New contender for lowest-power Bluetooth Smart chip; battery life could double

May 21, 2013 // By Nick Flaherty
Dialog Semiconductor has launched what it claims is the industry's lowest power Bluetooth system-on-chip.

The SmartBond DA14580 is, says Dialog, the first Bluetooth Smart solution to break the 4mA current barrier for wireless transmission and reception, operating down to 0.9V. This allows you to more than double the battery life of an app-enabled smartphone accessory or computer peripheral in comparison to competing solutions. The part is aimed at connecting keyboards, mice and remote controls wirelessly to tablets, laptops or Smart TVs to enable consumers to use innovative new apps on their smartphones and tablets ‒ connected with watches, wristbands and smart tags ‒ to “self-track” their health and fitness levels, locate lost keys and much more besides.
The SmartBond low power architecture draws 3.8 mA in transmission and reception – 50% less than other Bluetooth Smart solutions on the market – with a deep sleep current of under 600 nA. This means a 225 mAh coin-cell battery in a product sending 20 bytes of data per second would last 4 years and 5 months in comparison to just 2 years with previous generations of Bluetooth Smart technology.
The DA14580 features a power management block, including a DC-DC converter and all the necessary LDOs, reducing the need for external components and the overall bill of materials. By precisely switching on and off power delivery to each block on the chip, Dialog is able to reduce energy consumption to a bare minimum. SmartBond works at much lower voltages than was previously possible – down to 0.9V – enabling the use of just one alkaline or NiMH cell AA battery instead of two in computer or smart TV peripherals. This opens up new possibilities for designers to create ultra compact and novel form factor products while reducing the total system costs. Alternatively, energy harvesting techniques that scavenge solar or kinetic energy can be used to power the rechargeable battery powering the system.
The DA14580 comes in three different form factors – the smallest Wafer-Level Chip-Scale (WL-CSP) is