Bluetooth LE wireless MCUs make connectivity more affordable 

Texas Instruments has expanded its connectivity portfolio with a family of wireless microcontrollers (MCUs) that enable Bluetooth Low Energy (LE) at half the price of competing devices, it claimed. 

Pricing for the CC2340 family will start from $0.79, encouraging engineers to add Bluetooth LE connectivity to more products. 

“Industrywide, five billion Bluetooth-enabled devices are forecast to ship in 2022,” said Mark Powell, CEO of the Bluetooth Special Interest Group (SIG), the standards organisation that oversees Bluetooth technology. “The commitment and involvement of Bluetooth SIG members like Texas Instruments allow Bluetooth technology to meet the growing demands for enhanced wireless connectivity in a wider range of applications.”  

The CC2340R2 and CC2340R5 wireless MCUs, offering flash memory of 256kbyte and 512kbyte respectively, provide flexibility for engineers and ample space for application code. With the proliferation of Bluetooth LE applications, designers need additional memory capacity to update software remotely. The new wireless MCU family features 36kbyte of RAM with over-the-air download support.

The MCUs include standby current of less than 830nA, which is 40 per cent lower than competing devices, according to the company. The reduction in standby current helps extend battery life for up to 10 years on a coin cell battery in wireless applications, such as electronic shelf labels and tyre pressure monitoring systems, TI claimed. The CC2340 family features an operating temperature range of –40 degrees C to 125 degrees C to help ensure a stable connection across applications, from industrial sensors and medical laboratories to outdoor environments such as EV chargers or smart meters.

Engineers can expand RF performance and connection range with an output power up to +8dBm, which is claimed to be the industry’s highest among competing Bluetooth LE wireless MCUs. In addition, the CC2340 devices feature an integrated RF balun to enable a simpler design with fewer external components, leading to cost savings, the company claimed.

With the increased memory, longer battery life and wider temperature range at an affordable price, engineers can enable more connected everyday applications such as 

medical devices. In glucose meters, for example, the company claimed that the CC2340 MCUs’ standby current of less than 830nA leads to an end product shelf life of 18 to 24 months and two weeks of active Bluetooth LE operation on a coin cell battery.

In building automation, smart home hubs can take advantage of the CC2340 MCUs’ wireless protocol support and output power range up to +8dBm. In personal care applications, an electric toothbrush, for example, the CC2340 wireless MCUs offer low power consumption in sleep mode, and can extend battery life, said the company.

To simplify implementation, engineers can connect with TI applications engineers through the TI E2E Bluetooth support forum. Engineers also have access to the royalty-free Bluetooth LE software stack, which TI has supported and kept updated since 2010.

Customers can request samples and a development kit (LP-EM-CC2340R5). The new wireless MCUs are expected to be in volume production in the first half of 2023. 

The CC2340R2 and CC2340R5 wireless MCUs are the latest addition to the SimpleLink portfolio that provides innovative connectivity solutions to serve the industrial, automotive and personal electronics markets.

TI will demonstrate the CC2340 wireless MCUs at Embedded World (21-23 June) in Nuremberg, Germany, at Booth 3A-215.

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