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Alien Technology offers new passive UHF RFID readers ••• Metalcraft intros tiny tag with long read range ••• AsReader device turns smartphones into RFID reader-writers ••• Smartrac releases new RFID and IoT solutions for retail ••• New RFID label from Checkpoint Systems boosts merchandise visibility ••• Swatch Group creates mini Bluetooth chip for Internet of Things ••• STMicroelectronics unveils new NFC RFID tag ICs for long-range contactless communication.
By Rich Handley

Swatch Group Creates Mini Bluetooth Chip for Internet of Things

Swatch Group has introduced a new Bluetooth chip. The new integrated circuit is designed by Swatch Group, EM Microelectronic and the Swiss Center for Electronics and Microtechnology (CSEM).

The ultra-miniaturization of electronic components, the company reports, is crucial for the densification of functions in portable electronic devices, as well as for the Internet of Things. It offers low energy consumption for various use cases, thus increasing the autonomy of connected objects. Its high-speed startup capability makes it possible to improve the reactivity and the lifetime of, for example, electronic beacons.

The chip is qualified to meet the latest Bluetooth standard, version 5.0. It consists of more than 5 million transistors on a surface measuring approximately 5 square millimeters (0.008 square inch). Designed for increased flexibility, it can work alone or in conjunction with various sensors. According to the company, systems integrators can take advantage of a microcontroller with very low power consumption, or use the chip to add a Bluetooth communication function to any portable electronic device.

Swatch Group and the CSEM, both based in the Swiss Silicon Valley, collaborate in a wide range of fields. The two long-standing partners are working to develop an ecosystem specially designed to meet the needs of small connected objects (the Internet of Things) and watches. This platform will be built around a new, bespoke operating system, the company indicates.

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