Chipcon Launches Sub 1GHz Radio and MCU System-on-Chip: Breakthrough Solution for Wireless Payment Systems

* SoC solution ideal for wireless alarm/security systems, home automation, remote controls, wireless payment systems, remote keyless entry (RKE), automatic meter reading and active RFID

LAS VEGAS, CES, Jan. 5 /PRNewswire/ -- Chipcon AS, the leading provider of low power, low data rate RF ICs, today launched the CC1110 System-on-Chip (SoC) solution that includes a sub 1GHz RF multi-channel RF transceiver and a single-cycle 8051 MCU. The CC1110's integrated AES-128 co-processor makes it ideal for wireless payment systems, since strong encryption can be done on the chip itself. This improves security compared to having a separate cryptography unit. Using strong cryptography is vital for systems that transmit sensitive information, such as credit card information or other payment details, over the air where it could otherwise be intercepted or tampered with. Even alarm systems or monitoring systems can make use of cryptographic methods to authenticate the other side of the link so that they are sure they are communicating with a legitimate device.

With CC1110, Chipcon has upped the ante in the wireless chip market by making it possible to remotely upgrade firmware in the field, transferring software updates over-the-air for maximum convenience. This is enabled by the in-system programmable flash memory in the CC1110. Compared to existing wireless systems operating in the sub 1GHz band, the CC1110 provides the customers shorter time-to-market development, lower cost and smaller end product, due to the high integration level in the CC1110. Other application examples are home automation systems, automatic meter reading, remote controls, remote keyless entry (RKE) and active RFID. Chipcon will demo some of the end user applications at Booth#70622-C at CES.

The CC1110 SoC includes a sub 1GHz RF multi-channel transceiver, 32 kB of self-programmable Flash memory, 4 kB of RAM, a very low-power single-cycle 8051 MCU and many powerful peripheral modules. All of this fits inside a tiny 6 x 6 mm QLP-36 package. The CC1110 is pin- and software compatible with the recently released CC2510 2.4 GHz SoC, making it easy for Chipcon's customers to offer both 2.4 GHz and <1 GHz products.

"The CC1110 provides long range with its excellent link budget, and a low power solution with several programmable power modes. The CC1110 can easily interface with external sensors and actuators using its built-in ADC, PWM and digital I/O pins. It can then process the information and transmit it where it is needed via RF. Utilizing the CC1110 improves throughput, reduces physical size and reduces the development time compared to a conventional multi-chip solution", says Svein Anders Tunheim, Chipcon's Chief Technical Officer.

Unlike competing solutions, the CC1110 delivers everything the designer needs in a single silicon die, without requiring off-chip memory. It has been designed specifically for battery-powered applications, and includes an extremely low power sleep timer that can be used to wake up the chip from power-down mode at user-programmable intervals. It has a voltage supply range of 2.0 to 3.6V, so it can be powered directly from two AA or AAA alkaline cells.

The CC1110 MCU is a low-power single-cycle 8051 providing up to 26 MIPS (million instructions per second). In addition, Chipcon has included a powerful 5-channel DMA (direct memory access) controller that can handle data transfers between peripherals and memory without CPU intervention to avoid the traditional weakness of the 8051 core in moving data. A wide set of peripherals has been included: an 8-channel 8-14 bit ADC, an AES-128 crypto co-processor, two UART/SPI interfaces, three 8-bit timers and one 16-bit timer with PWM capabilities. Together, these peripherals allow the CC1110 to perform all functions needed in a data collection or distribution system. The in-system programmable flash memory in the CC1110 means that it is possible to upgrade firmware in the field, even transferring software updates over-the-air for maximum convenience. The AES-128 co-processor can be used to encrypt and authenticate the data so that this vital data is not tampered with or decoded.

The CC1110 is supported by a world-class set of development tools, including the IAR C compiler with full in-system debugging support, an extensive set of libraries and examples, and an upcoming universal packet sniffer that can be configured to support any protocol.

The CC1110DK development kit will be available in February. In million quantities the CC1110 will be offered at USD 2.50. Volume production will commence in Q1 2006.

About Chipcon AS: ( )

Chipcon is a leading international semiconductor company that designs, produces and markets high performance standard radio frequency integrated circuits (RF-ICs) for use in a variety of wireless applications in the 300 to 1000 MHz and 2.4 GHz frequency bands.

Chipcon targets both consumer electronics and home and building automation end markets and has strong positions both in proprietary and standards-based radio technologies.

Chipcon Group ASA is the parent company and holding company that controls the activities of its wholly owned subsidiaries Chipcon AS, Chipcon Inc. and Figure 8 Wireless Inc. Chipcon's products are distributed worldwide and we are represented at 55 locations in 31 countries.

On December 21, 2005, Texas Instruments announced it will acquire Chipcon AS. The acquisition expands TI's short-range wireless portfolio with world-leading RF transceivers from Chipcon and ultimately results in increased benefits of a wider product selection, enhanced technology and increased manufacturing resources. The transaction is expected to be complete end of January 2006.

For more information, visit Chipcon's Web site at, e-mail at Email Contact or call the company directly at +47 22 95 85 44.

About Chipcon's SmartRF(R)04 technology

The SmartRF(R)04 technology is Chipcon's latest platform for product development. It is based on an advanced 0.18 micrometer CMOS technology facilitating superior RF-performance in combination with high density and low power integration of digital modules. SmartRF(R)04 includes high performance RF and analogue modules, as well as highly advanced digital signal processing and system design. SmartRF(R)04 is a unique technology platform for advanced and ultra-compact low-power, high performance mixed RF/analogue/digital integrated circuits, including true System-on-Chips (SoCs).

CONTACT: Rick Ercolano, +1-619-542-1200, ext. 22, Email Contact,
or Vidar Bergli, +47-22-95-85-44, Email Contact, both of Chipcon AS

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