New Programmable BLE System-on-Chip with Ultra-Low-Power Radio to Extend Battery Life in Consumer Applications

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ByDinesh Kumar 0

BlueNRG-LP - Bluetooth LE 5.2-Certified, Bluetooth LE System-on-Chip

STMicroelectronics has introduced the BlueNRG-LP, a BLE 5.2-certified, Bluetooth LE System-on-Chip (SoC) that has been designed to increase communication range, raise throughput, strengthen security, and save power. Consuming a very low power of 3.4mA in receive mode and just 4.3mA while transmitting, the new ultra-low-power radio (BlueNRG- LP) can reduce the battery needs by half in most applications.

The BlueNRG-LP supports concurrent connections up to 128 nodes, hence it can provide seamless low-latency control and monitor large numbers of connected devices. The device is designed with a high RF-output power that can be programmed up to +8dBm and has an excellent RF sensitivity of up to -104dB.

The processing unit of the device can execute code at up to 64MHZ, consume 18µA/MHz. It features industry-standard digital interfaces, multi-channel 12-bit ADC, an analog microphone interface with a programmable gain amplifier, user and system timers and watchdog, and up to 31 5V-tolerant user-programmable I/O pins.

The BlueNRG-LP supports Bluetooth Long Range mode that uses coded physical layers (Coded PHY) with Forward Error Connection (FEC) to extend the radio-communication range up to hundreds of meters and increase reliability, as well as GATT (generic attribute) caching to connect quickly and efficiently.

The BlueNRG-LP has been designed with ST’s third-generation Bluetooth Low Energy Protocol stack that is optimized for small footprint, modularity, low latency interoperability, and lifetime over-the-air upgradability. It also supports other features such as extended advertising and scanning, high-duty-cycle non-connectable advertising, extended packet length, and 2Mbit/s throughput. The BlueNRG-LP radio SoC can be used in a large variety of applications such as beacons, smart lighting, gaming, building automation, industrial and tracking applications.

The device offers multiple enhanced security features in the integrated Arm Cortex-M0+ microcontroller (MCU) comprise a secure bootloader, readout protection for the entire 256KB embedded flash, a 48-bit unique ID, as well as customer key storage, true Random-Number Generator (RNG), hardware public-key accelerator (PKA), and a 128-bit AES cryptographic co-processor.

Available in a choice of 5mm x 5mm QFN32, 6mm x 6mm QFN48, and a miniature 3.14mm x 3.14mm WLCSP49 wafer-level package, the BlueNRG-LP integrates embedded RF balun, DC/DC converter, and capacitors for the HSE (High-Speed External) oscillator and internal low-speed ring oscillator.

With 32KB or 64KB RAM and a choice of temperature range up to 85°C or 105°C, designers can choose a configuration that meets their needs. BlueNRG-LP SoCs are in production now, in QFN48, priced from below $1.00 for volume orders.

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