A Powerful System-On-Chip for 2.4-GHz IEEE 802.15.4-2006 and ZigBee Applications - CC2538


A Powerful System-On-Chip for 2.4-GHz IEEE 802.15.4-2006 and ZigBee Applications


The CC2538xFnn is the ideal SoC for high-performance ZigBee applications. The device combines a powerful ARM Cortex-M3-based MCU system with up to 32KB on-chip RAM and up to 512KB on-chip flash with a robust IEEE 802.15.4 radio. This enables the device to handle complex network stacks with security, demanding applications, and over-the-air download. Thirty-two GPIOs and serial peripherals enable simple connections to the rest of the board. The powerful security accelerators enable quick and efficient authentication and encryption while leaving the CPU free to handle application tasks. The low-power modes with retention enable quick startup from sleep and minimum energy spent to perform periodic tasks. For a smooth development, the CC2538xFnn includes a powerful debugging system and a comprehensive driver library. To reduce the application flash footprint, CC2538xFnn ROM includes a utility function library and a serial bootloader. Combined with the free Z-Stack PRO or ZigBee IP stacks from TI, the CC2538 provides the most capable and robust ZigBee solution in the market.


  • Microcontroller
    • Powerful ARM® Cortex-M3® With Code Prefetch
    • Up to 32-MHz Clock Speed
    • 512KB, 256KB or 128KB of In-System-Programmable
    • Supports On-Chip Over-the-Air Upgrade (OTA)
    • Supports Dual ZigBee Application Profiles
    • Up to 32KB of RAM (16KB With Retention in All
      Power Modes)
    • cJTAG and JTAG Debugging
  • RF
    • 2.4-GHz IEEE 802.15.4 Compliant RF Transceiver
    • Excellent Receiver Sensitivity of –97 dBm
    • Robustness to Interference With ACR of 44 dB
    • Programmable Output Power up to 7 dBm
  • Security Hardware Acceleration
    • Future Proof AES-128/256, SHA2 Hardware
      Encryption Engine
    • Optional – ECC-128/256, RSA Hardware Acceleration
      Engine for Secure Key Exchange
    • Radio Command Strobe Processor and Packet Handling
      Processor for Low-Level MAC Functionality
  • Low Power
    • Active-Mode RX (CPU Idle): 20 mA
    • Active-Mode TX at 0 dBm (CPU Idle): 24 mA
    • Power Mode 1 (4-µs Wake-Up, 32-KB RAM Retention,
      Full Register Retention): 0.6 mA
    • Power Mode 2 (Sleep Timer Running, 16-KB RAM Retention,
      Configuration Register Retention): 1.3 µA
    • Power Mode 3 (External Interrupts, 16-KB RAM Retention,
      Configuration Register Retention): 0.4 µA
    • Wide Supply-Voltage Range (2 V to 3.6 V)
  • Peripherals
    • µDMA
    • 4 × General-Purpose Timers (Each 32-Bit or 2 × 16-Bit)
    • 32-Bit 32-kHz Sleep Timer
    • 12-Bit ADC With 8 Channels and Configurable Resolution
    • Battery Monitor and Temperature Sensor
    • USB 2.0 Full-Speed Device (12 Mbps)
    • 2 × SPI
    • 2 × UART
    • I2C
    • 32 General-Purpose I/O Pins
      (28 × 4 mA, 4 × 20 mA)
    • Watchdog Timer
  • Layout
    • 8-mm × 8-mm QFN56 Package
    • Robust Device for Industrial Operation up to 125°C
    • Few External Components
    • Only a Single Crystal Needed for Asynchronous Networks
  • Development Tools
    • CC2538 Development Kit
    • Reference Design Certified Under FCC and ETSI Regulations
    • Full Software Support for Contiki/6LoWPAN, ZigBee Smart
      Energy 1.x, ZigBee Light Link, and ZigBee Home Automation
      With Sample Applications and Reference Designs Available
    • Code Composer Studio™
    • IAR Embedded Workbench® for ARM
    • SmartRF™ Studio
    • SmartRF Flash Programmer

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Parametrics Compare all products in ZigBee (IEEE 802.15.4 / ZigBee PRO)

Device Type
Processor Integration
Over-the-air Upgrade
RX Current (mA)
Sleep Current (uA)
Output Power (dBm)
RX Sensitivity (dBm)
Data Rate (Max) (kbps)
Operating Temperature Range (C)
Package Group
Key Software Features
Key Applications
Distance between 2 nodes or between node and gateway
How product connects to Internet
Network Topology
Number of Nodes
Operating System Used in Product
Required Throughput
Standards Based Communication Protocol
Type of Battery
CC2538 CC2531
Wireless MCU     Wireless MCU    
2.4 GHz     2.4 GHz    
ARM Cortex-M3     8051    
Up to 512 KB     Up to 256 KB    
Up to 32 KB     8 KB    
Yes     No    
4 32-bit GP timers (or 8 16-bit)
1 Sleep Timer    
1 16-bit
3 8-bit
1 Sleep Timer    
32     19    
12-bit, 8 channel     12-bit, 8 channel    
20     20.5    
1.3     0.4    
7     4.5    
-97     -97    
250     250    
  -40 to 125    
QFN     VQFN    
Golden Unit Z-Stack
Foundation Firmware
MAC Software Stack    
Golden Unit Z-Stack    
Smart Grid and Home Area Network
Home and Building Automation
Intelligent Lighting Systems
Wireless Sensor Networks
Internet of Things    
Personal (~10m)
Home/Office/Enterprise (~100m)    
Use custom gateway or not required      
Mesh/Self Healing
Star or Point to Point    
10 to 250
250 to 500    
No OS    
<100 Kbs
100 to 250 Kbs    
ZigBee     RF4CE
AAA Battery
AA Battery
Rechargable (Li-ION)    

Companion parts

Part # Name Product Family Comments
CC2592   2.4 GHz Range Extender   Wireless Connectivity - 6LoWPAN     A cost-effective and high-performance range extender for low-power and low-voltage 2.4-GHz wireless applications that increases the link budget and output power while keeping a low-noise figure for improved receiver sensitivity.
See Literature swrs159  
LM3444   AC-DC Offline LED Driver   LED DRIVER - LED LIGHTING    The LM3444 is an adaptive constant off-time AC/DC buck (step-down) constant current controller that provides a constant current for illuminating high power LEDs  
LM3445   Triac Dimmable Offline LED Driver   LED DRIVER - LED LIGHTING    The LM3445 is an adaptive constant off-time AC/DC buck (step-down) constant current controller that provides a constant current for illuminating high power LEDs  
UCC28910   700V Flyback Switcher with Constant-Voltage Constant-Current and Primary-side Control   AC/DC AND ISOLATED DC/DC POWER SUPPLY - PWM AND RESONANT CONTROLLER    The 700-V UCC28910 is dedicated to isolated flyback power supplies and provides output voltage and current regulation without the use of an optical coupler  
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