Dear CC430 Blog,
My name is Miguel. I work with on the CC430 new product development team as an applications engineer and I want to talk a little bit about the wireless networking protocol that TI will release along with the sample kits for the part, called SimpliciTI.
SimpliciTI has existed
for some time, providing support for a number of Low Power Wireless and MSP430
tools such as the eZ430-RF2500. It supports the CC1100, CC1110, CC2500, CC2510,
CC2430, and CC2420 transceivers as well as the MSP430F2274, MSP430FG4618, and
MSP430F2618 microcontrollers. So the CC430 is just the latest addition to an
increasingly popular and easy way to implement a wireless network. It was just
recently overhauled into 1.1.0 and has a very robust feature set for the 12KB or
so of flash memory required to run the stack, including tidbits like automatic
message acknowledgements, frequency agility, and encryption support.
The protocol supports both distributed peer to peer networks as well as managed simple-star networks with range extenders. The devices are abstracted into what are referred to as End Devices (ED), Range Extenders (RE) and Access Points (AP). An AP manages the SimpliciTI network and relays messages back and forth; both AP’s and RE’s are typically always on and mains powered. ED’s have the option to be sleeping devices in order to reduce power consumption, and have slightly smaller memory requirements. These are the nodes that can operate for years on a pair of AA batteries due to the extremely low power consumption of the silicon and low-overhead networking protocol implementation.
But what I probably like most about the protocol is the super easy to learn, 7-instruction API. Its simplicity allows me to focus my time on the applications at hand and making them work in the unobtrusive protocol framework rather than in learning the intricacies of the actual protocol. The API provides supports for initialization, (un-)linking, message receive, message transmit, and device management functionality. The architecture of the protocol is also pretty close to the hardware. For one, this means it’s easy to port to different TI hardware platforms but for two, it’s also a reasonable dive into the bits if you want that deeper understanding of the protocol that can be hard to wrap your brain around with larger projects. For more information on the protocol, see www.ti.com/simpliciTI.
So keep on the lookout for the CC430 samples release on www.ti.com/cc430 and try SimpliciTI out for yourself!