STMicroelectronics, a global semiconductor leader serving customers across the spectrum of electronics applications, has announced that SenseAnywhere, a leader in tags and modules for wireless sensing and location, has qualified the world's first wireless devices incorporating ST's new single-chip balun, which integrates essential circuitry for radio systems in a footprint of only 2.1mm2.
The SenseAnywhere AiroSensor and AssetSensor active-RFID modules combine advanced RF transceiver technology with a low-power processor, low-voltage EEPROM, and miniature temperature, humidity, and ultra-efficient motion sensors to enhance performance and save cost in Internet of Things (IoT) applications such as environmental monitoring, cold-chain compliance, theft protection, and asset tracking.
"The cooperation with ST made it possible to realize significant improvements in the output performance, sensitivity and impedance matching of our RF modules and sensors, as well as minimizing unwanted harmonics," said Tom Heijnen, Founder and Managing Director of SenseAnywhere. "At the same time, we have seriously reduced overall application size as well as savings in bill-of-materials costs and reduced assembly and test costs."
Inside the SenseAnywhere modules, ST's BAL-CC1101-01D3 balun balances the connection between the radio and antenna, replacing discrete components that would occupy up to 30mm2 of pc-board space with a single 2.1mm2 integrated circuit. Moreover, single-chip integration enables closer impedance matching, greater stability, and reduced device-to-device spread by minimizing variations between circuit features on the same silicon substrate.
The BAL-CC1101-01D3 is the first in a new family of integrated baluns from ST, which are matched to specific RF-transceiver chipsets. Optimized for ultra-low-power applications in sub-GHz Industrial, Scientific and Medical (ISM), and Short-Range Device (SRD) frequency bands, the ETSI- and FCC2-compliant BAL-CC1101-01D3 delivers advantages including an integrated harmonic filter delivering improved harmonic attenuation, low insertion loss, and operation up to 85°C, in addition to its tiny footprint.
"The advanced single-chip integration of our new balun family helps customers overcome significant RF-system design challenges to deliver higher-performing products while reducing cost and time to market," said Richard Renard, Senior Product Marketing Engineer, STMicroelectronics. "SenseAnywhere's AiroSensor and AssetSensor using the ST balun are genuinely advanced products that offer unique benefits to integrators of sensing and location systems."
Beyond the new balun, ST contributed its compact, flexible, and lowest-power LIS2DH accelerometer, and low-power EEPROMs to the SenseAnywhere IoT modules, ensuring long-lasting and accurate performance.
The BAL-CC1101-01D3 is now available for production orders, in the 2.1mm2 flip-chip package, priced from $0.26 for orders of 5000 pieces.