Neuchatel and Sophia Antipolis, 12 November 2012 – An integrated Bluetooth Smart solution comprising an ultra-low power RF transceiver with flexible and fully Bluetooth Smart qualified low power baseband, stack and profiles is now available for licensing.
Bluetooth Smart (aka Bluetooth low energy) is emerging as a leading candidate to address the growing market for wireless body worn sensors, for portable medical, sport and wellness sensors. Body worn sensors, also known as body area networks or BAN, nevertheless have challenging requirements including miniaturization and autonomy.
RivieraWaves and CSEM have now teamed up to provide an ultra-low-power Bluetooth Smart integrated solution for ASIC integration. This flexible solution comprises RivieraWaves’ full qualified Bluetooth Smart protocol stack and baseband combined with the world’s lowest power Bluetooth Smart radio from CSEM.
The radio is based on the recently-announced icyTRX transceiver. The power consumption of less than 10mW in receive mode (from a 1.2V supply) offers significant improvements compared with today’s standard products, and features sensitivity of -94 dBm as well as a settling time as low as 5us. A patented architecture and integration of all RF passive devices on-chip, result in a silicon area less than 2mm2 in a 90nm CMOS technology.
The BLE baseband controller is less than 65KGates, including an optional AES-CCM128 engine. The hardware accelerator handles real time tasks of the Bluetooth Smart Link Layer and takes care of a complete Bluetooth Smart event while the CPU is in sleep mode, a more energy efficient approach than a baseband controller with packet driven architecture. Running at 8MHz, peak power consumption is around 100uA in a 90nm CMOS process, while power consumption in idle modes has also been reduced to the minimum. Thanks to innovative clock gating, power gating, and optimized software control, several years of battery life on a CR2032 can be achieved.
The BLE software protocol stack has low MIPs requirement and low memory foot print. It can easily be executed on a Cortus APS3 or ARM Cortex M0 running at 8MHz. For instance, the core stack for a Health Thermometer, from Link Layer up to Profile can be as low as 50KB.
The solution is now available for licensing. Samples are available, as well as a complete reference design, smart phone demonstrator and evaluation kit.