Quick Wireless Summary (from Electronic Design 09/15/05)

Technology Frequency Modulation Standard Maximum range Data rate Applications
Bluetooth 2.4 GHz FHSS/GMSK Bluetooth SIG and IEEE 802.15.3 30 m 1.0, 3.0 Mbits/s Cable replacement, cell-phone headsets, peripherals
CDMA2000 (1xRTT, EV-DO) 800/900 and 1800/1900 MHz DSSS, QPSK TIA 10 km (avg.) 157 kbits/s, 2Mbits/s Email, photos, SMS, Internet access
GSM (GPRS, EDGE) 800 to 900, 1800, 1900 MHz GMSK, 8PSK ETSI, ITU 10 km (avg.) 128, 384 kbits/s Email, photos, SMS, Internet access
Infrared (IR) 850 nm Baseband IrDA 3 m 16Mbits/s Peripheral laptop and cell-phone comm
ISM band 315, 433.902 to 928 MHz FSK, ASK, BPSK with DSS/FHSS None 10 m to 1 km (max.) under 100 kbits/s Remote control, telemetry
RFID 125, 134 kHz; 13.56, 915MHz ASK ANSI, ISO/IEC, EPCGlobal 1 m Less than 100kbits/s Tagging, ID, tracking, inventory
UMTS/3GPP w/HSDPA 2.1 GHz WCDMA, BPSK ITU/3GPP 10 km 2, 10 Mbits/s Email, photos, SMS, Internet access
UWB 3.1 to 10.7 GHz DS and OFDM None 10 m 100, 1000 Mbits/s Video
WiMAX 2.5, 3.5, 5.8 GHz BPSK, QPSK, 16QAM, 64QAM 802.16 10 km 75 Mbits/s Broadband access, backhaul
Wi-Fi 2.4, 5.8 GHz DSS, CCK, OFDM 802.11 100 m 11, 54 Mbits/s Wireless LAN, email, Internet access
ZigBee 868, 915, 2400 MHz O-QPSK, DSSS 802.15.4 100 m 20, 40, 250 kbits/s Home, building, industrial monitoring and control

Wireless Link Options (early RiSE project pre-2004)

-- HaldunKomsuoglu? - 09 Sep 2003

This page aims to provide an overview of the wireless link options for remote access. It is partitioned into sections each focusing on a particular solution. In each section a block text describing the option can be found followed by a tiered list of comments and feedbacks. A comparison table can be found in the very first section. The datasheets and the other accompanying documents attached to this page are listed at the very bottom.

In order to ease locating the new additions to this document, please, maintain the changes table below.

User Explanation
HaldunKomsuoglu - 09 Sep 2003 DR3000-2 description
DonCampbell - 09 Sep 2003 Assorted RF Links
AlRizzi - 10 Sep 2003 CF pointers
HaldunKomsuoglu - 11 Sep 2003 TRF6901
HaldunKomsuoglu - 11 Sep 2003 BL-730
HaldunKomsuoglu - 11 Sep 2003 UB1-1111/1112
HaldunKomsuoglu - 11 Sep 2003 ICM10X
HaldunKomsuoglu - 11 Sep 2003 BIC2102 and realted modules
AMcClung - 16 Sep 2003 MC13180 , BTMZ7311A0/BTMZ5012A0 , BCM2033/BCM2035 , CSR

Comparison Table

Option Carrier (MHz) Raw BW (Mbit/s) Phy Dim (mm) Pw consume (mW) Pw o/p (mW) Advantage Disadvantage
DR3000-2 916 1.0 17.8 x 17.8 36 0.75 Serial digi. intrf. w/ T/R selection  
TRF6901 860-930 0.064 9.2 x 9.2 108 9 dBm Serial digi. intrf. w/ T/R selection needs cct devel
BL-730 Bluetooth 1.1 1.38 46.8 x 36.02 600 ? Standard RS-232 interface high pw consumption
UB1-1111/1112 Bluetooth 1.1 0.7232 15.0 x 27.7 231 4dBm RS232/USB/SPI interfaces available  
ICM10X? Bluetooth 1.1 ? 20.0 x 36.5 ? 14dBm RS232/USB interfaces available  
Metis Bluetooth 1.1 ? 25.0 x 35.0 450 ? RS232/USB/I2C/SPI interfaces a new chip set
MC13180 Bluetooth 1.1 1.0 7 x 7 (QFN48) 90mW, 9mW (idle) 2dBm typ. Well documented - manuals, transceivers, applications  
BTMZ7311A0? Bluetooth 1.1 0.723 26 x 14 316mW, 6mW (idle) 16dBm typ. USB, PCM, SPI, (UART)  
BTMZ5012A0? Bluetooth 1.1 0.723 18 x 14 200mW, 6mW (idle) 1dBm typ. USB, PCM, SPI, (UART)  
BCM2033 Bluetooth 1.1 0.723 9 x 9 "low-power" ?? 4dBm USB, UART, PCM, 8051 bus interface  
BCM2035 Bluetooth 1.1 0.723 8 x 8 "low-power" ?? prog. up to 7dBm USB, UART, PCM  


DR3000-2 is an RF transciver module designed for short range communication applications. It is essentially a pre-assembled PCB containing RFM's TR1100 ASH RF transciver chip and all the auxiliary components for its operation. It is optimized for 1 Mbit/sec raw data transmission rate in ASK (amplitude shift keying) mode. It operates at 3V supply drawing 12 mA during transmission and only 4.8 mA during reception. It can be put to sleep where it consumes only 5 uA. Hence, its maximum power consumption is 36 mW. Its RF output peak power is 0.75 mW. This module implements a half-duplex serial digital channel where the transmission/reception mode is selected by the application. For transmission it expects a digital modulation signal. Similarly, it interprets the incoming RF reception as a digital signal and provides at its output. In this configuration the application interfaces with this board thru a 3-wire bus: X/R select; xmit modulation signal; rcv signal.

We have design experience with this module. This module is basically the faster version of the DR3000-1 - the module I used in LegNet (use standard RHex telecon username and pasword). In the LegNet study I came up with a very simple way to interface DR3000-X to the UART peripheral of any MCU leading to significant simplification in communications related firmware design. I am currently working on LegNet 3.0 which will employ DR3000-2 and Cygnal C8051F300? to be utilized in RHex. With a little efford a LegNet 3.0 LegModule can be turned into a RiSEBus compliant wireless link for RiSE.

One (serious) problem with this approach is that the LegNet communication protocol assumes a single master in the media. Hence, if we have multiple robots operating in close proximity their packets will collide resulting in loss of communications. One can imagine implementing a CDMA-like communications protocol on the MCU that drives the DR3000-X but this is a serious undertaking and can prove to be very hard.

The wirtual wire transciver chip set and modules from RFM can be found here.

  • Add your comments here


TRF6901 is an RF transciver chip designed for short range low bandwidth communications. It has a decent output power and capable of operating in three modes of operation: OOK; ASK; FSK. The communication is digital for OOK and ASK modes and linear for FSK. Its carrier frequency for the amplitute modulation cases can be configured to European 850MHz or US 950MHz unlicenced bands. It has a small package occupying about 1 cm^2. It provides a simple serial synchronous data bus to interface with a microprocessor.

The major disadvantage is its relatively high power consumption which can reach to 108 mW during tranmission. The second disadvantage is the need to design auxiliary circuitry to support its operations. This may not be such a big deal since the datasheet outlines a design with a parts list. Of course, once populated the total size of the transciver circutiry will be larger than the chip's dimension.

The RF transciver ship set family from Texas Instruments can be found here.

  • Add your comments here

BrainBoxes BL-730

BL-730 is an RS-232 to BlueTooth bridge. It has a standard RS-232 interface implementing: TX; RX, RTS; CTS. It supports data rates between 244baud to 1.38Mbaud (multiples of 244 baud). The device includes a built-in antenna. Two devices can be configured in a client/server manner effectively acting as a wirtual cable.

It is rather large for out purposes measuring 46.8mm x 36.025mm. The major disadvantage is that its power consumption is very high reaching to 600mW. An online summary of the specifications can be found here.

  • Add your comments here


UB1-1111/1112 is a BlueTooth bridge that implements three different interfaces: RS232; USB; and SPI. It has a small surface mount form factor measuring 27.7x15.0 mm for 1112 and 22.5x16.0 mm for 1111. Implementing BlueTooth v1.1 it can reach 723.2 Kbaud data rate. It consumes 231mW during 723.2 Kbaud transmission achieving a typical transmission power of 3 dBm for 1112 and 2 dBm for 1111.

It is not clear from the datasheet if the SPI can be used to pass data into the module or if it is only used for configuration. The datasheet is very limited and does not go into details.

A summary of the BlueTooth products from USI can be found here.

  • Add additional comments here


ICM10X is a USB/RS232-to-BlueTooth bridge. It is self contained including antenna, digital interface circuitry, RF transciver and BlueTooth baseband chips. Its digital interface implements a 12Mb/sec USB port and 921 Kbaud RS232 port. It is not clearly stated what kind of RF digital throughput it provides. It has a small form factor measuring 20.0x36.5 mm and comes in to different flavors: surface mount; and socketed.

The datasheet is very limited and does not give any information as to how to configure the device.

List of BlueTooth products from Bluetronics can be found here.

  • Add aditional comments here

BIC2102 / Metis / Ganymete

BIC2102 is a BlueTooth application processor incorporating a 32-bit ARC RISC processor running at 28 MIPS, 12Mb/sec USB host controller, 144Kbyte internal RAM and a wide set of built-in peripherals such as USB, Serial (I2C? , SPI, UART) and PCM as well as GPIO. It implements JTAG interface for development and debugging. It has a small footprint measuring 1.0x1.0 mm. Its core voltage is 1.8 with 3V compatiable I/O.

Metis is a self contained module built on BIC2102 processor. It contains everything it needs except the antenna. It is quite compact measuring 25.0x35.0 mm. It consumes 450mW at peak and only 3mW during sleep.

Ganymede is a USB-to-BlueTooth bridge built on BIC2102 processor. It measures 25.0x45.0 mm and contains everything (including the antenna) for its operation. It is supplied by an external 5V supply.

The list of BlueTooth products from Flextronics can be found here.

  • Add additional comments here


MC13180 is a transceiver from Motorola that is accompanied by significant documentation.

The application notes, brochures, data sheets, fact sheets, selector guide and user guides can be found here.

  • Add your comments here

BTMZ7311A0? / BTMZ5012A0?

BTMZ7311A0 / BTMZ5012A0 are both moderately sized and consume moderate power. A decent Samsung product comparison can be seen here.

  • Add your comments here

BCM2033 / BCM2035

BCM2033 / BCM2035 both have a small package size and are "low power". BCM2033 has a 8051 bus interface. BCM2035 has programmable output power up to 7dBm. These are both Class 2 or 3 (selectable) devices.

  • Add your comments here


CSR has a decent listing/comparison of modules developed using their chips. Size, Class, Memory, and whether an Antenna is included, are some of the categories for comparison.

  • Add your comments here

Some more options, I'll fill in the table above at a later date






-- DonCampbell? - 09 Sep 2003 (10 Sep)

CF 802.11 solutions

It looks like there are a fair number of these avaliable now. Most are based on relatively standard chipsets, for example this device from Linksys uses the Prism2 device.

To Do List

AlRizzi - 10 Sep 2003 : Don, Hal or Trey, can you fold the "good" bits from the BlueTooth page into this comparison?.

  • AMcClung - 16 Sep 2003 : BlueTooth has been updated and I have added some highlights above.

Attached Documents

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