Using its state-of-the art SmartRF04, a 2.4-GHz radio technology, Oslo, Norway-based Chipcon AS has readied a new reference design platform and RF protocol for wireless devices. Labeled RadioDesk HID (Human Interface Device) platform, the platform consists of a ready-for-production keyboard and mouse reference design using the company’s advanced adaptive frequency-hopping (AFHSS) RF protocol. Implemented in 0.18-µm CMOS technology, SmartRF04 includes high-performance RF and analog modules, as well as highly advanced digital signal processing and system design.

“Consumer electronics suppliers are aggressively including low-cost, high-power wireless technologies in devices to enhance user experience, expanding the applications for wireless technologies. The RadioDesk platform is part of Chipcon’s commitment to provide low-cost, high-performance solutions to the developers of consumer electronics. The solution will enable manufacturers to eliminate wires in such popular consumer products as media PCs, game pads, remote controls, keyboards and mouse peripherals,” says Geir Forre, president and CEO of Chipcon AS.

The RadioDesk keyboard/mouse platform is a production-ready design consisting of a wireless keyboard, a wireless optical mouse and a small form-factor USB dongle. With a competitive BOM, the RadioDesk platform is currently the most cost-efficient solution in the wireless devices market.

Keeping abreast with the market trend toward the adoption of 2.4 GHz solutions both among design houses and consumers, Chipcon has been constantly adding innovative solutions to its product line. The RadioDesk RF protocol has been designed from the ground up to address the most important end-user concerns facing wireless HID developers: robustness, coexistence with WLAN, Bluetooth and other 2.4 GHz devices, long battery lifetime and low latency, said the developer. In combination with excellent blocking performance of the CC2500 radio, the protocol ensures the industry’s best coexistence performance. The typical range of the platform is 10-15 meters, much further than what has been possible to date with older 27 MHz solutions.

The reference design is based on the Chipcon CC2500 2.4 GHz RF transceiver. Other key components in the RadioDesk reference design include Holtek Semiconductor MCUs, the Agilent Technologies ADNS-2030 optical sensor and an advanced chip antenna from Fractus. Without the need for any custom drivers, the plug-and-play USB solution is compliant with the USB HID specification.

Chipcon will provide the entire reference design, including PCB layouts and software source code to customers, free-of-charge. The design is easy to customize, allowing customers to add value-added features to their own designs, said Chipcon.