News | May 15, 2014

Miniaturized Bluetooth Smart System-In-Package Module Removes Need For RF Expertise When Developing Smallest Smartphone Appcessories And Sensors

Based on the multiple award-winning Nordic Semiconductor nRF51822 System-on-Chip and smaller than the size of an adult thumb nail, the ISP130301 from French system-in-package specialist, Insight SiP, is claimed to be a drop-in solution that requires nothing more than a 2.1 to 3.6V on-board power source and sensor (if applicable), and can run up to several years from a coin cell (watch) battery.

Ultra low power (ULP) RF specialist Nordic Semiconductor ASA recently announces that French multi-die system-in-package (SiP) design specialist, Insight SiP, has developed a miniaturized Nordic nRF51822 System-on-Chip-based Bluetooth Smart module that requires no specialist RF engineering experience to employ and targets highly space-constrained smartphone and tablet appcessories, and computer accessories, such as body-worn health and wellness sensors and key fob proximity detectors.

The Insight SiP ISP130301 measures just 8 x 11 x 1.2 mm in size (smaller than an adult thumb nail) and is claimed to be a complete 'drop-in' Bluetooth Smart module solution housed in a QFN, LGA package. The module includes in addition to the nRF51822 and it's 32-bit ARM Cortex M0 microprocessor, 256 kB of Flash memory, and full suite of analog and digital peripherals (including 2-wire, ADC, AES, GPIO, PWM, Real Time Clock, RNG, SPI, Temperature Sensor, and UART), a DC-DC converter, integrated RF antenna, 16 MHz and 32 kHz high stability quartz oscillators, plus an RF matching circuit and passive components.

The Insight SiP ISP130301, which has full FCC and CE EMC certification pending and is Bluetooth SIG certified to the latest Bluetooth v4.1 specification, can be configured to operate in slave or master mode, requires no external supporting components beyond an on-board 2.1 to 3.6V power source and for sensing applications, an appropriate sensor.

Power consumption is also optimized for ultra low power operation with a claimed typical performance of 10.5 mA for transmission, 12.6 mA for reception, 2.3 µA for standby, and 0.5 µA for deep sleep mode. Insight SiP says this supports coin cell (watch) battery lifetimes of up to several years.

The ISP130301 supports all Nordic Semiconductor nRF51 Series compatible reference designs (all downloadable from the Nordic Semiconductor website) development tools and software including the nRFgo Evaluation Kit for nRF51822 (nRF51822 EK); nRFgo Development Kit for nRF51822 (nRF51822 DK); ARM mbed Evaluation Kit using nRF51822 SoC (nRF51822-mKIT).

In addition, Insight SiP has also developed its own development kit including a sensor demo and smartphone application for use with the ISP130301 (the ISP130301-DK1) which is available for purchase separately.

"Our module is designed to eliminate size being in an issue for product developers who want to fast-track the development of the smallest Bluetooth Smart appcessories and accessories, comments Philippe Genin, BLE Product Line Manager at Insight SiP. "It also minimizes the engineering and commercial risk and can be designed-out later if a product proves successful and goes into high volume production. It's a win-win all round."

“The advent of Bluetooth Smart has driven an explosion in smartphone, tablet and computer based app and accessory development," says Geir Langeland, Nordic Semiconductor's Director of Sales & Marketing. "The challenge is that a lot of the individuals and companies behind this growth don't necessarily come from a traditional electronics and RF development background and modules enable them to get a product to market fast without the engineering hassle."

SOURCE: Nordic Semiconductor

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