Secure Bluetooth low energy plus NFC with zero-power standby

September 01, 2016 // By Graham Prophet
Supporting both Bluetooth low energy v4.1 and NFC, Panasonic Automotive & Industrial Systems adds a short-range, Bluetooth low energy and NFC combo module for implementing Bluetooth functionality into end-products. An NFC enabled remote device may independently create a wake-up signal with neither host control nor local battery consumption.

Based on a Toshiba SoC, the cost-effective PAN1761 Series supports both Bluetooth low energy functionality v4.1 and NFC through a NFC Forum Type 3 compliant tag. The module enables robust Bluetooth low energy central and peripheral nodes to be built with low total bill-of-material costs. The configuration of the device allows NFC to wake-up Bluetooth low energy from standby using a NFC field and automatically initiate a Bluetooth connection. Highly secure Bluetooth connections are created using NFC to exchange link keys (Out-of-Band pairing). Bluetooth low energy applications with extended battery life are possible as a result of zero power consumption in standby mode.

The PAN1761 device comes in a 15.6 x 8.7 x 1.8 mm surface mount package (same form factor as PAN1026 and PAN1760 Bluetooth modules) with RF transceiver, and programmable Bluetooth low energy EEPROM memory with 32 kB on-chip RAM for host-less operation of application software and driver. FStandard SIG Bluetooth low energy and “SPP over Bluetooth low energy” profiles, low-power sleep modes, short transition times between operating modes, and an operating temperature range from -40°C up to +85°C are included.

Panasonic adds: “In adding NFC technology to Bluetooth applications our customer can benefit of various security and power related features in their application. Security features are enabled through the so-called man-in-the-middle scenario by NFC technology. A NFC enabled remote control device, e.g. smartphone/tablet, must be physically close to the other device tol be connected. On the other hand NFC as enabler for Bluetooth connection set-up leads to ease-of-use in applications. This enables new areas of application in the diagnostic and maintenance systems.”