Murata commits to low power radio
On the same day that it released a Bluetooth Low Energy module, Murata announced that it has joined a European configurable radio research programme.
The 20.0x13x2.4mm module, called LBCA2ZZVZE, includes a chip antenna and all the Bluetooth protocol stacks required for communication.
Based on the Texas Instruments’ CC2541 chipset, it runs from 2.2 to 3.6V, consumption is 100uA average for a 500ms connectional, and typical output power is -2dBm.
Certification is to Bluetooth 4.0, TELEC, FCC/IC and CE, and applications are expected with 8 or 16bit microcontrollers (via UART) in “a host of battery powered healthcare designs from blood pressure meters to bathroom scales”, said the firm.
On the research front, Murata has entered into a three year collaboration on reconfigurable radio IC design with Belgian lab IMEC.
Reconfigurable radios are an attempt to use a single hardware channel for access multiple wireless services.
“Multi-mode capabilities are a must, especially for emerging standards such as LTE Advanced [next-generation cellular] that use a broad range of operating frequencies and bandwidths,” said IMEC, which specialises in deep-submicron CMOS radio blocks including: reconfigurable RF, high-speed low-power ADCs, and alternative digital RF architectures.
“Nowadays, one of the main challenges in designing fully reconfigurable radios is minimising the stringent antenna interface requirements and making antenna filters reconfigurable,” said IMEC.
“IMEC was chosen as a R&D partner because of its longstanding expertise and excellent track-record in reconfigurable radio IC design. We hope that this collaboration with IMEC will give us insight into the technology and design challenges for next-generation reconfigurable radios,” said Norio Nakajima, v-p of module business at Murata. “This is important to leverage our knowhow in antenna interface components, and to identify opportunities for next-generation front-end modules.”
“We aim to develop reconfigurable radio transceivers competitive in terms of area, cost, performance and power consumption,” said IMEC director of radio Liesbet Van der Perre. “The transceivers will cover all key broadband communication standards including LTE and LTE advanced, digital broadcasting and 802.11n/ac.” – 802.11n/ac is next-generation Wi-Fi.