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 wireless microcontroller System-on-Chip (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 hardware security accelerators enable quick and efficient authentication and encryption while leaving the CPU free to handle application tasks. The multiple 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 boot loader. Combined with the robust and comprehensive Z-Stack software solutions from TI, the CC2538 provides the most capable and proven 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 Flash
    • 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
    • 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
  • 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
    • 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
    • Few External Components
    • Only a Single Crystal Needed for Asynchronous
  • Development Tools
    • CC2538 Development Kit
    • Reference Design Certified Under FCC and
      ETSI Regulations
    • Full Software Support for Contiki/6LoWPAN,
      Smart Grid, Lighting, 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
Frequency (MHz)
Processor Integration
Flash (KB)
Over-the-air Upgrade
Timers - 16-bit
Timers - 32-bit
RX Current (Lowest) (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    
24     24    
ARM Cortex-M3     8051    
Up to 512     Up to 256    
Up to 32 KB     8 KB    
AES128/ 256
ECC 128/ 256
128-bit AES    
Yes     No    
8     1    
4     0    
32     19    
12-bit, 8 channel     12-bit, 8 channel    
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    
2.4-GHz IEEE 802.15.4
2.4-GHz IEEE 802.15.4
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)    
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