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Bluetooth module enables compact, low-power wireless designs

Posted: 31 Mar 2016 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:Bluetooth module? wireless? system on chip? smartphone? wearables?

Silicon Labs has released a pre-certified Bluetooth module equipped with an embedded software stack that enables developers to design for small footprint, low-power and 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 50 metre range. Backed by Silicon Labs' development software, including the battery-extending Energy Profiler tool, the BGM113 module is ideal 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 2.4 GHz 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' 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 BGM113

Figure 1: Silicon Labs BGM113 Blue Gecko module simplifies wireless development with Bluetooth low-energy technology. (Image: Business Wire)

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.

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 Analyser providing full visibility of all wireless networking activity.

Pre-production samples of the BGM113 Blue Gecko module are available now for engineering evaluation and prototyping, and volume quantities are planned for Q2. BGM113 module pricing begins at $4.17 (USD) in 10,000-unit quantities. The SLWSK6101B Blue Gecko wireless starter kit, priced at $99 (USD MSRP), and free SDK are available now.





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