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Saturday, September 09, 2017

Certified $7 Bluetooth module speeds IoT designs

By Nick Flaherty www.flaherty.co.uk

STMicroelectronics has created a $7 ready-to-use Bluetooth Low Energy 4.2 (BLE) module that integrates all the components needed to complete the radio subsystem.

The new the SPBTLE-1S module integrates ST’s BlueNRG-1 application-processor System-on-Chip (SoC) and balun, high-frequency oscillators, and a chip antenna.

Developers can use the 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.

The module measures 11.5mm x 13.5mm outline and has a wide supply-voltage range of 1.7V-3.6V 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 maximize 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 on an 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 make use of a 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 for developing voice-controlled applications.

The SPBTLE-1S module is in production and available now, priced $6.65 for orders of 1000 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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