of performance and price.

The RC1140 (433 MHz) and RC1180 (868 MHz) modules are pre-certified for operation under the European radio regulations for license-free use. When used with quarter-wave antennas a line-of-sight range of 1200 and 600 meters, respectively, can be achieved. The RC1190 (915 MHz) is designed for operation under the FCC regulations.

Equipment manufacturers can now get a complete low cost wireless solution in a small compact formfactor that is easy to integrate, with only two pins for data I/O, one pin for supply voltage and one pin for the antenna. OEM manufacturers without RF design knowledge can now easily add a robust wireless solution to their space limited products, and significantly reduce time-to-market, development and compliance testing cost. Modules and Demo Kits are available now.

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