Precision oscillator IP aids low-power features in Bluetooth SoCs

April 25, 2016 // By Graham Prophet
IP vendor Dolphin Integration (Grenoble, France) observes that, as an enabling technology for IoT, the Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) protocol is designed to enable very low-power consumption devices. To save power, designers of BLE ICs need to implement a wake-up system, sufficiently accurate from a time tracking point-of-view, to ensure that paired devices operate in the same time-window.


Drift in the oscillators of the paired devices must be accounted for; the higher the clock drift, the earlier a slave device needs to wake-up, thereby wasting significant power consumption over time. Dolphin Integration’s oscillator IPs, specifically designed for the Always-On Domain, provide optimization capabilities to BLE designers needing to find the best compromise between ultra-low power consumption, low BoM cost, high accuracy of frequency setting and fast power-up.


The qOSC-XTAL-LP-32k-co.01 crystal oscillator IP consumes as little as 50 nA at 32.768 kHz without requiring any external capacitor. It is also designed to reach a high accuracy of frequency, as good as 50 ppm, through a guided addition of capacitors. This crystal oscillator IP is provided either stand-alone or as part of an ultra-low power Real Time Clock (RTC) IP, the RTC-32k-CAL.01, and can be complemented with the fully integrated qOSC-RC-LP-32k-co.01 RC oscillator IP which operates at 32 kHz with ultra-low power (70 nA) and fast wake-up time (200 µsec).


Low-power IC designers can implement both fastest startup time and accurate time tracking by combining the high-accuracy crystal oscillator (qOSC-XTAL-LP-32k-co.01) with the fast wake-up RC oscillator (qOSC-RC-LP-32k-co.01). This oscillator and RTC IP combination can be part of a complete always-on domain with power consumption as low as 0.5 µA. The IP is designed to operate as low as 0.55V @ 55 nm uLP/uLP eF to enable a single and extremely low voltage operation for the whole always-on domain with low power awakening triggers, and low quiescent-consumption voltage regulators.


Dolphin Integration groups its offering as "Foundation IP" – libraries of standard cells, register files and memory generators – and "Fabric IP" of voltage regulators, Power Island Construction Kits and the MAESTRO control network; "Feature IP" includes high-resolution converters for audio and measurement applications through to power-optimized 8 or 16 and 32 bit micro-controllers.


Dolphin Integration;