and iPod Mini is powered by Chipcon’s CC 2500 RF transceiver. The company also announced that high volume shipments of the 2.4 GHz CC2500 RF transceiver has driven the cost down to a
market-beating sub-$1 price, enabling significant cost savings for customers like Belkin Corp., provider of the TuneCommand remote for Apple iPods.

“Wireless communications will continue to advance and short-range applications will continue to explode,” said Randall Stowasser, Product Development Manager at Belkin. “Chipcon’s low-cost, high-performance CC2500 chip that is embedded in our remote controls for iPod(R) enable this revolution by providing performance at optimal price points and helps maintain
our market strategy,” continued Mr. Stowasser

The TuneCommand for iPod allows you to roam and play the songs from your iPod virtually anywhere. Using Chipcon’s wireless radio frequency technology, the TuneCommand Remote works from up to 150 feet (50 meters) away, regardless
of barriers such as walls, ceilings, or windows that limit traditional remotes. It allows for control of your iPod to remain with you, even if your
iPod is stashed in your glove compartment, backpack, or your home entertainment center. TuneCommand fits the 3G, 4G, photo, and mini iPod.

The Chipcon CC2500 RF transceiver has been in high-volume production since
July 2005, and since then, Chipcon has shipped over 5 million units. “The CC2500 has exceeded all our expectations,” says Barry Rudolph, Chipcon CFO. “The product has been very well received in the market, and our customers are extremely satisfied with it. Because of the high volume and the exceptionally good yield, we can now pass savings on to our customers. For the first time in
the wireless communications RF industry, customers can now avail of a
high-performance, lowest-power, 2.4 GHz RF transceiver at a sub-$1 price per

“The low pricing of the CC2500 opens up new application areas for 2.4 GHz technology,” added Mr. Rudolph. “The current price level allows
high-performance 2.4 GHz two-way radios to replace old-fashioned single-channel, one-way 27 MHz radios. This means that price-sensitive
applications like intelligent toys, computer peripherals and remote controls
now can enjoy the benefits of high-performance 2.4 GHz RF technology.” The CC2500 combines excellent RF blocking and selectivity performance with low current consumption and advanced baseband functionality. The 2.4 GHz
frequency band is very popular as it can be used world-wide. The frequency band is widely used; wireless LAN (IEEE 802.11b and g), Bluetooth(TM), IEEE802.15.4 and ZigBee, cordless phones and microwave ovens all utilize this
frequency band.

Using a radio with good blocking performance and a good frequency-agile or
frequency-hopping protocol will ensure that the RF communication link is robust and provides a good end-user experience. The dual 64-byte FIFOs and the integrated packet handling support on the CC2500 free slow, low-cost MCUs from
having to handle RF data in real-time.
“When evaluating a radio it is always important to view it as part of a
system,” says Dag Grini, Chipcon’s Director of Technical Support. “For
instance, if low cost and low power are two important design objectives, it is
important to ensure that the radio will be low-power even when used with
low-cost MCUs. Most low-cost MCUs do not have good low-power capabilities. By
using the unique wake-on-radio function of the CC2500, our customers can use a
low-cost MCU and still get low system power consumption. The same applies to
cost; it does not matter if the radio chip alone has a low price if it
requires expensive tight-tolerance external components or does not work well
with slow, inexpensive MCUs.”