Bluetooth 4.2 with performance and tiny chip size, for IoT apps

November 08, 2016 // By Graham Prophet
EM Microelectronic (Marin, Switzerland), the semiconductor company of the Swatch Group, has added the EM9304, a tiny, low-power, system-on-chip (SoC) optimized for Bluetooth v4.2 low energy enabled IoT, wearable and smart electronics products.

EM9304 is architected for flexible usage in a variety of Bluetooth low energy (BLE) applications. For simple applications such as beacons or smart sensing wearables, the EM9304 can be used standalone, or connected to a variety of sensors with standard serial interfaces. Users can also take advantage of a powerful, low-power 32-bit processor with a floating-point-unit (FPU) and on-chip NVM. Alternatively, the EM9304 can be connected with a standard MCU or custom ASIC for designers requiring only a simple and easy-to-implement BLE add-on function to existing applications.


The EM9304 is claimed to be the smallest BLE v4.2 SoC available on the market and features an optimized 2.4 GHz transceiver with high receiver sensitivity, and programmable transmit power for optimized current consumption. The IC includes a on-chip power management system with automatic configuration for 1.5V or 3V batteries. It is compatible with standard 1.5V MCUs such as ultra-low-power watch microprocessors from EM Microelectronic, or with standard 3V microprocessors from many vendors. The EM9304 comes with 128 kB OTP for applications, 48 kB RAM to support application development, and up to 20 kB RAM of retention data RAM.


Included in ROM is a certified Bluetooth v4.2 stack with proprietary Application Controller Interface (ACI) and Link layer with a Host Controller Interface (HCI). It supports secure connections, extended packet length, and multiple connections. Current consumption is minimized for all modes of the application utilizing an efficient scheduler and memory manager. EM9304 comes with firmware over-the-air (FOTA) updating routines that can run per application, function, or configuration to minimize download time.


Hardware and software development kits are available, including commercially available tools with an IDE and debugger. A website and forum are available to help customers with their development - and includes hardware and firmware examples. QFN samples are available now and full production will be early 2017. Customer support for PCB design, and FCC/CE certification are available. EM9304 is being