Small and cheap way to add RF (both RX and TX) capabilities to uC?

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Hi - I'm interested in finding a cheap and small (low pincount) way to
add RF (both transmitting and recieving) capabilities to a uC. I've
seen the Microchip RFPIC series
(http://www.microchip.com/1010/pline/frequency/rfcats/rfpic/index.htm)
and those are definitely of interest - but they have a rather high
pincount for my purposes (18 pins is the lowest) and also they only
have transmitting capabilities - and primarily right now I'm looking
for a really small uC with recieving capabilities. And it looks to me
like the matching recievers for the rfpic series are these:
http://www.microchip.com/1010/pline/frequency/rfcats/standrf/index.htm
which are all in 32 pin packages - which is bigger than I'd like to
deal with. I've looked at just using a small uC with one of the
smaller Laipac RF devices (http://laipac.com/easy_eng.htm ) - but that
is bulky and expensive. The application is very simple and does not
need much bandwidth at all. So does anyone have any reccomendations
for me? Thanks!

Re: Small and cheap way to add RF (both RX and TX) capabilities to uC?
I'm not sure that I know of any low pin-count devices but we did a
project last year using Chipcon's CC1010 which is a 8051 micro with
built in RF that supports 433MHz, 868MHz or 9xxMHz. You just need to
add some inductors, capacitors and resistors and an antenna and you're
done. The 8051 bit includes FLASH for program storage and the dev kit
is supplied with libraries for the Keil compiler. We also considered
some Atmel parts for this project (Atmel do lots of RF bits) but had
problems getting samples/low volume parts for prototype quickly
enough.

You don't say what bandwidth you want and what range nor what volume
you are building in. In Europe the cost of certifying a design means
that it's really only worth designing your own RF if you are in a
quite high volume application otherwise look at ready-made and
cerified RF modules.

Iain Tebbutt
www.claritech.co.uk
Hardware and Software Design

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