Dual-mode Bluetooth module spans ‘Smart’ & ‘Classic’ apps

June 09, 2015 // By Graham Prophet
Silicon Labs’ dual-mode Bluetooth Smart Ready module is a flexible route to integrate both Bluetooth Smart and Bluetooth Basic Rate/Enhanced Data Rate (BR/EDR) wireless technologies while minimising design time, cost and complexity.

The Bluetooth Smart Ready BT121 module from Bluegiga, a Silicon Labs company, provides a pre-certified, fully integrated, high-performance solution that includes the Bluetooth radio, microcontroller (MCU) and on-board Bluetooth software stack supported by Silicon Labs’ Bluetooth Smart Ready software development kit (SDK) and BGScript scripting language.

The BT121 Bluetooth Smart Ready module and software are designed to help developers accelerate time to market and reduce development costs and compliance risks by providing a versatile, plug-and-play Bluetooth solution. The BT121 module is ideal for applications requiring connectivity to legacy devices that only support Bluetooth BR/EDR, as well the latest applications using Bluetooth Smart such as connected home, health and fitness, wearables and point-of-sale terminals. There are millions of legacy smart phones, tablets and PCs still in service that do not support Bluetooth Smart technology. Additionally, some applications require the higher throughput advantages of Bluetooth Classic technology, which Bluetooth Smart is not designed to achieve.

The BT121 module provides a “best of both worlds” solution for both ultra-low-power and high-data-rate Bluetooth connectivity applications. The module can connect to legacy devices that only support Bluetooth SPP or Apple iAP2 profiles, for example, as well as to devices that support Bluetooth Smart. The BT121 module integrates a high-performance Bluetooth radio with an extended range of up to 400m, a low-power ARM MCU, and a fully certified Bluetooth Smart Ready protocol stack in an 11 x 14 mm surface-mount package, for a small Bluetooth Smart Ready modules.

No RF or Bluetooth protocol development expertise is necessary to implement the BT121 module in Bluetooth designs. The module can be used as a peripheral along with an external host MCU, or applications can be embedded into the built-in MCU with the Bluegiga BGScript scripting language, creating a completely standalone design with minimal external components.

“Our new BT121 solution makes it simple and easy to add Bluetooth Smart and BR/EDR connectivity to wireless designs,” said Riku Mettälä, general