Following on from the Bluetooth SIGs opening for qualification of v4.0 of the specification which added low energy coverage CSR (Cambridge, UK) has released details of a single-mode, single-chip Bluetooth low energy platform, CSR µEnergy, addressing the needs of ultra low power connected devices. The SIG had formally adopted v4.0 in December 2009.
The CSR µEnergy platform will provide everything required to create a Bluetooth low energy product with RF, baseband, microcontroller, qualified Bluetooth v4.0 stack, and customer application running on a single chip.
The CSR µEnergy Bluetooth low energy platform will enable ultra low power connectivity for applications previously limited by the power consumption, size constraints and complexity of other wireless standards.
“The CSR µEnergy platform unlocks the potential of the Bluetooth low energy standard and is a huge step forward in consumer wireless technology.
“The ultra low power consumption of CSR’s µEnergy platform enables a new range of accessories to connect to the mobile phone, TV, PC, media player or tablet, enabling consumers to experience the power of these services in the home or products that they carry,” said Anthony Murray, Senior Vice President of the Audio and Consumer Business Unit at CSR. “Bluetooth low energy technology is an alternative to the fractured market of proprietary and poorly adopted standards and can be deployed in a variety of everyday devices, changing the way that we interact with our local environment.”
Murray added that use of the low energy BLuetooth devices should be more attractive to OEMs as there will be a number of suppliers of compatible devices.
Bluetooth low energy sensors in consumer products will enable their behaviour to be customised to the needs of the user, and tags will enable consumers to search and locate products and services around them.
Analysts predict that Bluetooth low energy will enable new markets for wireless accessories or wireless-enabled products including remote controls, health and wellbeing devices, PC human interface devices, watches, automotive keyless entry, advertising, indoor location, smart energy appliances and proximity tagging.
“The technology will bring wireless connectivity to a whole new class of devices that have never used it before,” said Fiona Thomson of IMS Research.
The CSR µEnergy platform has been optimized to support only Bluetooth low energy features, allowing products to be tiny, cost-effective and power-efficient. CSR’s chips are designed to run for years on a single coin cell battery, and may be used in simple sensors such as a step counting foot pods, heart rate monitors or car keyfobs, as well as in more complex low power devices such as a watch that can control and display information from a mobile phone.
The platform provides single-mode chips that complement CSR’s dual-mode devices.
The CSR µEnergy devices have a built-in processor which will be useful in consumer products to run customer applications. It includes four quadurature decoders to enable mouse and pointing devices, three analogue inputs for direct measurement of sensor, and digital serial connectors for external sensors and displays.
The chips each have direct antenna connections, can connect directly to a 3V coin cell or a pair of AAA batteries, and come with three pulse width modulation outputs for variable power control in applications such as lighting control or vibration motors.
They can run in optimized sleep modes with currents as low as 600nA and chips can 'wake' in response to external input signals for applications such as remote controls. Both chips provide embedded support for keyboard scanning while 'asleep' at less than 5µA.
CSR µEnergy is available in two package options. The CSR1000 is in a 32-pin 5x5x0.6mm QFN package while the CSR1001 is in a 56 pin 8x8x0.9mm QFN and provides extra pins for more complex products with a larger number of digital inputs, such as keyboards, remote control products or home information displays.
Both CSR1000 and CSR1001 can act as a master or slave using CSR’s recently qualified Bluetooth v4.0 host stack providing complete Generic Access Profile (GAP), L2CAP, Security Manager, Attribute Protocol (ATT) and Generic Attribute Profile (GATT). These devices enable customers to run their complete application on chip using the embedded 16-bit microprocessor.
CSR’s µEnergy chips are available to lead customers now with general availability due before the end of the year. Murray said he expects products using the new spec to be announced at CES in January 2011.
The (peripheral) value of Bluetooth low energy