Before anything I am the Mktg mgr for the LPRF product line, which includes the new CC430 series of devices.
I just wanted to give you a heads-up on the recent progress made on the CC430 development tools. Here the picture of our first CC430 EM board that works in the 868Mhz and 915Mhz frequency bands. In brief it is a 4-layer board featuring the last version of our PCB (rev 3.0). It features a CC430F6xxx device with a bunch of connectors that are useful to extend the functionality of the hardware.
Compared to the CC1101 and CC1110 devices, they are a couple of new features which need to be highlighted.
1. The first thing you can notice is the presence of the 14-pin JTAG connector on the top right of the board. This means that the CC430 EM board can be directly used as a target board for the MSP430 Flash Emulation Tools (or FET, see http://focus.ti.com/docs/toolsw/folders/print/msp-fet430uif.html). This means that the CC430 is a true JTAG based architecture. All the designers who used proprietary emulation solution in the past will appreciate ! BTW I know that the LPRF tools team is working on a similar debugger, that should be released in 1st half… Stay tuned !
2. The second interesting point is a located at the bottom of the board. If you have good eyes, you will see a string of passive components located between the CC430 and the antenna connector (there is no PCB antenna on this EM but you can hook-up a whip antenna). The reason for these passives devices is that the TI guys have changed the RF matching network they were using on the CC1101. The main difference is that the matching features a band-pass filter instead of a low-pass filter. This easy solution allows designers to get rid of the spurious emissions of the CC1101 radio @ 660Mhz and 699Mhz. The final outcome is that the matching is really optimized for maximum sensitivity (-110dBm @ 3V, 868Mhz and 1.2Kbps). Nice to see !
To close on this, attached the schematics of the band-pass filter that is used on the board…
Will tell you more when I progress with working with the board, talk to you soon !