Bluetooth LE modules feature embedded scripting capability

June 23, 2016 // By Graham Prophet
Microchip’s RN4870 and RN4871 are next-generation Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) products configured with an ASCII-style command interface that eliminates any complicated code compiling.

The modules support the latest Bluetooth 4.2 specification and have a Bluetooth stack on board with a scripting engine to enable standalone operation and eliminate microcontroller (MCU) use for simple applications. The RN4870 and RN4871 deliver up to 2.5 times data throughput improvement over previous generation products based on the Bluetooth 4.0 standard. They offer connection security based on Federal Information Processing Standards (FIPS) coupled with advanced features. The devices can seamlessly transfer serial data over BLE devices and can support different beacon formats such as iBeacon or Eddystone via a single command. Both devices with a shield option are fully certified to meet worldwide regulatory standards and are available with package options as small as 6 x 8 mm.


Each module has an on-board software stack and pairs with any microcontroller with a UART interface. The RN4870-V/RM118, shielded with an onboard antenna, measures 12 x 22 mm; RN4870U-V/RM118, which is unshielded with an external antenna, is a 12 x 15 mm module. Similarly, RN4871-V/RM118, shielded with an on-board antenna, is in a 9 x 11.5 mm module, and RN4871U-V/RM118, unshielded with an external antenna, is 6 x 8 mm. Also available is the RN4870 Bluetooth 4.2 Low-Energy PICtail/PICtail Plus Daughterboard with a sensor board (RN-4870-SNSR).