Development platform targets low power wireless designs

The newly released SX1211 Development Kit for PIC MCUs is a plug-and-play RF daughter board for use with development tools from Microchip Technology Inc. This new kit reportedly speeds time to market for low power wireless alarm, security, sensor network, automatic meter reading, and monitoring and control products that use the SX1211 wireless transceiver with Microchip’s PIC microcontrollers (MCUs).

The new plug-and-play RF daughter board contains all of the hardware required to connect to Microchip’s PIC18 Explorer board, which is used for development with PIC18 high-end 8-bit MCUs, and the Explorer 16 board, which is used for development with 16-bit PIC24 MCUs, 32-bit PIC32 MCUs, and dsPIC Digital Signal Controllers (DSCs). This compatibility is maintained by providing connectors for Microchip’s standard PICtail and PICtail Plus daughter board interfaces. Many SX1211 designs use these PIC MCUs because they offer high performance and very low power consumption, some with sleep currents as low as 20 nA via Microchip’s nanoWatt XLP extreme low power technology.

The SX1211 is part of a complete platform of ISM-band transceivers, which offer link budget and power efficient technologies. The SX1211 is optimized for asynchronous sensor network designs in the unlicensed industrial, scientific, and medical (ISM) frequency bands (868-870 and 902-928 MHz) where low RX power consumption is critical to battery life as the receiver is constantly waking up to sniff for signals.

The plug-and-play RF daughter board includes the SX1211 RF transceiver, an antenna, a 28-pin PICtail connector for the PIC18 Explorer board, and a 100-pin PICtail Plus connector for the Explorer 16 board. This daughter board also includes jumpers to help in configuring MCU-to-RF connection options. Also available on the company’s website is Wireless Star Network software, which can be run on the PIC MCUs (drivers available). For more information, visit Semtech Corp.

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