Reducing the size and complexity of wireless designs

Posted By : Joe Bush
Reducing the size and complexity of wireless designs


A fully integrated, pre-certified Bluetooth module has been introduced by Silicon Labs that gives developers a combination of small footprint, ease of use and low energy technology for short range wireless applications.

Based on Silicon Labs’ Blue Gecko wireless system-on-chip (SoC) device with energy friendly Gecko MCU technology, the new Blue Gecko BGM113 module provides a small form factor Bluetooth 4.1 compliant connectivity solution with 3dBm output power for applications typically requiring up to a 50m range.

Backed by Silicon Labs’ development software including the battery extending Energy Profiler tool, the BGM113 module is well suited for space and energy sensitive RF applications such as smartphone accessories, wearable sports and fitness products, wireless locks and point-of-sale devices.

The BGM113 module combines a 2.4GHz Blue Gecko wireless SoC and a high efficiency chip antenna into a complete, ready to use system. BGM113 modules are pre-loaded with Silicon Labs’ Bluetooth 4.1-compliant software stack and are field upgradable using device firmware upgrades to Bluetooth 4.2 and beyond. The BGM113 module frees developers from complex RF design or protocol decisions, allowing them to focus on the end applications. As a pre-certified solution, the module minimises the time, effort and risk required for FCC/CE/IC certifications in North America and Europe and certifications for Japan and South Korea.

The BGM113 module is footprint compatible with Silicon Labs’ popular BLE113 Bluetooth module. This compatibility enables customers to migrate to an ARM Cortex-M4 Bluetooth platform with higher application processing power and lower power consumption while opening a path for Bluetooth 4.2 upgrades. The BGM113 module also complements Silicon Labs’ larger footprint, higher output BGM111 module, giving developers the flexibility to create wireless designs with the optimal combination of cost, size and energy budget.

Silicon Labs’ Blue Gecko modules and SoCs have similar technical features and identical software and application programming interfaces (APIs). This compatibility makes it easy to migrate from modules to SoCs in wireless designs with full software reuse and minimal bill of materials (BOM) cost and software development effort.

“If form factor and ease of Bluetooth development matter to you, then Silicon Labs’ new Blue Gecko module is the right choice for your wireless application,” said Riku Mettälä, Senior Marketing Director for Module Products at Silicon Labs. “Backed by our industry leading Simplicity Studio wireless development tools, the pre-certified BGM113 module provides a compact, industry standard footprint for Bluetooth low energy applications where size, cost and time to market are key concerns.”

The BGM113 module is supported by Silicon Labs’ Simplicity Studio development platform and wireless software development kit (SDK). Using the familiar BASIC-like syntax of Silicon Labs’ BGScript scripting language, developers can create Bluetooth applications quickly without adding external MCUs to run the application logic. Application code can be executed on the BGM113 module, eliminating the need for an external MCU, which reduces system cost and board space and speeds time to market. Additional Simplicity Studio tools include an Energy Profiler allowing developers to optimise energy consumption and extend battery life and a Desktop Network Analyzer providing full visibility of all wireless networking activity.


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