Dual-mode, single-chip IC is first to support BLE 4.2

Posted By : Barney Scott
Dual-mode, single-chip IC is first to support BLE 4.2

Toshiba has enhanced its dual-mode Bluetooth Classic and Bluetooth Low Energy IC technology to offer Bluetooth LE4.2 (BLE 4.2) functionality. The dual-mode TC35661-551 simplifies the secure system design of a variety of Bluetooth-enabled products ranging from smartphone accessories and toys to healthcare equipment, industrial as well as automotive sensors and switch solutions.

Building on the success of previous Toshiba dual-mode Bluetooth ICs, the TC35661-551 offers the ability to implement secure connections based around ECDH (Elliptic Curve Diffie-Hellman) public key cryptography, a technology adopted by the Bluetooth 4.2 standard. This additional security provides a very high degree of protection against 'passive eavesdropping' attacks.

Bluetooth Classic and BLE are not interoperable, which means different device protocols and profiles are needed to match the communication method of the host application. Because the TC35661-551 incorporates both the Serial Port Profile (SPP) required for Bluetooth Classic communication and the Generic Attribute Profile (GATT) used for BLE, the IC supports high-speed serial communication (SPP) as well as all kind of BLE applications. Standard and proprietary BLE profiles can easily be attached over the UART interface to the embedded GATT layer.

Described as the industry’s most competitive dual-mode Bluetooth device, Toshiba's original dual-mode IC – the TC35661-501– has been produced in tens of millions of pieces per month. This IC can be found in hundreds of automotive, industrial, consumer and healthcare applications around the world. As well as adding the BLE 4.2 secure connection feature, the new TC35661-551 supports larger MTU packet sizes of 160bytes. This means that it can deliver higher data transfer rates than its predecessor. In addition, extended GATT functionality supports more complex BLE profiles with larger GATT Server database.

The TC35661-551 can work with operating voltages of 1.8V and 3.3V and integrates UART, I2C and GPIO interfaces. Sleep mode and host wake-up functions extend battery life in mobile products. Dimensions of the ultra-compact TFBGA64 package are just 5mm x 5mm.

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Developing wearable products: technology and opportunities
17th January 2018
United Kingdom Cocoon Networks, London