BLE processor accelerates time-to-market for connected smart objects

25th September 2017
Posted By : Lanna Cooper
BLE processor accelerates time-to-market for connected smart objects

To help product innovators streamline prototyping and development of connected smart objects, STMicroelectronics has created the SPBTLE-1S ready-to-use Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) module that integrates all the components needed to complete the radio subsystem. The new BLE module integrates ST’s proven BlueNRG-1 application-processor System-on-Chip (SoC) and balun, high frequency oscillators, and a chip antenna.

Developers can use this module to bypass hardware design and RF-circuit layout challenges. The SPBTLE-1S is BQE-approved, and FCC, IC, and CE-RED (Radio Equipment Directive) certified to simplify end-product approval for North America and EU markets. ST’s Bluetooth 4.2 certified BLE protocol stack is included, and the supporting Software-Development Kit (SDK) contains a wide range of Bluetooth profiles and sample application code.

Coming in a space-efficient 11.5x13.5mm outline, and with a wide supply-voltage range of 1.7-3.6V, the SPBTLE-1S module is suitable for small, battery operated objects powered by various types of sources such as a primary button cell or rechargeable Li-ion battery. High RF output power of +5dBm and good receiver sensitivity help to maximise communication range and reliability.

The BlueNRG-1 SoC at the heart of the SPBTLE-1S implements the complete BLE Physical Layer (PHY), link layer, and network/application-processing engine comprising a low power ARM Cortex-M0 core with 160KB Flash, 24KB RAM with data retention, and a security co-processor. The SoC also implements smart power management, with a DC/DC converter capable of powering the SPBTLE-1S module to ensure optimum energy efficiency. Users can leverage an extensive set of interfaces, including a UART, two I²C ports, SPI port, single-wire debug, and 14 GPIOs, as well as peripherals including two multifunction timers, a 10-bit ADC, watchdog timer and real time clock, a DMA controller, and a PDM stream processor interface, which is suitable for developing voice-controlled applications.

The SPBTLE-1S module is in production and available now, priced $6.65 for orders of 1,000 pieces.

Evaluation kits containing the SPBTLE-1S are also available, which streamline development of various types of smart objects. The STEVAL-IDB007V1M combines the module with MEMS pressure and temperature sensors, LEDs, push-buttons, and programming interface to run the provided demonstration software out-of-the-box. An Arduino-compatible connector is also featured on-board, which allows development of more complex applications by adding extra expansion boards. This eval board is firmware, software and hardware compatible with the existing STEVAL-IDB007V1 platform based on the BlueNRG-1 SoC.

The STEVAL-BLUEMIC-1 small form factor evaluation board features a MEMS microphone and an inertial module containing a MEMS 3D accelerometer and gyroscope.

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