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CC3220S: swapping to CC3120 on the same board

Part Number: CC3220S
Other Parts Discussed in Thread: CC3120, CC3130

1. If a customer utilizes the CC3120 today, can it be interchangeably replaced on the same PCB with the CC3220S?

a. Can the CPU and all peripherals of the CC3220 be turned off, so both options run at the same power consumption?

b. What is the implication for creating a SPI interface in the CC3220 to mimic the behavior of the CC3120?

2, When switching between the CC3120 and CC3130, can the same board layout be used, considering the 2.4GHz arbitration is not to be used?

3. Do we have examples of FCC approvals when switching between gen 2 and gen 3 (CC3120 → CC3130)? Is this considered a permissive change Class I?

Thank you!

  • 1) The CC3120 the CC3220 is mostly pin to pin compatible, but there are some GPIO pins that are not directly compatible. Especially the SPI pins (pins 6 and 7) don’t have an identical function between each other. 

    1a. There is no option to make both options run on the same power option.  The MCU domain can’t be completely shut off and the CC32xx will have slightly higher power consumption. Below are tables from the section 8.5 "Current Consumption Summary" of the CC3120 and the CC3220 that show the consumption difference; 

    1b.  There is no way to directly configure the CC3220 to behave like a CC3120 because of the integrated MCU. The customer would need to write some code that would run on the Cortex-M4 to mimic the protocol of the network processor and pass through commands to the integrated NWP. This would not be trivial, and we don’t have a reference for it.


    2) The CC3120 and CC3130 can use the same board layout, please refer to CC3120 and CC3220 SimpleLink Wi-Fi® and IoT Solution Layout Guidelines when designing the board layout.  

    3) FCC approval is application dependent, as such I doubt they could just do a permissive change because it’s a completely different device. The customer could check with their test house, but I expect they would have to fully recertify.

    Let me know if this answered your questions!

    Best Regards,

    Jessica M. Torres