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Passive Low Frequency Interface wirelessly powers MCU.

Press Release Summary:

Model TMS37157 passive low frequency interface (PaLFI) can wirelessly supply MSP430 MCU, from up to 1 m, to remotely communicate with/power implantable medical devices, track containers, and configure electronic equipment. Unit provides battery check and charge function via RF field. Memory is accessible via SPI and wireless LF 134 kHz interface and no battery is required for data programming into memory. Product can supply MCU with energy and operate it even if its battery is empty.

Original Press Release:

Industry's First Passive Low Frequency Interface with Battery Charge Function from TI Enables Remotely Powered Medical, Industrial, and Consumer Products

New device wirelessly powers an MSP430(TM) MCU at ranges up to one meter

DALLAS (November 11, 2009) - Developers in medical, industrial and consumer applications continuously strive to increase wireless functionality to enhance the convenience of products. Texas Instruments (TI) (NYSE: TXN) today announced the first member of a new product class featuring the industry's first passive low frequency interface (PaLFI) device designed to wirelessly supply an ultra-low-power MSP430 microcontroller (MCU) with energy to operate even if the optional battery is empty. For example, PaLFI has the ability to remotely communicate with and power implantable medical devices, making procedures less invasive. Among numerous other potential applications, the device is also being used for production chain or container tracking and end of line configuration of electronic equipment such as CD/DVD players and measurement instruments.

The PaLFI device combines a low frequency wireless interface with an SPI interface which ensures ultra-stable communication within a very well defined activation/communication zone. Upcoming product class releases include derivatives with security/authentication features and cost optimized versions with smaller memory minus the battery charge function for applications such as end of line product configuration. For more information, visit

Key features and benefits of the PaLFI

o Battery check and charge function via RF field supports operation of hermetically sealed devices such as implants.

o PaLFI memory is accessible via an SPI and wireless LF 134kHz interface allowing for access to additional microcontroller memory.

o The device can supply a battery powered MSP430 MCU with energy and operate the microcontroller even if the battery is empty ensuring data is still available and not getting lost.

o Low Frequency band (LF) ensures stable communication within a well defined reading zone.

o No battery required for data programming into the memory to allow an MCU to read content and use it for configuration, or calibration purposes once connected to the battery.

Pricing and availability

The TMS37157 PaLFI is priced from $3.10. The device comes in a 16-pin QFN package. The PaLFI evaluation kit eZ430-TMS37157 contains an eZ430 MSP430F1612 USB development stick, and an MSP430 target board including an MSP430F2274 plus the TMS37157 PaLFI. The device and kit are now available for immediate order through TI distributors and at

In addition to the PaLFI evaluation kit, Amber Wireless offers the Gateway AMB3020 to help developers to jumpstart their PaLFI-based designs. This kit contains a board with the PaLFI TMS37157 and the AMB8425 868 MHz radio module, which includes an MSP430F2272 host controller as well as a CC1101 RF transceiver. Additionally, the kit includes an AMB8465 USB transceiver stick which acts as the host for battery-powered, high-speed, long-range communication. The typical application is an active tag, triggered by the low frequency PaLFI interface for container tracking.

Find out more about TI's new PaLFI device by visiting the links below:

o PaLFI product folder:

o TI medical solutions:

o Portable medical meters block diagram:

o MSP430 microcontrollers:


o TI eStore:

o Follow TI on Twitter:

o Amber Wireless:

About Texas Instruments

Texas Instruments (NYSE: TXN) helps customers solve problems and develop new electronics that make the world smarter, healthier, safer, greener and more fun. A global semiconductor company, TI innovates through design, sales and manufacturing operations in more than 30 countries. For more information, go to


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