Infrared (IR) transceivers can be seen in a number of wireless remote control applications including LED lighting, television, and air conditioning controllers.
IR wireless communication is low power, simple to design and cost effective. Infrared remote controls emit light using an LED that is controlled with a modulated signal from a controller. This modulation is what helps a receiver to recognize the expected signal. The two common forms of digital modulation in designs today are called Amplitude Shift Keying (ASK) and Frequency Shift Keying (FSK), which represent data by shifting amplitude or frequency of the carrier signal respectively. These types of modulation have traditionally been implemented in software. To simplify this process, infrared modulation can be done in hardware as well. With the release of microcontrollers in the MSP430FR4x and MSP430FR2x MCU series with integrated IR Modulation Logic on-chip, several resources are now available to help you get started with full designs or rapid prototyping and evaluation!
The first of which is an Air Conditioning Remote Control TI Design (see image above). The MSP430FR4133 contains integration to minimize system size and cost with additional built-in features including the flexible and low-power LCD controller, a 10-bit ADC, and abundant capacitive-touch enabled input/output pins to control a keypad. This full reference design comes complete with schematics, a bill of materials, and software to implement an infrared controller for a system.
Now, what if you want to create the receiver for a system, like a thermostat for instance? There is a TI Design for that as well. The MSP430FR4133 ultra-low-power FRAM microcontroller is implemented in this reference design that has headers for stacking on the new Infrared BoosterPack (IR-BOOST). This BoosterPack gives you everything you need to either send, or in this case receive, IR signals. Then you can let the MSP430FR4133 microcontroller do the work of modulation for you!
If you have a project in mind that doesn't quite fit the mold of these TI Designs, don't worry! We have a bundle leveraging the MSP430FR4133 LaunchPad (MSP-EXP430FR4133) and the IR BoosterPack! Not only is this kit available for under $30, but it comes with free software to enable point-to-point communication or a learn mode for duplicating the functionality of another remote! This LaunchPad is also the only one to feature an on-board LCD for enabling a complete solution.
If you are interested in incorporating an IR transceiver in your microcontroller projects, get started with the TI Designs or LaunchPad/BoosterPack bundle today! Also, don't forget that if LCD is not required, the MSP430FR2033 microcontroller is available to provide the same great IR capabilities as the MSP430FR4133, but excluded the integrated controller. In fact the MSP430FR2x series, is the first in our FRAM line to start at a price point below $1.00!