Jelmer, interested in figuring out how different the CC2650 is from the CC2630, decided to decap the chips. Decapping is the process of shedding the outer die of the chip using acid. If you are interested in a decapped MSP430, head on here.

The price difference between the different models is quite significant: the CC2630, 6LoWPAN model currently sells for an average of $11.87 while the CC2650, multi protocol version currently goes for $15.03. So how much hardware difference is there really between these models? Do you pay for different silicon, or are these different flavors more similar than their markings let on?

cc2650_decap

Similar markings on a decapped CC2630(above) and a CC2650(below) – jelmertiete.com

cc2630_decap

A decapped CC2650 with the F771739 marking – jelmertiete.com

 

Jelmer purchased the two chips and then dipped them in fuming Nitric acid. After adding a little heat to speed up the reaction, he got some good images of the silicon under his microscope.

cc2650_cc2630_decap

The different stages of decapping a CC2650 – jelmertiete.com

 

JPnorair, one of the radioheads in the 43oh forum sheds some light on the price differences.

The technical reference manual provides some insight.  There is an 115KB ROM that contains the PHY control and partial MAC for 802.15.4 and BLE.  I suppose on the ZigBee model it contains some additional ZigBee stuff.  BLE and ZigBee aren’t free.  They bear a royalty that TI has to pay.  On top of that, TI is charging a premium for the convenience.

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