STMicroelectronics has released the latest version of its award-winning BlueNRG Bluetooth® SMART network processor, which supports the latest Bluetooth version 4.1 enhancements and introduces 1.7 V operation for longer-lasting battery-powered applications.
The 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.
The 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.
ST's 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.
BlueNRG-MS is available now in a 5 mm x 5 mm x 1 mm QFN32 package, priced from $1.50 for orders of 1000 pieces. A CSP option with the 2.6 mm x 2.6 mm footprint and the height as low as 0.56 mm will be available after April 2015.