Maximise battery life, or use energy harvesting, with Bluetooth Smart radio

December 04, 2013 // By Graham Prophet
Imec, Holst Centre and Wicentric have launched an integrated ultra-low power Bluetooth Smart radio intended for a range of smart applications including personal health, lifestyle and smart home scenarios.

With a power consumption as low as 20% of existing radios and a small memory footprint, this radio solution, integrates imec and Holst Centre’s 2.4GHz ultra-low power radio and Wicentric’s exactLE product line of Bluetooth Smart software.

Imec and Holst Centre’s Bluetooth Smart compliant 2.4GHz short-range radio is 3-5 times more power-efficient compared to today’s available Bluetooth Smart radios that consume between 50 and 85% of the overall power consumption of a sensor system. The 1.9 nJ/b radio uses DC power of only 3.8 mW at 1.2V supply for the receiver and 4.6 mW for the transmitter. The measured receiver noise figure is 6 dB, resulting in a sensitivity of -98 dBm for Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE).

Wicentric's software solution includes exactLE Link, a portable and efficient Link Layer for Bluetooth Smart, and Wicentric's qualified exactLE Stack and Profiles. Wicentric’s exactLE Link is designed for efficient execution on low power CPU cores running at low clock speeds making it well suited for ultra-low power system-on-chip silicon designs. The exactLE Stack and Profiles support 18 standard Bluetooth Smart profiles and services for products such as physical activity monitors, healthcare devices, and smart watches. The complete software solution has an extremely small memory footprint, for example the combined code size of the link layer, protocol stack, and profile for a heart rate sensor can be as low as 45 kilobytes on an ARM Cortex-M0 CPU, running at 12 to 16 MHz.

Combining imec and Holst Centre’s ultra-low power Bluetooth Smart compliant radio with Wicentric's efficient and comprehensive Bluetooth Smart software delivers a complete and highly integrated solution that is available for licensing as of today.


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