Sunrise Micro Devices Inc. (SMD), a wireless intellectual property (IP) company, has announced its CORDIO BT4 radio core, the first radio core offering from the company's CORDIO family of sub-volt wireless products. This low-power radio core is targeted for battery or energy harvester-powered Internet of Things (IoT) sensors. The new product was designed to meet the demands of massive scale IoT network nodes require three core elements: a sensor for measurement, processing power and connectivity to communicate the processed data. SMD's offering provides the connectivity piece – CORDIO BT4 radio IP incorporates Bluetooth Core Specification Version 4.1 with a Low Energy Core Configuration that is suitable for applications where sensors are expected to operate for years without human intervention.
This radio core solution is a fully integrated platform that includes a transceiver, baseband and link layer (LL) subsystem for separate and independent execution of the link layer and the host controller interface (HCI). The integrated LL subsystem provides an energy efficient, timing-independent interface to the host processor, enabling easy implementation of the stack and application layers. In addition, the subsystem allows for efficient sleep and wake-up of the host processor leading to lower system-wide power consumption.
The company states that CORDIO BT4 is the only native sub-1 Volt platform in the market today – all the core circuits within the SMD radio are designed at 950mV (nominal). It has integrated power management for 1V or 3V battery applications. Due to the lower operating point for the internal circuits, the total power consumed during TX and RX is only 6mW (6mA at 1V) and the radio has a RX sensitivity of -94dBm. By incorporating the CORDIO BT4 sub-1 volt radio core solution, battery life of IoT devices can be extended by as much as 60 percent compared to 1.2V implementations.
CORDIO BT4 is optimized for the TSMC 55nm process and is delivered as a Hard Macro. In addition to reducing implementation time and facilitating ease of integration into SoCs, a Hard Marco implementation offers distinct advantages in the Bluetooth qualification process. SMD radio core will be a Bluetooth qualified controller sub-system (with a unique QDID) to ease Bluetooth listing of OEM products.
With a single antenna pin, integrated RX/TX switch and integrated capacitive DC-DC down-converter, the BT4 IP is designed with low cost and small size in mind and can be implemented with just nine external components. This will enable customers to offer smaller, less expensive and more reliable devices and position themselves well for adoption in high growth areas such as wearables, sports and fitness.