Cascoda - CA8211

The CA-8211 is a fully-featured transceiver modem solution for IEEE 802.15.4 communications in the 2.4GHz band. With industry leading power consumption and sensitivity performance it delivers unparalleled range without external amplifier components, thus providing whole-house connectivity on any market on the planet.

The entire 802.15.4 MAC layer and all system configuration is managed by an intelligent co-processor, thereby minimizing the control overhead for the system host. Unlike PHY-only devices, the CA-8211 API interface is insensitive to the timing of commands on the SPI bus. The CA-8211 can therefore be controlled directly from Linux, or your existing MCU, allowing you to concentrate on your application, without the need to worry about PHY standards compliance.

The combination of the industry’s leading power consumption and sensitivity performance delivers a 2.4GHz radio with power consumption and range comparable to that of radios employed in the sub-gigahertz bands.

This device is therefore an ideal enabler for wireless systems providers and module manufacturers which seek to move existing sub-gigahertz wireless products to the world-wide market afforded by the 2.4Ghz radio band.

Overview

  • High performance SMARTRange™ transceiver modem
  • Thread Certified Component for every role
  • Compliant to IEEE 802.15.4-2006 and IEEE 802.15.4-2003
  • Industrial temperature range: -40°C to +85°C
  • Wide supply voltage range: 2.1V to 3.6V
  • Integrated MAC on low-power co-processor for a clean API
  • Highly optimised, robust and heavily tested

Radio Features

  • Industry leading receive sensitivity of -105dBm
  • Programmable transmit power of -3dBm to 9dBm
  • Industry leading link budget of 114dB

Low-Power Features

  • Industry leading power consumption:
    Tx: 12mA at 0dBm transmit power
    19mA at +9dBm transmit power
    Rx: 14mA at -105dBm sensitivity
  • Multiple options for sleep and power-saving modes
  • Sleep mode currents:
    32kHz Sleep timer 200nA
    16MHz Crystal Oscillator 100µA

IEEE 802.15.4-2006 MAC Hardware Support

  • Full integrated IEEE 802.15.4 MAC
  • Frame Check Sequence (FCS) Computation
  • Energy Detection (RSSI)
  • Link Quality Indication (LQI)
  • Clear Channel Assessment (CCA)
  • AES security hardware accelerator
  • IEEE 802.15.4 security management
  • Thread network security hardware support
  • Advanced security configuration for hardening
  • IEEE 802.15.4 MAC timer
  • Automatic frame filtering and address validation
  • Automatic indirect frame transmission to sleepy children
  • Auto-ACK, CSMA-CA and retransmission algorithms
  • Random number generator
  • Automatic IEEE 802.15.4 command response
  • Direct packet access for advanced/non-standard behaviour

CPU Supervision

  • Supply monitor

Simplified API

  • IEEE 802.15.4 MAC managed by on-chip co-processor
  • SAP interface, following the IEEE 802.15.4 specification
  • Additional commands for advanced & non-standard behaviour
  • Synchronous SAP commands simplify user software
  • All real-time requirements are handled by the CA-8211
  • Optimised & robust SPI interface

Configurable GPIO interface:

  • SPI (Used for API)
  • Configurable IRQ outputs
  • Configurable clock outputs
  • Configurable control inputs for state transition and clock management

Peripherals

  • Temperature sensor
  • Hardware AES accelerator
  • Hardware random number generator
  • 10 general-purpose I/O pins

Package

  • Available in a 32-PIN low-profile QFN package
  • Package size 5mm x 5mm x 0.9mm

Development Tools

  • IEEE 802.15.4-2006 MLME/MCPS API
  • Certified Thread stack based on openthread
  • Wide range of supported platforms (see below)
  • Seamless Linux prototyping suite to access API over USB for rapid development
  • Wing Commander GUI tool
  • Development kits available on request

Firmware

Cascoda has designed the CA-821X family to be very easy to control. The entire 802.15.4 MAC layer and all system configuration is managed by an intelligent co-processor. This can then be controlled by a powerful yet simple API, closely related to the IEEE 802.15.4 MLME & MCPS primitives. This minimises the control overhead on the host processor, as specification compliance and all real-time requirements are handled by the CA-8211. The CA-8211 enables a very simple system integration, and rapid development.

Cascoda has developed a comprehensive set of drivers for the following micro-controller platforms:

  • ARM® Cortex®-A
  • ARM® Cortex®-M
  • MIPS® interAptiv®
  • MIPS® microAptiv®

Cascoda also supports the following operating systems:

  • Linux [from kernel 4.1, in the kernel from 4.12]
  • ARM mbed [release 5.1]
  • Contiki [release 3.0]

Check out Cascoda's GitHub repository for publicly available code.

The company expects to add support for further micro-controllers and operating systems as the need arises.