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Next-generation Bluetooth Low Energy solutions for IoT

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Complete Bluetooth 4.2 compliant silicon, modules and software provide Internet of Things developers ultimate design flexibility for cost savings

Microchip Technology Inc., a leading provider of microcontroller, mixed-signal, analog and Flash-IP solutions, has announced its next-generation Bluetooth® Low Energy (LE) solutions. Qualified to the latest Bluetooth 4.2 standard, the IS1870 and IS1871 (block diagram below) Bluetooth LE RF ICs, along with the BM70 module, expand Microchip’s existing portfolio and carry both worldwide regulatory and Bluetooth Special Interest Group (SIG) certifications. These new offerings are ideal for Internet of Things and Bluetooth Beacon applications, and make it easy for designers to take advantage of the low power consumption and simplicity of Bluetooth LE connectivity.


Microchip’s new Bluetooth LE devices include an integrated, certified Bluetooth 4.2 firmware stack.  Developers can expect up to 2.5 times faster data transfer speeds and greater connection security, with government-grade (FIPS-based) secure connection support. Data is sent and received over the Bluetooth link using Transparent UART mode, making it easy to integrate with any processor or the hundreds of Microchip’s PIC® microcontrollers that have a UART interface. The module also supports standalone “hostless” operation for beacon applications.

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Chips for cutting-edge Bluetooth performace

“The IS1870 and IS1871 ICs bring cutting-edge Bluetooth 4.2 performance to our chip-down customers, and our BM70 module enables customers to avoid the expense and product delays caused by regulatory certifications,” said Sumit Mitra, vice president of Microchip’s Wireless Solutions Group. “By offering one-stop shopping, including our own Bluetooth stack, customers gain proven interoperability and the convenience of a single point of contact for support from Microchip’s worldwide staff of wireless specialists.”

The optimised power profile of these new devices minimises current consumption for extended battery life, in compact form factors as small as 4×4 mm for the RF ICs and 15×12 mm for the module. The module options include RF regulatory certifications, or non-certified (unshielded/antenna-less) for smaller and more remote antenna designs that will undergo end-product emission certifications.

These new modules include all of the hardware, software and certifications that designers need.  Developers can leverage Microchip’s Bluetooth Qualified Design ID (QDID) to easily list their products with the Bluetooth SIG. Embedded Bluetooth stack profiles include GAP, GATT, ATT, SMP and L2CAP, as well as proprietary services for Transparent UART. All modules are configurable using Microchip’s Windows® OS-based tools.


Development Support


Microchip also announced the BM70 Bluetooth Low Energy PICtail™/PICtail Plus daughter board.  This new tool enables code development via USB interface to a PC, or by connecting to Microchip’s existing microcontroller development boards, such as the Explorer 16, PIC18 Explorer and PIC32 I/O Expansion Board.  The BM-70-PICTAIL is available now.



The IS1870 IC is available today in a 6×6 mm, 48-pin QFN package in 1,000 unit quantities. The IS1871 is expected to be available in November, in a 4×4 mm, 32-pin QFN package in 1,000 unit quantities. The 30-pin BM70 Bluetooth LE modules are available, with or without built-in PCB antennas.

Source | Microchip

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