Sensor-Based IoT Development Platform With Bluetooth

Fujitsu Components America’s BlueBrain development platform for high-performance IoT applications is now available with a development breakout board and interface board. It enables designers to easily create a wireless monitoring and data collection system via Bluetooth. The enhanced BlueBrain Sensor-Based IoT System Platform will be available in this summer as a standard product through distribution. Jointly Fujitsu Components America bluebrain-sbs highdeveloped with CRATUS Technology, the BlueBrain platform features a high-performance CORTEX-M4 microcontroller from STMicroelectronics and a Bluetooth Low Energy wireless module from Fujitsu Components. The embedded hardware, software, and industry-standard interfaces and peripherals reduce the time and expertise needed to develop and deploy wireless, sensor-based products running simple or complicated algorithms.

The Breakout Board provides switch inputs and LED outputs to test I/O ports and functions, as well as programming interfaces for proof of concept and application development. The Interface Board provides additional sensors and interfaces and may also be used in parallel to expand the development platform. The BlueBrain Edge Processing Module attaches to a standard, 32-Pin 1.6” X 0.7” EEPROM-style IC socket, or equivalent footprint, on a mezzanine board to address specific markets and applications including industrial, agriculture, automotive and telematics, retail, smart buildings and civil infrastructure. Pricing for the BlueBrain Sensor-Based IoT System Platform is $425.

Fujitsu Components America | us.fujitsu.com/components

Bluetooth SIG Adds Mesh Networking to BLE Ecosystem

The Bluetooth Special Interest Group (SIG) announced that the wireless connectivity global standard now supports mesh networking. This enables many-to-many (m:m) device communications and is optimized for creating large-scale device networks, ideally suited for building automation, sensor networks and smart home solutions where tens, hundreds, or thousands of devices need to reliably and securely communicate with one another.

According to the Bluetooth SIG, Bluetooth Low Energy (LE) enables short-burst wireless connections and supports multiple network topologies, now including a mesh topology for establishing many-to-many (m:m) device communications. This is an important evolution for Bluetooth technology, and one of the most anticipated features envisaged by the Bluetooth SIG promoters, anticipating Bluetooth 5 practical implementations.

With this update the typical point-to-point, star-based network topology evolves directly to a true mesh networking topology, paving the way for a wide range of applications that span from personal area network solutions all the way to an expanded range of connected devices, theoretically without physical limits.

One of the main benefits will be precisely in the area where until now only standard 802.11 Wi-Fi solutions were available, which is the smart home and smart buildings. With the combination of Bluetooth 5 and mesh networking technology, manufacturers will be able to surpass worries about coverage range, without compromising on the low-power requirements that are mandatory in battery operated devices. This enables the creation of “blanket” Bluetooth networking coverage, with devices connecting between themselves without the need for a central router. This allows effectively the creation of autonomous Bluetooth Wireless Local Area Networks, allowing devices to communicate locally. For example, sensors will be able to send messages to main devices, allowing the music to start playing in the living room, as soon as the user moves out of the room.

As the Bluetooth SIG highlights, mesh networking doesn’t require any special controllers or hub equipment, there is no single point of failure, and any Bluetooth control device will be able to remote control any point of the network. All this, with assured interoperability and without complexity, allowing users to acquire and add devices from any vendor that adopted the standard.

The potential of mesh networking also allows more complex commercial and industrial scenarios. Bluetooth mesh is optimized for creating large-scale device networks and is ideally suited for building automation, sensor network, asset tracking solutions. New control and automation systems, from lighting to heating/cooling to security, wireless sensor networks (WSN) for industrial applications, are some obvious candidates for  Bluetooth mesh networking technology.

Capable of supporting broadcast topology, Bluetooth LE became an attractive alternative for asset tracking over active RFID. The addition of mesh networking lifs Bluetooth LE range limitations and establishes the adoption of Bluetooth asset tracking solutions for use in larger and more complex building environments.

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A unique full-stack approach that defines the low-level radio up to the high-level application layer, ensuring all aspects of the technology are fully specified for the updated specification. Comprehensive, multi-vendor interoperability testing is conducted during the specification development process, not after specification release, and Bluetooth SIG members can benefit of all the qualification tools and processes needed to ensure global, multi-vendor interoperability.

The Bluetooth mesh specification is now available to all members, allowing manufacturers to start prototyping products. The Bluetooth mesh networking specifications, as well as the tools required to qualify Bluetooth products with mesh networking support, are now available at the Bluetooth website. Bluetooth mesh networking operates on Bluetooth Low Energy (LE) and is compatible with core specification version 4.0 and higher.

Bluetooth SIG | www.bluetooth.com

Galdi Taps Eurotech’s IoT Gateway for Food Packaging Market

Eurotech has announced a design win with Galdi, a leading producer of packaging machines for the food market. Galdi chose Eurotech’s Multi-Service IoT Gateway ReliaGATE 10-20 to communicate with its production machines for valuable data collection, management and remote monitoring through Eurotech IoT Integration Platform Everyware Cloud.

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Galdi selected Eurotech gateway because of its globally-compliant Wi-Fi and cellular certifications. Implementing this IoT technology will enable Galdi to remotely manage its plants and its customers by providing greater access to valuable data.

The ReliaGATE 10-20 is an industrial grade smart IoT gateway that provides communications, computation power and a simplified application framework for IoT platform integration and services applications. The gateway offers a variety of communication interfaces including cellular, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth enabling connectivity to a wide range of sensors and edge devices essential in M2M/IoT applications. It also includes interfaces for wired connectivity such as Dual Gigabit Ethernet, CANBus, up to four serial ports and three USB ports. ReliaGATE 10-20 is simple to manage and delivers out-of-the-box connectivity and intuitive configuration of the routing parameters thanks to a web GUI and over-the-air options.

Eurotech | www.eurotech.com

Philips Lighting and Google Join Board of Bluetooth SIG

The Bluetooth Special Interest Group (SIG) has appointed representatives from Philips Lighting and Google to its board of directors. Ruud von Bokhorst and Martin Turon began serving their two-year board terms on July 1, 2017. The Bluetooth SIG Board of Directors is responsible for the management of the Bluetooth SIG, and has played a vital role in growing Bluetooth technology into the global wireless standard for simple, secure connectivity, shipping more the 3 billion products each year.

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Ruud van Bokhorst manages the Wireless Networks Program within Philips Lighting – Standards & Regulations, and is responsible for the wireless network standardization roadmap within the Philips Lighting Innovation sector. Over the course of his career, van Bokhorst has had the opportunity to lead change processes, negotiate Philips’ interests with competitors, steer teams of experts, and build bridges between various disciplines, nationalities, and cultures. In addition to his new role within the Bluetooth SIG, van Bokhorst serves in leadership positions in Lighting and Building Automation Standardization organizations, including Secretary General of the Fairhair Alliance and General Manager of the new organization for DÃLI technology (DiiA).

Martin Turon is a Wireless Architect at Google and Nest Labs focusing on Internet of Things platforms and embedded low-power wireless products. Martin has more than 13 years of experience in the development of wireless sensor network products and standards, and has pioneered commercialization of the technology in the asset tracking, environmental monitoring, structural monitoring, and smart home verticals.

With these new appointments, the Bluetooth SIG board now consists of the following member companies; Apple, AwoX, Ericsson, Google, Intel, Lenovo, Microsoft, Nokia, Philips Lighting, Polar, and Toshiba.

Bluetooth SIG | www.bluetooth.com

BLE Chip from STMicroelectronics Targets Connected Smart Things

A new-generation Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) System-on-Chip from STMicroelectronics is aimed at accelerating the spread of connected smart objects throughout homes, shopping areas, industry, toys and gaming, personal healthcare and infrastructure. ST sees important opportunities for BLE-connected applications that are simple, functionally focused, and can operate on a button cell for months or years. The new BlueNRG-2 chip meets all these needs with its extremely power-efficient programmable processor and low-power features including an ultra-frugal standby mode.

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The high RF signal strength saves system power by ensuring reliable wireless communication, and generous on-chip memory for BLE software and application code simplifies system design by saving external memory components. BlueNRG-2 is Bluetooth 5.0-certified, which ensures interoperability with the latest generation of smartphones, and supports enhanced features such as state-of-the-art security, privacy, and extended packet length for faster data transfer.

Kickstarter to Build Solar Powered Robot for Weeding Gardens

Franklin Robotics has launched a Kickstarter to build Tertill: a solar-powered and weatherproof robot that weeds your garden every day. With Tertill, gardeners can now enjoy weed-free vegetable and flower gardens, without the monotony and frustration of weeding.  Organic gardeners can breathe easy and enjoy a weed-free, chemical-free garden all season long. Created by roboticist Joe Jones – inventor of the Roomba – Franklin Robotics’ Tertill is designed to live in your garden and take care of the weeding, come rain or shine.

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Tertill lives in your garden and prevents weeds from becoming established.  Using unique design elements and a variety of sensors, Tertill patrols the garden daily, avoiding plants and obstacles while looking for weeds to eliminate. Tertill has a very simple method of distinguishing weeds from plants: weeds are short, plants are tall. A plant tall enough to touch the front of Tertill’s shell activates a sensor that makes the robot turn away. A plant short enough to pass under Tertill’s shell, though, activates a different sensor that turns on the weed cutter.

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Tertill gets its power from the sun. When there is sunlight—even on cloudy days—Tertill’s solar cell converts the light into electricity. The robot stores the energy in a battery. You don’t need to charge or replace Tertill’s battery. Tertill uses its stored power smartly—during cloudy stretches, when less power is available, it patrols for weeds less often. Tertill is more aggressive during periods with more sun. Fortunately, weeds grow more slowly when they have less light.

Frankin Robotics

www.franklinrobotics.com

Protocol Analyzer Supports Bluetooth Low Energy

Saelig Co. recently announced the availability of Teledyne LeCroy’s BPA low-energy Bluetooth Protocol Analyzer. The portable, USB-powered protocol analyzer is well suited for use in both a lab and the field. The analyzer’s features, benefits, and specs:

  • Supports mandatory Bluetooth low-energy features through Bluetooth version 4.2
  • Includes Frontline software
  • Includes DecoderScript software that enables proprietary data to be fully decoded and displayed in the Frontline software along the other Bluetooth profiles and protocols
  • Compact size (3.5″ × 1.75″ × 0.71″)
  • Easy to set up and doesn’t require synchronization to devices

Saelig Teledyne bpa-analyzer

The BPA low energy Bluetooth Protocol Analyzer costs $995.

Saelig Co. | www.saelig.com

FCC-Certified AMB2621 Bluetooth Smart Module

AMBER Wireless’s AMB2621 Bluetooth Smart module is certified for the United States and Canadian markets (Code of Federal Regulations, Title 47, Telecommunication Part 15 – Radio Frequency Devices). Manufacturers that use the wireless module in their products can gain time and cost benefits as a result because they don’t have to have them specifically certified with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).

Amber Wireless

The certifications for the AMB2621 module demonstrate the following: personal safety isn’t at risk, there’s good immunity against electromagnetic interference, and the radio spectrum is used efficiently. As a result, manufacturers can bring their devices to market quicker and without their own FCC certification. A simple reference on the device label is sufficient (i.e., FCC-ID R7TAMB2621 is integrated).

The AMB2621’s features, specs, and benefits:

  • 2.4 GHz BLE radio module
  • 11 × 8 × 1.8 mm size
  • Compliant with the Bluetooth Smart 4.2 Standard
  • Offered with or without an integrated antenna
  • Expands existing products with a BLE interface without having to be adapted in advance..

AMBER Wireless | www.amber-wireless.de

New Development Tool for Bluetooth 5

Nordic Semiconductor’s Bluetooth 5 developer solution for its nRF52840 SoC comprises the Nordic S140 v5.0 multi-role, concurrent protocol stack that brings Bluetooth 5’s long range and high throughput modes for immediate use to developers on the Nordic nRF52840 SoC. The Nordic nRF5 SDK offers application examples that implement this new long-range, high-throughput functionality. The existing Nordic nRF52832 SoC is also complemented with a Bluetooth 5 protocol stack.

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Bluetooth 5’s high throughput mode offers not only new use cases for wearables and other applications, but also significantly improves user experience with Bluetooth products. Time on air is reduced and thus leads to faster more robust communication as well as reduced overall power consumption. In addition, with 2 Mbps, the prospect of audio over Bluetooth low energy is possible.
The new Preview Development Kit (nRF52840-PDK) is a versatile, single-board development tool for Bluetooth 5, Bluetooth low energy, ANT, 802.15.4m, and 2.4-GHz proprietary applications using the nRF52840 SoC. The kit is hardware compatible with the Arduino Uno Revision 3 standard, making it possible to use third-party-compatible shields. An NFC antenna can be connected to enable NFC tag functionality. The kit gives access to all I/O and interfaces via connectors and has four LEDs and four buttons which are user-programmable.

Nordic Semiconductor | www.nordicsemi.com

MediaTek Launches 4×4 802.11n/Bluetooth 5.0 System-on-Chip with Dedicated Wi-Fi Accelerator

MediaTek announced the world’s first 4×4 802.11n and Bluetooth 5.0 system-on-chip featuring a dedicated Wi-Fi network accelerator. The MediaTek MT7622 was created for premium networking devices including routers and repeaters, whole home Wi-Fi, and home automation gateways that pre-integrates audio and storage features. MediaTek also announced its next generation Wi-Fi low power chipset portfolio for connected smart home devices.

MediaTek’s new MT7622 SoC is a single platform for 4X4 dual-band and tri-band premium networking devices and introduces several best-in-class features including Bluetooth 5.0 and Hardware NAT, Hardware QoS and a dedicated Wi-Fi engine - MediaTek’s Wi-Fi Warp Accelerator. This eliminates bottlenecks by connecting the Gigabit+ class 802.11ac networking with multi-Gigabit internal pathways. It also features the ability to offload the CPU from multiple-users throughput and QoS calculations, all with lower power consumption. The end result is the ability to sustain high-performance for multiple, simultaneous heavy users.

“Based on MediaTek’s Adaptive Network technology, the MT7622 features easy setup, network self-healing, roaming, band steering, smart quality of service, and advanced security for whole home Wi-Fi,” says Alan Hsu, General Manager of Home Smart Device Business Unit, MediaTek. “For manufacturers looking for flexibility in the design of innovative networking devices, this chipset couples high performance and extensively integrated functionality.”

The MT7622, with the power a 1.35GHz rated, 64-bit dual-core ARM Cortex-A53 processor, provides a host of advanced connectivity options like SGMII/RGMII, PCIe, SATA and USB, and 4×4 802.11n FEM integration. To meet the growing demand for applications using audio and voice controls, the MT7622 includes essential audio interfaces such as I2S, TDM and S/PDIF. MT7622 also delivers a rich array of slow I/O in addition to the integrated Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and Zigbee co-existence for home automation gateways.

New Generation Wi-Fi Portfolio
MediaTek also announced its next generation Wi-Fi chipset portfolio. The new MediaTek MT7686, MT7682, and MT5932 devices will deliver high levels of integration with low power consumption for all connected applications, including audio products. The product family consists of highly integrated single chip solutions featuring an application processor, a low-power 1T1R 802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi subsystem and a Power Management Unit. The application processor subsystem contains ARM Cortex-M4 MCU with floating point unit (FPU). All three were designed with a focus on core principles essential to connected applications, including deep sleep, fast wake-up and reliable data connectivity.

“Our new generation of chipsets have been optimized  to deliver a 300 percent improvement in energy efficiency, as well as the ability for a device to re-establish a Wi-Fi connection within 0.1 seconds of waking from sleep mode,” says YuChuan Yang, Deputy General Manager of Internet of Things Business Unit, MediaTek.

The MT7682 features a low-power subsystem and fast connection and requires few external components to save porting cost. The MT7686 contains 4MB of embedded RAM and 4MB of embedded Flash memory that makes the chipset an ideal platform for rich data and storage applications. With Wafer Level Chip Scale Package (WL-CSP) technology, the MT5932 has a very compact 3.2 by 3.2mm footprint, saving BOM cost for space-constrained IoT applications.

The three chipsets offer a range of features to meet the needs of uses cases requiring varying levels of embedded memory. All include a number of peripherals, including: SDIO, UART, I2C, SPI, I2S, PWM and auxiliary ADC.
www.mediatek.com/products/homeNetworking/mt7622
www.mediatek.com/products/iot/smart-home

World’s Smallest Bluetooth Chip

The Swatch Group recently introduced the smallest Bluetooth chip on the market. Designed by EM Microelectronic, Swatch Group R & D, and the Swiss Center for Electronics and Microtechnology (CSEM), the compact chip is well suited for portable devices and IoT applications.Swatch_005

The IC’s features, specs, and benefits:

  • Smallest Bluetooth chip on the market.
  • Low energy consumption
  • High-speed start-up capability
  • Officially qualified to meet the latest Bluetooth standard, version 5.0.
  • Consists of more than 5 million transistors on a surface of about 5 mm2.
  • Works alone or in conjunction with various sensors

Source: EM Microelectronic

Open-Source Bluetooth Low Energy Beacon

Nordic Semiconductor recently announced the availability on Kickstarter of a Nordic nRF52832 SoC-based Bluetooth low energy (BLE) beacon intended for Internet of Things (IoT) applications. You can program the Puck.js wirelessly from a website using a graphical editor or JavaScript instead of C or C++, which are traditionally used by Bluetooth low energy beacon developers.NS_PUCK Nordic

The open-source Puck.js supports both the iBeacon and Eddystone beacon formats and comes with firmware updates for the upcoming Bluetooth v5.0 specification. The circular 35-mm Puck.js has a silicone rubber cover and plastic base. Powered from a CR2032 coin cell battery, the Puck.js includes a magnetometer (digital compass), user-assignable tactile button, and four LEDs (red, green, blue, and infrared).

The Puck.js features an nRF52832 SoC, which means it benefits from a powerful ARM Cortex-M4F processor, 64-MHz clock speed, 64 KB of RAM, 512 KB of flash memory, built-in NFC, over-the-air firmware updates, a 12-bit ADC, timers, an SPI, a temperature sensor, and more.

Source: Nordic Semiconductor

Low-Power BLE Sensor Node for IoT Applications

Microchip Technology recently released a demonstration platform for the lowest-power Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) sensor node. The platform features an ultra-low-power BTLC1000-certified module, a SMART SAM L21 Cortex-M0+ MCU, Bosch sensor technology, and a complete software solution. The BLE demonstration platform includes source code, hardware design files, a user guide, and Android application source code.Microchip BLE Demo Platform

Features, benefits, and specs:

  • An integrated BTLC1000-MR110CA BLE module, delivering at least 30% more power savings compared to existing solutions.
  • An ultra-tiny 2.2 mm × 2.1 mm Wafer Level Chipscale Package (WLCP).
  • A SAM L21 that achieves a ULPBench score of 185, with power consumption down to 35 µA/MHz in active mode and 200 nA in sleep mode.
  • Bosch six-axis motion (BHI160) and environment (BME280) sensors that can be used for a wide variety of sensing applications.

The Ultra-Low-Power Connected Demonstrator Platform costs $39.

Source: Microchip Technology

Low-Power 12 DOF Bluetooth Smart Sensor Development Platform

Dialog Semiconductor now offers a small, low-power 12 Degrees-of-Freedom (DOF) wireless smart sensor development kit for Internet of Things (IoT) applications, such as wearables, virtual reality, 3-D indoor mapping, and navigation. The DA14583 SmartBond Bluetooth Smart SoC is combined with Bosch Sensortec’s gyroscope, accelerometer, magnetometer, and environmental sensors. A 16 mm × 15 mm PCB is supplied as a dongle in a plastic housing. Current consumption is only 1.3 mA (typical) when streaming sensor data; it’s less than 110 µA in advertising mode and under 11 µA in power-save mode.Dialog DS025

The complementary software development kit (SDK) includes Dialog’s SmartFusion smart sensor library for data acquisition, auto-calibration, and sensor data fusion. It runs on the DA14583’s embedded Cortex M0 processor. The DA14583 has an ARM Cortex-M0 baseband processor with an integrated ultra-low power Bluetooth Smart radio. The development kit includes the following Bosch sensors: a BMI160 six-axis inertial measurement unit, a BMM150 three-axis geomagnetic field sensor, and a BME280 integrated environmental unit, which measures pressure, temperature, and humidity.

Source: Dialog Semiconductor

Hexoskin Smart Shirt Integreates Cypress EZ-BLE PRoC Module

Hexoskin recently chose Cypress Semiconductor’s Bluetooth Smart-based EZ-BLE PRoC module for use in its Hexoskin Smart biometric-tracking shirts. Hexoskin Smart shirts feature sensors that track cardiac, respiratory, and activity data. The EZ-BLE PRoC module collects this data and pushes it to a mobile device for analysis via the free Hexoskin app or other fitness app. The module’s low power consumption more than doubles the Hexoskin’s battery life. The compact (10 mm × 10 mm × 1.8 mm) EZ-BLE PRoC module complies with wireless regulatory standards in the US, Canada, Europe, Japan, and Korea.Cypress EZ-BLE PRoC Module

The BLE Pioneer Development Kit gives you easy access to the Cypress Bluetooth Low Energy devices. It includes a USB Bluetooth Low Energy dongle that pairs with the CySmart master emulation tool, converting a designer’s Windows PC into a Bluetooth Low Energy debug environment. The EZ-BLE PRoC module can be quickly and easily evaluated with the EZ-BLE PRoC Module Evaluation Board, which plugs into the BLE Pioneer Development Kit ( $49).

Source: Cypress Semiconductor