STMicroelectronics enables smaller smart Bluetooth devices
STMicroelectronics has released two new products to enable the next generation of better, smaller, and longer lasting smart Bluetooth connectivity devices.
The latest Bluetooth specification creates exciting opportunities for these to become even smarter, allowing designers to create items such as wireless beacons and devices that can calculate their location indoors with centimeter accuracy. Plus all the other convenient features Bluetooth is known for.
The latest Bluetooth products from ST cut the time for designers to understand the new specifications and put new product ideas into action. In today’s fast-moving markets for wireless products, the initiative lies with teams who can quickly conceive new products that offer novel and useful features.
Wireless microcontroller with latest Bluetooth 5.3 software
The STM32WB09 wireless microcontroller puts all the processing power and Bluetooth radio-frequency technology needed in one chip that designers can put directly on their board ready to connect any other components. It comes with the latest Bluetooth 5.3 software and lets designers take advantage of the vast development ecosystem ST has built to support its STM32 microcontroller family. This includes PC-based design tools, essential software and sample code to accelerate application development. With tailored memory and peripherals, the STM32WB09 is ideal for applications like wireless sensing, connected wearables, and remote control.
The STM32WB09 IC, suitable for skilled designers, offers the advantage of a tiny chip-scale package option that is one of the smallest on the market today.
The microcontroller supports advanced Bluetooth 5.3 capabilities including direction and distance finding for accurate position detection, thereby enabling applications such as real-time locating, indoor positioning, item finding, and asset tracking. It also enhances the performance and affordability of warehouse inventory management systems, smart meters, medical devices including disposable sensors, and access controls.
The STM32WB09 is built around an easy-to-use Arm® Cortex®-M0+ single-core architecture. This core hosts the application while ST’s state-of-the-art radio manages the Bluetooth wireless connection.
While providing generous on-chip memory, ST has prioritized features that make the biggest difference in the targeted applications. These include support for power-control options in the Bluetooth radio and the ability for users to fine-tune the RF output power in 1 dBm steps, which is a differentiator in the marketplace. This tuning optimizes battery life and system reliability and ensures coexistence with other nearby wireless devices.
Wireless module simplifies connectivity
For customers that do not have access to extensive engineering skills and resources, ST offers the STM32WB1MMC wireless module. It makes wireless connectivity simple as it contains a certified wireless microcontroller pre-integrated with external components needed for the radio system, as well as the Bluetooth software, and so bypasses many of the engineering challenges encountered when designing with chips. The module helps product developers reduce project risks and build high-performing wireless products with only basic radio-frequency engineering skills. By doing so, customers can focus on developing their own firmware to add value as the wireless functionality will be easy to use.
The STM32WB1MMC all-in-one module alleviates supply-chain headaches and lead-time issues and helps avoid certification costs and delays.
Built around the STM32WB15 MCU with 320KB flash and 48KB RAM, the module is Bluetooth Low Energy 5.4 certified with worldwide radio-equipment approvals — providing a full reference design in an LGA package. The entire module is made in-house, which simplifies supply and support for customers, while a 10-year rolling longevity plan ensures long-term availability.
To make its Bluetooth module even easier to use, ST has now introduced the B-WB1M-WPAN1 evaluation board that is ready to power-up and start development. This board also contains movement, temperature, and barometric-pressure sensors that can be incorporated into the system, and other convenient features like an industry-standard connector for attaching an external antenna.
For application development, the B-WB1M-WPAN1 accelerates the design of Bluetooth connectivity for integration with other system components and can be used as a reference design to ease hardware engineering workload. Leveraging the STM32Cube ecosystem, the board eases both power-consumption testing using the STM32CubeMX calculator and RF testing with the STM32CubeMonRF software tool.
Proemion, a leader in telematics, has been one of the first customers to use the B-WB1M-WPAN1 board for Bluetooth Low Energy application development. Michael Otterbein, Group Head Embedded Hardware Development at Proemion, explained, “Using the B-WB1M-WPAN1 development board allowed us to easily discover and develop using the WB1M module and seamlessly add BLE connectivity to our applications so we can deliver next-generation applications to our customers.”
The STM32WB09 wireless microcontroller, STM32WB1MMC turnkey wireless module, and B-WB1M-WPAN1 module evaluation board are all in production now and ready for new design starts.