Bluetooth Smart controller reduces idle/standby power

June 08, 2015 // By Graham Prophet
The latest version of EM Microelectronic’s EM9301 ultra-low power Bluetooth Smart Controller now supports Bluetooth 4.1, and can implement Bluetooth Smart with any microcontroller, ASIC or electronic system. Optimised for different ultra-low power modes, the new chip consumes 9 µA in BLE idle state, and under 0.5 µA in OFF mode.

For ultra-low power wireless sensing, remote control and monitoring applications, the EM9301 operates on as little as 0.8V. It can be powered by a wide range of common single-cell batteries or energy harvesters such as solar cells, piezo-electric or electro-magnetic elements. EM9301 supports both BLE MASTER and SLAVE roles as defined in Bluetooth specification V4.1, and combines the Physical Layer, Link Layer and Host Controller Interface (HCI) layer in chip. When paired with a low-power host controller, it enables cost/performance/size-optimised solutions for most Bluetooth Smart applications.

is the wireless connectivity technology of choice for the Internet of Things (IoT), wearable devices and machine-to-machine (M2M) applications. Due to the wide range of Bluetooth Smart applications, an optimised solution requires flexibility in microcontroller selection to allow for different processors, memory types and sizes, specialised peripheral blocks such as floating point processors, data converters, timers, analogue and digital interfaces and power management functions. The EM9301 offers a flexible, modular and low-cost way to add Bluetooth 4.1 connectivity to products.

“EM9301’s ‘companion chip’ approach allows it to address simple Bluetooth applications such as our EMBC0x beacons , which are powered by an ultra-low power embedded 8-bit MCU to achieve a very low bill-of-materials” said Michel Willemin, CEO of EM Microelectronic Marin. “The EM9301 is also a perfect Bluetooth Smart solution for smart watches based on legacy or custom watch MCUs; and in wearable devices, [to complement] MCUs or dedicated ASIC processors that are used for healthcare signal processing”.

The EM9301 is in production and is available in both die format and in an MLF-24 package. EM9301 device purchase includes a license-free Bluetooth Smart stack for 8051 or ARM Cortex M0/M3 cores. Development kits for numerous MCUs are available.

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