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RF transceiver IC for automotive key fob and body control

Date: 14/08/2013
NXP Semiconductors has designed a MCU integrated RF transceiver IC to receive free UHF signals in parallel at once. This IC is designed for use in automotive use as key fob and body control module type applications which includes keyless entry, Remote Start, Tire Pressure Monitoring Systems (TPMS) and Wireless Diagnostics (WD).

The chip NCK2983 can poll for signals in one go rather than doing it sequentially. This results in saving of power consumption and make it robust. The chip need to be awake for quite a shorter time compared to other chips which polls for signal sequentially.

The NCK2983 uses software defined radio concept based wideband digital IF approach. The low-noise RF front end feeds mixed signal data to high-speed Sigma-Delta ADC which are connected to receive channels of DSP . Each channel can be configured independently, mixing down the signal to baseband according to the specific channel frequency, and applying relevant channel filter, demodulation and clock recovery settings.

The fractional N-based frequency synthesiser in NCK2983 supports the chip to operate in ISM bands and supports carrier frequency hopping at each of the three baseband channels. The NCK2983 also includes an embedded microcontroller system with 32 kB EROM (FLASH) allowing complete applications to be implemented as single-chip solutions. The transceiver supports special power modes for battery-powered key and car operation such as sleep mode and low power polling mode.

“The NCK2983 is the first chip of a new product family for sub-GHz RF communication systems,” said Dr. Volker Graeger, vice president Car Access and Immobilizers, NXP Semiconductors. “Our customers and OEMs acknowledge that we provide new ways of reducing power consumption while improving performance. By combining multi-channel and simultaneous RF reception with customer programmable smart polling in a single package, NXP has made another breakthrough in automotive electronics. Next we intend to significantly increase the system operating range by launching a dedicated long-range version of the chip.”

Key specification and other features
Single IC for 315, 434, 447, 868, 915 & 950 MHz bands for worldwide usage
Simultaneous reception of up to 3 channels in parallel (within 1.8 MHz IF)
13 Channel filter bandwidth options (10 - 600 kHz)
Operation up to 200 kchips/s (FSK/ASK)
-123 dBm FSK/ASK sensitivity with high dynamic RSSI measurement
Receiver path with 2 multiplexed antenna inputs enables dual band antenna matching
Integrated RX/TX switch (SP2T) for flexible application matching
Power management modes for polling and wake up triggered applications
PA with digital controlled power ramping and +12 dBm output power
16-bit RISC µController with 4 kB RAM and 32 kB EROM (FLASH)
Rx and Tx data buffer in RAM via independent DMA channels
Coprocessor for bit manipulation and code redundancy cycle calculation (CRC)
Clock driver output for micro controller crystal sharing
Controlled via SPI, UART, LIN compatible UART
10 bit ADC sensor interface with up to 100 kSPS sampling rate
Internal temperature sensor and support of high accuracy external temperature sensor for ARIB
IREC, evaluation and configuration kit available to simplify custom firmware development
HVQFN48 package with wettable flanks
Wide Supply Range from 2.1 V to 5.5 V

Editorial product rating: Very Good (**)