MAXREFDES300#: RFID Datalogger for Healthcare and Cold-Chain Logistics


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The MAXREFDES300# reference design allows the user to prototype a product to measure and log temperature for the healthcare industry and cold-chain logistics.

The major components on the board are Maxim’s MAX32660 microcontroller, Maxim’s MAX20310 PMIC, and Axzon’s Xerxes RFM405 wireless sensor. Combined with the RFM405, the MAX32660 provides an evaluation board to overcome the challenges faced by current dataloggers by wirelessly reading/writing, providing traceability of temperature violation, improving battery life, and reducing cost. The reference design has a standards-compliant UHF interface (EPC Gen2v2) which easily allows a compatible RFID reader to communicate wirelessly.

Refer to the Details tab for more information. Design files including a schematic, PCB files, and bill of materials (BOM) can be downloaded from the Design Resources tab. The board is also available for purchase.


  • Maxim’s MAX32660 Microcontroller
    • Ultra-Low-Power Operation
    • 256KB Flash Memory and 96KB SRAM
    • 3.05mm (L) x 3.05mm (W) x 0.80mm (H) TQFN Package
  • Axzon’s RFM405 Wireless Passive Sensor
    • On-Chip Temperature Sensor
    • UHF/RAIN Operation – EPCglobal® Gen2 Compliant

  • CS108 reader

    The CS108 reader by Convergence Systems Limited. CS108 reader

  • 7077fig01



    Wireless (RFID) datalogger with a low-power microcontroller and a passive temperature sensor. MAXREFDES300#

The CS108 reader by Convergence Systems Limited.


Designed, Built, Tested

Board pictured here has been fully assembled and tested.


Details Section

Details Section

Detailed Description

The MAXREFDES300# reference design showcases the capabilities of the MAX32660 microcontroller in low-power mode to log the temperature measured by the Xerxes RFM405 passive sensor.

The MAX32660 is an ultra-low power Arm® Cortex® M4 with FPU-based microcontroller with the biggest memory in its class. It supports wearable-grade power technologies and is designed especially for IoT applications where power, performance, size, and cost are all equally important.

The RFM405 is a wireless temperature sensor IC. Smart Passive Sensing technology enables battery-free and maintenance-free sensing. An antenna accompanies the sensor for complete operation, and a RAIN/UHF reader can be used to read it.

The MAX20310 is a compact PMIC that manages the power on the board. It is a SIMO design where a single inductor can provide two programmable voltage rails, making it an ideal choice for space-constrained, battery-powered applications.

MAXREFDES300# operates on one button cell (LR44) battery and has a power button to turn on or off the board. A folded dipole antenna allows UHF communication with the RFM405 sensor.

A 10-pin, Arm Cortex debug connector on the board can be used to connect to a host machine through a MAX32625PICO board with a similar connector. The MAX32625PICO board is a tiny development platform that can be used as a debug adapter or as a target platform.

Block Diagram

Figure 1. The MAXREFDES300# reference design block diagram.

Quick Start Guide

The MAXREFDES300# needs only a simple setup to start logging the temperature.

Hardware Requirements

Package contents:

  • MAXREFDES300# board
  • MAX32625PICO board
  • 10-pin ribbon cable
  • Micro USB cable

Other requirements:

  • Either A76/LR44 battery or external power supply (required, but not included)
  • EPC Gen2 UHF/RAIN protocol-based reader (optional, if host machine is available)
  • Host machine with COM terminal program (optional, if RAIN reader is available)

Recommended RAIN reader:

Figure 2 shows the CS108 reader by Convergence Systems Limited, which is the recommended reader to wirelessly read the data from the MAXREFDES300# board. It is available for purchase on the Axzon website.

The CS108 reader by Convergence Systems Limited.Figure 2. The CS108 reader by Convergence Systems Limited.

Logging the Temperature

Insert the button cell battery, then press the PWR button on the board once to turn on the board and begin logging. It is loaded with firmware that measures and logs temperature every one minute for one hour. The alarm thresholds are set to +5°C and +20°C.

Press and hold the PWR button for 10 seconds to turn off the board.

Reading the Data

The data in Table 1 can be read from the RFM405 using an EPC Gen2 UHF/RAIN protocol-based reader. Each address contains a 16-bit value.

Table 1. Data Available on the RFM405

Address Parameter Data Type Description
2 Log number Unsigned integer The current log number.
3 Temperature Half-precision float The most recent temperature.
4 Maximum temperature Half-precision float The highest temperature code since the beginning of logging.
5 Alarm high trigger count Unsigned integer The number of times the temperature was higher than the alarm-high threshold.
6 Alarm low trigger count Unsigned integer The number of times the temperature was lower than the alarm-low threshold.

Modifying the Default Parameters

  1. Power on the MAX32625PICO board by connecting the Micro USB cable to a host machine.
  2. On the host machine, start a COM terminal program like PuTTY or Minicom at 115200 baud.
  3. Connect the 10-pin ribbon cable between the MAXDAP adapter on the MAXREFDES300# and the MAX32625PICO board.
  4. Power on the MAXREFDES300# board by inserting a A76/LR44 button cell battery or by applying an external power supply on the EXT+ and EXT- pins at 1.5VDC.
  5. Once the datalogging has started, type any key on the COM terminal to enable an interactive terminal.
  6. The following actions are available for the user:
    1. Change Log Interval – Modify the rate at which temperature is measured and logged.
    2. Change Log Duration – Modify the length of time for which datalogging should run.
    3. Change Alarm High Threshold – Modify the upper temperature threshold.
    4. Change Alarm Low Threshold – Modify the lower temperature threshold.
    5. Show Current Configuration – Display the current values of parameters.
    6. Start Logging – Begin datalogging.
    7. Print All Logs – Print all logs since power was applied to the board, if not already deleted by the user.
    8. Print Log Brief – Print maximum temperature, high temperature violations count, and low temperature violations count for all available logs since power was applied to the board, if not already deleted by the user.

Things to remember:

  1. Start Logging must be selected by the user to apply the changes.
  2. When Start Logging is selected, the user may choose to delete previously recorded logs.
    1. When prompted, enter ‘y’ or ‘Y’ to delete all previous logs or enter ‘n’ or ‘N’ to keep previous logs.
    2. If ‘n’ or ‘N’ is selected, a log entry with Time = 0 and Temperature = 0 is created to differentiate between changing parameters.
  3. When the interactive terminal is enabled and no user interaction occurs for 60 seconds, the system will return to logging mode and all recent user changes will be discarded.
  4. If power is disconnected from and reconnected to the board, all of the user’s changes will be lost and default values will be restored.

Maxim Devices (2)

Part Number Name Product Family Order Design kits and evaluation modules
MAX32660 Tiny, Ultra-Low-Power Arm Cortex-M4 Processor with FPU-Based Microcontroller (MCU) with 256KB Flash and 96KB SRAM MCU - Microcontroller Buy Now Design Kits
MAX20310 Ultra-Low Quiescent Current PMIC with SIMO Buck-Boost for Wearable Applications Power Management ICs Buy Now Design Kits

Maxim Devices (2)

Part Number Product Family
MCU - Microcontroller
Tiny, Ultra-Low-Power Arm Cortex-M4 Processor with FPU-Based Microcontroller (MCU) with 256KB Flash and 96KB SRAM
Power Management ICs
Ultra-Low Quiescent Current PMIC with SIMO Buck-Boost for Wearable Applications

Design Files (4)

Title Type Size Date
maxrefdes300-schematic ZIP 185KB 2019-09-12
maxrefdes300-pcb ZIP 136KB 2019-09-12
maxrefdes300-bom ZIP 93KB 2019-09-12
maxrefdes300-all-design-files ZIP 415KB 2019-09-12
Date Type


(ZIP, 185KB)



(ZIP, 136KB)



(ZIP, 93KB)



(ZIP, 415KB)

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