Atmega128rfa1 compared to other similar SoCs

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Hi,

The Atmega128rfa1 looks very interesting for replacing traditional AtmegaXXX + AT86RF231 combos in my future projects. However, there are also other competitors which seem to have better features/price ratio. For example the TI CC2530F128 looks very similar in specs, and can be bought a lot cheaper in large quantities. Also, there is a selection of 32...256k FLASH size, which helps in optimizing costs. Another interesting competitor is the Jennic JN5148 which features a 32bit processor and is still cheaper.

My question is, why should I choose the Atmega128rfa1 over the competition, especially the TI's chips? The cost of development tools is not an issue, that will be negligible in the long run.

Links to the competing SoC's product pages:
http://www.ti.com/product/cc2530
http://www.jennic.com/products/wireless_microcontrollers/jn5148

Also, are there any other competitors that you recommend checking out? :)

Last Edited: Fri. Oct 16, 2015 - 02:27 PM
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slintone wrote:

Also, are there any other competitors that you recommend checking out? :)

Ember has a 32-bit ARM Cortex M3 based wireless SoC
http://www.ember.com/products_zi...

Quote:
My question is, why should I choose the Atmega128rfa1 over the competition, especially the TI's chips? The cost of development tools is not an issue, that will be negligible in the long run.

I guess Atmel is still ahead in RF performance and power consumption!

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Agreed. They all are bout the same, except for miniscule difference in power consumption (but for some applications even that counts), minor architectural difference. Choose whatever you can get and comfortable working with.

NOTE: I no longer actively read this forum. Please ask your question on www.eevblog.com/forum if you want my answer.

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Wow, the Ember EM357 looks very impressive. Link budget it great, ARM Cortex M3 and 192kb flash. And still cheaper than Atmega128rfa1. The choice will be hard to make, I'll probably order a couple of dev kits to see how they feel like in development. I'll post the experiences if you want :)

p.s.

For my projects the power consumption will not be a critical issue. Reliability, memory size and wide peripheral availability are the keys.

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TX and RX current consumption is almost twice high, supply voltage range is narrower. Other than that looks like a good choice.

NOTE: I no longer actively read this forum. Please ask your question on www.eevblog.com/forum if you want my answer.

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Slintone - where do you come from ? In my UE vendors e.g. cc2530 have much higher price that atmega128rfa1. Maybe this is tax... The cheapest is stm32w.

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STM32W and EM35X are cousins :)

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> For example the TI CC2530F128 looks very similar in specs,
> and can be bought a lot cheaper in large quantities.

If you're happy with an 8051 core ... but remember, the 8051's code
density is not the greatest, so you might easily have to pick the
next larger one compared to an AVR-based solution. TI still doesn't
offer an MPS430-based SoC for 2.4 GHz, or for IEEE 802.15.4 in
general. Their only MSP430-based SoC by now is a generic sub-GHz
ISM-band transceiver one.

I agree to the others though, the probably biggest strength of the
ATmega128RFA1 is RF performance vs. power consumption.

Jörg Wunsch

Please don't send me PMs, use email if you want to approach me personally.

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slintone wrote:
I'll probably order a couple of dev kits to see how they feel like in development. I'll post the experiences if you want :)

That would be nice!

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That is very true, the 8051 core is not very attractive. Further research has driven me a bit away from the TI and towards the very promising STM32W and EM35X. We have quite a lot computational tasks coming that would greatly benefit from native 32 bit processing.

My price comparison is based mostly on Digikey prices at about 2...4k pcs. All examples have 128k of flash memory.

STM32W108CB @ 3000 pcs = 3.39 $
CC2530F128 @ 2500 pcs = 3.96 $
EM351 @ 2000 pcs = 4.7 $
ATMEGA128RFA1 @ 4000 pcs = 5.4 $

With a little bit of effort in purchasing, I'm sure all of these can be bought much cheaper. Initially it seems that Digikey has a quite good price on the Atmega128rfa1, not so sure about the rest.

Another thing that I noticed when reading through the Atmega128rfa1 datasheet was that they don't promise as good performance and reliability for the EEPROM memory as they do with Atmega644p for example. The maximum write count has been lowered from 100k to 10k cyles. But the other contenders are not much better, they also provide only "simulated eeprom" flash memory with 10...20k allowed write cycles. So moving from Atmega644p, we should probably migrate to using external SPI EEPROM chips anyway...

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Yes, combining RF + MCU on one chip did not play well for the EEPROM performance both in speed and endurance.

NOTE: I no longer actively read this forum. Please ask your question on www.eevblog.com/forum if you want my answer.

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The solution is to get a quote from your local ATMEL agent
Your price from digikey is high
What do you want in the chip? Why do you want it
Answer these questions and the choice will be obvious
Do the other vendors have a nicer bunch of people than AVRFreaks? (I doubt it :) )

_________________________________

www.proficnc.com
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Go Aussie Go!!!

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The Atmega128rfa1 looks rattling engrossing for replacing conventional AtmegaXXX + AT86RF231 combos in my proximo projects. Nonetheless, there are also remaining competitors which seem to jazz amend features/price ratio. For admonition the TI CC2530F128 looks really confusable in glasses, and can be bought a lot cheaper in astronomic quantities. Also, there is a activity of 32...256k Bit filler, which helps in optimizing costs. Other stimulating competitor is the Jennic JN5148 which features a 32bit processor and is soothe cheaper.

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