Analog front end targets wireless authentication apps

Chandler, Ariz. — Microchip Technology Inc.'s first stand-alone, three-channel analog front end (AFE) for low frequency (125 kHz typical) wireless authentication applications is said to provide industry-best sensitivity and programmable antenna tuning for microcontroller-based systems.

Microchip's MCP2030 is a three-channel transponder AFE that provides programmable antenna tuning and adjustable modulation depth that runs as low as 8 percent. Applications for the MCP2030 AFE include automotive; passive-keyless-entry, tire pressure monitoring systems (TPMS), security/safety (RFID); hands-free apartment door access, parking lot entry transponder, data acquisition and other wireless authentication applications.

In addition to its modulation depth, the MCP2030 AFE offers adjustable, high input sensitivity of 3 microvolts peak to peak typical, said Art Eck, senior product marketing manager with Microchip's Analog and Interface Products Division. Its three input channel architecture enables three-axis reception for improved performance independent of range, antenna orientation and environmental noise, he said. Each channel is equipped with dynamically selectable tuning capacitors up to 63 picofarads (pF) in 1 pF steps to allow firmware-driven antenna tuning that improves signal matching without expensive hand tuning.

An additional configuration feature of the MCP2030 AFE is its intelligent wake-up filter that extends battery life. The filter allows the external microcontroller to stay in low-power mode until it detects recognized input signals. With these features, the MCP2030 AFE enables designers to create low-cost, highly intelligent transponders like never before, according to Eck.

The MCP2030 AFE communicates with a microcontroller over an SPI bus, and its features are dynamically controllable by the external microcontroller, depending upon field application.

Microchip's passive-keyless-entry reference design kit (APGRD001) sells for $169.99 and utilizes its PIC16F639 microcontroller, which has an integrated MCP2030 AFE inside, and includes the components needed to demonstrate system design for passive-keyless-entry.

See related block diagram

The MCP2030 AFE is offered in a 14-pin TSSOP, SOIC, and PDIP. Pricing for the SOIC and PDIP are is $1.75 each in 10,000-unit quantities. Pricing for the TSSOP package is $1.91 each in same quantities. Click here for the MCP2030 data sheet.

Microchip , 1-888-628-6247,

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