SimpleLink Bluetooth module with enhanced audio and Bluetooth LE

March 10, 2014 // By Graham Prophet
Texas Instruments’ SimpleLink Bluetooth CC256x portfolio has gained new modules and audio reference designs for rapid prototyping, development and production.

The new solutions are Bluetooth 4.1 certified and include updates such as on-chip audio encoding and decoding as well as new Bluetooth low energy capabilities. This Bluetooth dual mode portfolio will allow you to create a range of innovative audio solutions for applications such as toys, Bluetooth speakers, audio streaming accessories, and sports/heath fitness.

Based on the CC2564 dual mode solution they include all components that support FCC/IC and CE certifications. The CC256x family has been updated with new on-chip audio processing allowing for SBC (subband coding) encode and decode to be offloaded from the external host. By keeping the audio path external to the host microcontroller (MCU), the solution allows a greater range of suitable host MCUs, driving down system cost and power consumption.

TI is making it easier to develop Bluetooth audio with any MCU such as ultra-low power MSP430F5529, MSP43055438 and Tiva C Series microcontrollers. Support includes flexible software options licensed from Stonestreet One for all silicon versions including royalty-free Bluetopia Bluetooth stacks, profiles and sample applications for Bluetooth, Bluetooth low energy, assisted audio and ANT.

The new CC256x device is pin-to-pin compatible with previous TI devices. The CC2564 Bluetooth solution is now offered in a module from TI. FCC/IC and CE certification is coming later in 2Q, along with an evaluation module board for easy evaluation.

Reference designs for low cost speakers and toy applications include:

TI's Bluetooth audio sink reference design using the SimpleLink CC256x device, an ultra-low power MSP430F5229 MCU with 1.8V glueless interface to CC256x, a TAS2505 digital input class-D speaker amplifier, and bq24055 single cell Li-ion battery charger. All are supported with a Bluetooth stack, profiles and sample app, which enable developers to quickly add audio streaming capabilities from a phone or tablet to their products. A video is here.

TI's Bluetooth audio source reference design, expected later in the second quarter of 2014, features the SimpleLink CC256x device, an ultra-low