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STMicroelectronics ultra-low-power innovation with BlueNRG-MS Bluetooth 4.1 network processor

STMicroelectronics ultra-low-power innovation with BlueNRG-MS Bluetooth 4.1 network processor
STMicroelectronics introduced BlueNRG Bluetooth SMART network processor that supports Bluetooth version 4.1 enhancements and introduces 1.7V operation for longer-lasting battery-powered applications.

The new BlueNRG-MS network processor can power devices such as a hub capable of collecting sensor data and subsequently acting as a peripheral to transfer the data to a smart phone. It can also allow very large sensor networks with unlimited communication range, controlled by a single smartphone. Moreover, BlueNRG-MS supports the latest moves towards IP-based connectivity added to Bluetooth 4.1, which enables developers to target future opportunities in the Internet of Things.

ST’s BlueNRG-MS network processor integrates a complete Bluetooth PHY and 2.4GHz radio, ARM Cortex-M0 microcontroller running the Bluetooth 4.1 protocol stack, and dedicated AES-128 security coprocessor. The API, power management, and Flash are already integrated, allowing direct connection to the application host controller using a simple SPI bus leveraging clear software partitioning between network processor and host microcontroller. With the on-chip non-volatile memory, it enables an easy and quick firmware upgrade.

The new Bluetooth 4.1 specification further increases energy efficiency and supports dual-mode topologies containing devices operating as both master and slave. The new Low-Duty-Cycle Directed Advertising minimizes energy consumed when connecting to known devices. In addition, Bluetooth 4.1 introduces Logical Link Control and Adaptation Protocol (L2CAP), which enables flexible data exchanges leveraging multi-channel communications and quality of service.

BlueNRG-MS is available now in a 5mm x 5mm x 1mm QFN32 package, priced from $1.50 for orders of 1000 pieces. A CSP option with the 2.6mm x 2.6mm footprint and the height as low as 0.56mm will be available after April 2015.

The company’s portfolio of Bluetooth solutions includes transceivers, network processors and modules, supporting Bluetooth Smart (4.0 and 4.1) and Bluetooth Classic (3.0). Its Bluetooth Smart network processors – BlueNRG and BlueRNG-MS are embedded with the whole Bluetooth low-energy master and slave certified stack, together with an excellent RF link budget as requested by accessories and wearable devices to extend operation upon battery recharge. Its ICs and module are supported by an extensive set of evaluation boards, software, firmware and application notes.

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