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New RF transmitter improves performance, reduces system cost

21 May 2012

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Semtech has announced a new radio transmitter for companies that need high performance and long battery life for consumer remote-control devices like garage door openers and remote keyless systems. Expanding its RFIC platform, the new SX1243 enters its market segment as a fully-integrated, low-cost FSK/OOK radio transmitter. It is designed to replace surface acoustic wave (SAW)-based resonator transmitters used in garage door openers, remote keyless entry (RKE) and other consumer remote-control systems.

The SX1243 features a fractional-N phase lock loop (PLL), which delivers higher performance and more flexibility while minimizing the BOM cost versus traditional SAW-based resonator designs. The part covers the frequency bands 310MHz to 450MHz, 860MHz to 870MHz, as well as 902MHz to 928MHz. This makes it ideally suited for worldwide operation and regulatory compliance for FCC 15.231/15.247, ARIB and European products under EN 300-220.

To extend battery life, the SX1243 has very low active current consumption of 11mA at +10dBm OOK or 15mA at +10dBm FSK. This makes it ideal for applications requiring coin cell batteries, which only support peak currents up to 20mA. The low active and sleep currents, combined with fast wake-up times from sleep to TX, also fits it for applications requiring fast wake-up and long battery lifetime.

The SX1243 features Semtech's exclusive Power & Go technology that purportedly reduces cost dramatically by eliminating the need for a microcontroller (MCU) to configure the part. In Power & Go mode, the part will automatically wake-up for transmission once data transitions are detected on the data pin and automatically return to sleep once the transitions cease. The company further explains that default configurations for Power & Go are preprogrammed but can be modified for high-volume applications. In other applications where more flexibility to configure parameters is desired, an interface for use with an external MCU is available.

Says Hardy Schmidbauer, director of Wireless ISM Products for Semtech: "The ability to use the part without an MCU gives it an advantage in both flexibility and cost."

While the SX1243 offers designers the benefit of significant board space savings, its small size and RoHS & WEEE compliance also contributes to energy conservation and hazardous waste reduction.

The SX1243 is currently available in production quantities and is priced at $0.55 per unit in 10,000-piece orders. Semtech also offers comprehensive design assistance, including field- and factory-based support.

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