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“Ideal chip for wearables” claims Dialog, for Bluetooth Smart IC

“Ideal chip for wearables” claims Dialog, for Bluetooth Smart IC

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By eeNews Europe



The IC integrates all the functions needed to create high performance wearable products with longest battery life. DA14680 includes the functionality to create a fully hosted wearable computing product, with an ARM Cortex-M0 core. It features flexible processing power, flash memory for virtually unlimited execution space, dedicated circuitry for sensor control, analogue and digital peripherals optimised for wearable products, and an advanced power management unit. DA14680 eliminates several external chips from wearable product design, Dialog says, allowing smaller form factors, lower system cost and lowest power consumption.

DA14680’s ultra-low power 30 µA/MHz ARM Cortex-M0 application processor will run at a clock frequency of up to 96 MHz. Security features include a dedicated hardware crypto engine with elliptic curve cryptology (ECC), delivering end-to-end banking-level encryption, ensuring personal data security. The device integrates 8 Mbit flash memory, audio support with PDM and I²S/PCM interfaces, two separate I²C and SPI buses, three white LED drivers, a temperature sensor, multi-channel DMA, and an 8-channel, 10-bit ADC. Intelligent power management, including system power rails and a Li-ion/LiPo battery charger and fuel gauge are also on-chip. These replace what would otherwise require separate ICs, the company contends. Multiple power rails allow control and isolation of multiple sensors, and the chip directly handles digital microphones, which are now the standard in wearable designs, Dialog comments.

Although not having sensor fabrication in-house, Dialog says it addresses all of the key aspects of wearable design; RF, application processing with the resources to “pre-digest” data, and sensor fusion. Running the M0 core at up to 96 MHz gives the power to handle arrays of sensors; the DA14680 is also a suitable choice for smart-home designs. Dialog sees the M0 core, in a low-power low-leakage technology, but run at the higher clock rate, as the optimum choice of processor at present, “but that might change in a few years,” a spokesman commented. The offering will be flexible on memory configurations, and version with no flash will be offered. USB functionality is integrated.

Dialog cites its RF experience in the product’s link budget specification, and the inclusion of a balun on-chip; you can, “put a paperclip on the output [as an antenna]” the spokesman added, noting, “the challenges are in the software and sensors – the RF [with this degree of integration] is straightforward.

Product development is via Dialog’s SmartBond development kits. These include the SmartSnippets software development environment, example application code and a power profiler for real-time, power-optimised coding.

The DA14680 will be sampling in the second quarter of 2015.

Dialog Semiconductor; www.dialog-semiconductor.com

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