Bluetooth low energy 4.2 module configured to bring power efficiency to IoT designs

February 23, 2016 // By Graham Prophet
Sensing and control applications can be embedded on top of the NINA-B1 module stack: u-blox' NINA-B1 Bluetooth low energy (Bluetooth Smart) stand-alone module is compliant to the latest Bluetooth 4.2 specification and certified to global radio type approvals, to add Bluetooth low energy-based connectivity to IoT designs in the shortest time.

Comprising an antenna, radio transceiver, an embedded ARM Cortex M4F microcontroller and a Bluetooth low energy stack, NINA-B1 is ready for design-in in connected sensors, building automation, medical devices, telematics applications, as well as monitoring and control systems. Supporting ARM mbed, the module and its evaluation kit (EVK) are open for designers who wish to embed their own application on top of the Bluetooth low energy stack.

The latest Bluetooth 4.2 specification offers an enhanced connection security capability, IPv6 and faster throughput compared to previous versions. The module is ready to support the future Bluetooth 5.0 specification by means of a firmware upgrade. The application memory - 512 kB Flash and 64 kB RAM - allows for firmware upgrades to be performed over-the-air (OTA).

With the u-blox Serial Port service pre-loaded, NINA-B1 enables integration into devices running serial protocols. AT commands, compatible with other u-blox modules, keep configuration efforts to a minimum.

NINA-B1 has advanced power management features to keep the power consumption down to 400 nA with wake up on an external event, 2 µA during idle state, and 5 mA (at 0 dBm) at 3.0 VDC, during transmission. With integrated NFC (Near Field Communication) capability, the module may be used to support Touch-and-Pair use cases for simplified Bluetooth pairing.

The module is a complete stand-alone Bluetooth low energy product and does not require any additional hardware. Sensors, accelerometers, LEDs along with other sensing and control devices can be connected directly to the module via GPIO, ADC, I ²C, SPI and UART interfaces. It is available in two versions, NINA-B112 (10 x 14 mm) with integrated antenna, and NINA-B111 (10 x 10 mm) with an antenna pin designed for application-specific antenna solutions.

A video clip is at;