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Low-energy Bluetooth debuts

Oct 19, 2009 — by LinuxDevices Staff — from the LinuxDevices Archive — views

Texas Instruments (TI) says it is now sampling a SoC (system-on-chip) supporting the “Bluetooth low energy” standard. The CC2540 will become more widely available in early 2010, permitting devices to operate for more than a year on tiny button cell batteries, the company says.

In June 2007, the Bluetooth SIG announced it would bring Nokia's Wibree standard under the Bluetooth umbrella, allowing for creation of devices that can communicate with existing Bluetooth devices, while offering "low power consumption and tremendous battery life." According to the group, Bluetooth low energy will support location-based services, such as bus stops or store aisles that can send product information to phones, and will also be suitable for many other devices, such as heart rate monitors or keyboards.

TI, which says it is now demonstrating "the world's first single-chip, single-mode Bluetooth low energy device," claims the technology will allow products to operate for more than a year on tiny button cell batteries without recharging. According to the chipmaker, products will include both dual-mode devices, capable of communicating with both legacy Bluetooth and Bluetooth low-energy devices, as well as single-mode devices optimized for low power and low cost.

TI's new CC2540 SoC (right), measuring 6 x 6mm, is said to be a single-mode device that incorporates a Bluetooth low energy host, controller, and flash memory that can store persistent data on-chip. According to the company, applications can be written directly onto the CC2540, which supports both analog and digital peripherals, or the chip may be integrated into an existing design as a network processor. Facilitating the latter approach, the CC2540 will be pin-compatible with TI's existing CC2530 ZigBee controller, the company adds.

A demonstration of Bluetooth low energy
Source: Texas Instruments
(click to play)


TI says it plans to offer the CC2540 in a $99 development kit — possibly the same as can be seen in the video above, though no confirmation of that fact was provided — and a "royalty free" protocol stack. The SoC is being demonstrated at tomorrow's Bluetooth low energy technology conference in Munich, the company adds.

For more information on the CC2540, see the Texas Instruments website, here. For a detailed roundup of TI's existing low-power RF chips, see here [PDF link].

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