Freescale RF Transceiver Adds Wireless Capabilities to Microcontroller

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Freescale Semiconductor is extending wireless capabilities to its popular Kinetis microcontrollers (MCUs) with a new 2.4 GHz IEEE 802.15.4 transceiver for home automation and industrial control applications.

Freescale’s new MCR20AVHM wireless transceiver can be paired with the company’s Kinetis MCUs based on ARM Cortex-M0+ and Cortex-M4 technology, which power a wide variety applications, including home area networks consisting of meters, gateways, in-home displays, and connected appliances. Other applications include networked building control, home automation applications with lighting control, HVAC, security, and remote controls for home entertainment products.

The MCR20AVHM wireless transceiver features outstanding radio frequency (RF) performance, low-power operation and a small footprint size. Integrated with Kinetis MCUs, this creates opportunities for many existing end-products within the fast-growing Internet of Things (IoT) market.

The new transceiver also features hardware dual personal area network (PAN) functionality, which enables communication with multiple networks via a single radio, as well as antenna diversity for robust RF performance in harsh environments. The MCR20A allows customers to seamlessly add wireless connectivity to their products, with the flexibility to pair with multiple MCUs depending on application needs.

Users can employ Freescale’s Freedom development kit for the MCR20AVHM and connect it to the Kinetis KL46 and K64F Freedom boards for a full development system. Enablement support for the MCR20AVHM includes a compliant IEEE 802.15.4-2011 PHY-MAC implementation based on the existing Kinetis Software Development Kit (SDK), which enables portability to other Kinetis devices as well.

The MCR20A provides a world-class link budget of 110 dB that ensures the longest range of communication. At the same time, the MCR20A is able to receive and transmit at significantly lower peak currents than other competitive devices, enabling mesh networks to run on the same battery for a much longer period. (In a mesh network, each node relays data for the network and all mesh nodes cooperate in the distribution of data in the network. Such networks are expected to be widely deployed in IoT applications.)

The dual PAN support allows the system to concurrently participate in two 802.15.4 networks, eliminating the need for multiple radios.


Freescale Semiconductor designs and produces embedded hardware and software for the automotive, networking, industrial and consumer markets, with an emphasis on technology enablement of the Internet of Things, software-defined networking (SDN) and advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS). Freescale’s product portfolio includes microcontrollers, microprocessors, digital signal processors, digital signal controllers, sensors, RF power integrated circuits (ICs), power management ICs, and software development tools to support product design and development.

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