STMicroelectronics Releases BLE Platform for Industry, Smart Buildings

By RFID Journal

The evaluation platform, designed for application development, features modules utilizing the company's second-generation Bluetooth Low Energy system-on-chip.

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STMicroelectronics has announced its STEVAL-IDB008V1M Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) 5.0 evaluation platform for application development, featuring modules utilizing the company’s BlueNRG-2 BLE system-on-chip (SoC). The platform is based on the Bluetooth v5.0-compliant BlueNRG-M2SA module, with an embedded BlueNRG-2 low-power Bluetooth LE SoC that can function as a master or slave, or in a simultaneous master and slave role, the company reports. The STEVAL-IDB008V1M provides hardware resources for a range of application scenarios, including sensor data (accelerometer, pressure and temperature sensors), remote control (buttons and LEDs) and debug message management via USB virtual COM.

Three power options are available (USB only, battery only and external power supply plus USB) for application development and testing flexibility. The BlueNRG-2 supports Bluetooth 5.0 certification, allowing enhanced security with LE secure connections, power-efficient privacy with Link Layer Privacy 1.2, and up to 2.6 times higher throughput with LE data length extension, according to the company. The SoC contains an Arm Cortex-M0 core operating at up to 32 MHz to handle the Bluetooth stack and application processing, and it integrates such features as a 32 kHz ring oscillator, 24 kilobytes of RAM and 256 kilobytes of Flash program memory. Standby power draws only 0.9µA in sleep mode, with active Bluetooth stack and full RAM retention.

The BlueNRG-M2SA module measures 13.5 millimeters by 11.5 millimeters (0.53 inch by 0.45 inch). It features a BlueNRG-2 SoC with a ceramic antenna, an RF balun circuit, a 32 kHz crystal oscillator and an SMPS inductor to reduce power consumption. The module is intended to reduce engineering costs, ST explains, and to enable designers to create wireless devices with minimal radio frequency engineering experience. The BlueNRG-M2SA is qualified as a Bluetooth End Product, which means customers need not conduct additional testing to complete their own product qualification. The modules are pre-certified according to the U.S. FCC, Canadian IC, European RED and Japanese TYPE radio equipment regulations, ST repots, and they will also meet Chinese SRCC requirements once those are finalized.

The STEVAL-IDB008V1M plug-and-play kit enables rapid evaluation and product development, the company indicates. The board combines the BlueNRG-M2 module with sensors, including a MEMS pressure and temperature sensor and motion sensors suitable for a nine-axis sensor-fusion library. A low-latency, low-power ADPCM codec comes with BlueVoice middleware for voice-over-BLE streaming. Arduino R3 connectors allow access to the module’s peripherals and enable users to extend functionality via expansion shields. The associated STSW-BLUENRG1-DK software-development package contains a BlueNRG-Navigator graphical user interface that lets users build applications without requiring an external programmer or hardware.

ST indicates that the kit is indented to simplify the integration of the BlueNRG-M2SA module with its STSW-BNRG-MESH software for emerging applications in the industrial and smart-building markets. The STSW-BNRG-MESH implements the Bluetooth SIG Mesh Profile v1.0 to allow two-way communication and range-extending mesh networks, with cyber-security leveraging the BlueNRG-2 SoC’s integrated features.

With an operating temperature range of -40 degrees to +85 degrees Celsius (-40 degrees to +185 degrees Fahrenheit) and an output power of 5dBm RF, the BlueNRG-M2SA module can be powered directly with a pair of AAA batteries, STMicroelectronics notes, or with any power source ranging from 1.7 to 3.6 volts. BlueNRG-M2SA is suited for industrial applications, the company reports, and the STEVAL-IDB008V1M evaluation kit is available now.