Bluetooth Low Energy controller comsumes 16.5 mA in receive mode

June 04, 2012 // By Julien Happich
The EM9301 Bluetooth controller from EM Microelectronic is optimized for ultra-low power wireless sensing, remote control and monitoring applications and operates on as little as 0.8 V.

It can be powered by a wide range of common single-cell batteries or energy harvesters such as solar cells, piezo-electric and electro-magnetic elements. The EM9301 is fully Bluetooth smart qualified for single-mode master and slave applications and combines the Physical layer, Link layer and Host Controller Interface (HCI) layer in one flexible chip.

In receive mode, the EM9301 requires only 16.5 mA, while competing products consume up to 23 mA, the company says. An integrated DC/DC converter powers the device's RF circuitry while concurrently delivering up to 100 mA to an external device such as sensors, external microcontrollers, LED indicators, or displays and driver circuits).

RF output power is programmable from +4 dBm to -20 dBm in 6 steps. The system power budget can be further optimized by putting the EM9301 in SLEEP or IDLE mode, where it consumes less than 1 µA. The overall bill of material and size can be reduced significantly by the proper design of a 200-ohm differential impedance PCB trace antenna, eliminating the need for matching, balun, and antenna components.

The EM9301 is sampling now and is available in both die format and in a ROHS-compliant MLF-24 package. The device comes with a license-free Bluetooth smart stack for 8051, ARM Cortex-M0, or -M3 cores.

The ALPW-BLESDK80c51 Software Development Kit from Alpwise provides a compatible BLE stack for the EM9301, as well as many profiles, services, and example applications for the ENSEMBLE DVK. iOS applications for wirelessly connecting the EM9301 to an iPhone 4S will be available on Apple's App Store soon.