Wireless Bluetooth® low energy MCU for High Temperature Applications
Christine Halsey posted on March 03, 2015 |

Texas Instruments has sponsored the following story

High temperature environments, such as those found in industrial lighting and motors, can make it difficult to design digital interfacing circuits. In these hot environments, a small error in the interface can lead to failures or intermittent errors.

That means every component in the system has to be rated to work at the maximum temperature the design will experience. However, if you complicate your interface design with remote controls, remote monitoring, and low power consumption; your high temperature design becomes a very arduous task.

To make designing for a wide temperature range easier, TI has introduced the CC2540T, a cost effective Bluetooth Smartmicrocontroller (MCU). This Bluetooth Smart MCU is made specifically for environments between -40ºC to 125ºC. Additionally, the CC2540 allows engineers to more easily add functionality for remote monitoring and remote Human Machine Interfaces (HMIs).

The CC2540T comes with many peripherals that make it easy to interface with a wide range of digital and analog sensors. Designers will be able to develop master or slave nodes with a low Bill of Materials (BOM). The CC2540T combines an RF transceiver with an enhanced 8051 MCU, programmable flash memory and a slew of supporting features and resources to get products to market faster.

Features of the High Temperature Bluetooth MCU

The CC2540T employs the industry standard 8051 MCU. The high-performance, low-power controller works with 256kB of programmable flash memory and 8kB of SRAM. The built-in memory enables application software to run concurrently with Bluetooth Smartstack protocols.

The reference design also reduces costs with the use of remote HMIs, monitoring and control via remote devices. Therefore, instead of, or as an alternative to, dedicated monitors and control panels, users will be able to access the CC2540T from a phone or tablet.

Additionally, the low power modes and small form factor make the CC2540T design optimal for hard to reach environments such as industrial lighting and motors. In particular, the low power draw will ensure that users won’t need to crawl into that hard to reach spot and change the batteries nearly so often.

The Bluetooth Smart connection also allows for the transfer of maintenance data, firmware updates, and calibrations. These transfers can be performed from a mobile device via Bluetooth SmartThis is again optimal for applications in difficult-to-reach equipment.

If you are looking to control a motor, then you may wish to replace the RS232, RS-485, or USB cables with moderate throughputs. These throughputs use less than 100kbps and operate in conditions between -40º C to 125º C.

Finally, the CC2540 uses Radio Frequencies (RF) that are Bluetooth Smart compatible. This makes the chip suitable for developing products that need to comply with Worldwide RF regulations including European, US, and Japanese standards.

High Temperature Bluetooth Smart MCU Peripherals

The Bluetooth Smart MCU peripherals include a 12-bit analog-digital-converter (ADC). The ADC has eight channels and configurable resolutions to ensure accurate conversions of the analog measurements. The MCU also has an integrated ultra low power comparator, one 16-bit timer, two 8 bit timers, and a 32 kHz sleep timer with capture. For interfacing, the MCU has 21 General Purpose Input Output (GPIO) pins; two of which can run up to 20mA with the remainder running up to 4mA.

Also included in the CC2540T peripherals are two Universal Synchronous Asynchronous Receiver Transmitters (USARTs). The MCU supports several serial protocols, full-speed USB interface, and IR generation circuitry. The MCU also comes with an AES security coprocessor, battery monitoring, a temperature sensor, and its own unique 48-bit IEEE address.

All of these features make the CC2540T easy to interface and connect as well as reducing support circuitry, limiting the BOM, and making it easier to implement your design.

Resources to get High Temperature Bluetooth Smart Running

The Bluetooth Smart Light Development Kit will get your lighting application design up and running in no time. The kit comes with three Bluetooth Smart LED boards, three micro-USB cables, and a Quick Start Guide. The guide shows users how to power up, connect, and control the LEDs.

A color wheel program is available for download to your phone or tablet. The program lets you adjust the LED color, saturation and intensity. The user can then get creative with the Lamp Group menu. This allows users to sort lights into zones and apply different properties to each zone.

For fast implementation, TI also supplies reference designs, schematics, BOMs, software files, SmartRF software, and support by IAR Embedded Workbench for the 8051 MCU.

My take: The C2540T is a great solution for projects with remote connectivity in areas that operate in conditions between -40 to 125º C. Using the Bluetooth Smart enabled MCU, designs will be able to monitor and control industrial lighting, motors and much more.

Texas Instruments has sponsored promotion of their Bluetooth Smart wireless MCU on ENGINEERING.com. They have no editorial input to this post - all opinions are mine. Christine Halsey



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