Going crystal-less is easy with the world's first crystal-less, wireless SimpleLink™ MCU


 

Innovation in the semiconductor industry is often about adding on to an existing product, but less is more when it comes to design. At TI, we looked at the electronic build of materials (BOM) surrounding our SimpleLinkTM wireless MCUs and decided it was time to make the external high-frequency crystal disappear without compromising any features or capabilities. Sounds like magic, right? This is where our revolutionary TI bulk acoustic wave (BAW) technology comes into play.

We recently started sampling the CC2652RB, which is the world's first crystal-less, multi-standard wireless MCU capable of communicating over Bluetooth® Low Energy, ZigBee and Thread or any combination thereof. Check out how the CC2652RB supports dynamic multi-standards.

There is no need to change your designs – the CC2652RB only opens up endless possibilities for more design options…The real magic is in how.

Migrating from CC2652R to CC2652RB from a software perspective is basically very simple: It only involves changing the clock source register, which can all be done in the common SimpleLink platform software development kit (SDK). The SDK for CC13x2 and CC26x2 devices will be shared between CC2652R and the new crystal-less CC2652RB soon (until then there is a stand-alone installer available).

Figure 1: The BAW technology fabricated on silicon die.

 

From a hardware perspective, the CC2652RB and CC2652R are 100% pin-to-pin compatible. The CC2652RB uses the same silicon as the existing CC2652R multi-standard wireless MCU, which we released in 2018 – but this time there is no need for a 48-MHz high-frequency crystal on your print circuit board (PCB). As you can see in Figure 1, the crystal is not needed because the CC2652RB integrates a BAW die inside the package which generates the high-speed 48-MHz clock signal. There is no change to the package size either – it remains a 7-mm-by-7-mm quad flat no-lead (QFN) package.

 

So how about performance? Bluetooth, ZigBee and Thread require a 40ppm or better crystal tolerance from the 48MHz crystal to meet RF protocol specifications. This requirement is handled automatically by the CC2652RB, and it works across the full temp range of the device (currently -40C to +85C).

 

Designing with CC2652RB is easy. You’ll find that compared to CC2652R the CC2652RB allows for a reduced overall footprint and simplified design process.

  • Reduced overall footprint: As I mentioned previously, both chips are pin-to-pin compatible and can use the same PCB reference design, but CC2652RB reduces the footprint by about 12%, removing all of the crystal routing needed. Removing the crystal routing also leaves plenty of room to easily route your sensors and peripherals to the GPIO pins.
  • Simplified design: On a design level, CC2652RB takes out the need for a crystal, meaning one less part for you to choose and one less for your logistics team to purchase. On a technical level, a number of issues with crystals can arise like noise, cross-talk or tuning the xtal frequency. These issues can even take a new PCB spin to fix during development, but all of these issues can be avoided by developing with CC2652RB.

Whether you’re creating the next generation of building automation sensors or developing an advanced biomedical patch, make development simple and easy by choosing the multi-standard CC2652RB: the world’s crystal-less SimpleLink wireless MCU.

Learn more about TI BAW technology and products