SiP packs Bluetooth radio, antenna for wearables

Article By : Silicon Labs

The 6.5mm² module offers a built-in antenna for IoT and wearable applications.

Silicon Labs has introduced BGM12x module, a low-energy Bluetooth system-in-package (SiP) module that includes a built-in chip antenna.

The BGM12x Blue Gecko SiP module comes in a 6.5mm x 6.5mm package, which allows developers to design miniature IoT designs with minimised PCB footprint and a 51mm² antenna clearance area.

The compact Bluetooth module can be used in applications including sports and fitness wearables, smartwatches, personal medical devices, wireless sensor nodes and other space-constrained connected devices.

The BGM12x module provides a Bluetooth solution that includes an ARM Cortex-M4 processor, Bluetooth power amplifier, onboard antenna, external antenna options, oscillators and passives, along with a Bluetooth 4.2 stack and development tools.

The integrated BGM12x module frees developers from the challenges of RF system engineering, protocol decisions and antenna design so that they can focus on creating end applications. The module's small in size, making it easy to use in battery-powered applications including low-cost, two-layer PCB designs.

The BGM12x module provides developers flexibility to begin with a module-based design and then transition to a Blue Gecko SoC with minimal system redesign and full software reuse.

Blue Gecko SoCs will be available in a 3.3mm x 3.14mm x 0.52mm wafer-level chip-scale package (WLCSP).

The BGM12x module is pre-certified for use in many applications with minimal development costs and RF regulatory compliance effort. All application code can be executed on the BGM12x module, eliminating the need for an external MCU, which helps reduce system cost and board space and speeds time to market. Low-energy Bluetooth application profiles and examples are also available to streamline development.

The BGM12x Blue Gecko module and WLCSP SoC are supported by the same software framework developed for Silicon Labs' BGM11x modules and EFR32BG SoCs in QFN packages. Silicon Labs' wireless software development kit (SDK) allows developers to use either a host or fully standalone operation through the BGScript scripting language or with the ANSI C programming language.

The company's Bluetooth SDK has been upgraded to support new Bluetooth 4.2 features such as LE Secure Connections for secure Bluetooth bonding, LE Packet Extensions for improved throughput, and LE dual-topology for multiple simultaneous central and peripheral functionality.

BGM12x modules are available with different transmit output power options, from 3dBm (BGM123) to 8dBm (BGM121), to support connected device applications with varying range requirements.

Here are the BGM12x Blue Gecko module key features:

  • SiP module size: 6.5mm x 6.5mm x 1.5mm
  • Integrated chip antenna with 70% RF efficiency and an RF pad option for connecting to an external antenna
  • Output power: 3dBm to 8dBm supporting ranges from 10m to 200m
  • Based on Silicon Labs' Blue Gecko SoC combining a 2.4GHz transceiver with a 40MHz ARM Cortex-M4 processor core and 256kB flash and 32kB RAM
  • Bluetooth solution consumes 9mA (peak receive mode) and 8.2mA at 0dBm (peak transmit mode)
  • Hardware cryptography accelerator supports advanced AES, ECC and SHA algorithms
  • Bluetooth 4.2 stack with frequent feature enhancements
  • Global RF certifications
  • Development tool support: Simplicity Studio, Energy Profiler, BGScript

Samples and production quantities of the BGM12x Blue Gecko modules are available now. BGM12x module is priced from $4.17 in 10,000-unit quantities. WLCSP versions of the Blue Gecko SoCs are slated for availability later this month.

The SLWSTK6101C Blue Gecko wireless starter kit is priced $99 (MSRP), and the wireless SDK is free.

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