Arrow Electronics has introduced a family of radio modules to jump-start IoT-device design, leveraging the power-efficient dual-core performance of STMicroelectronics’ STM32WB55 wireless microcontroller. The Sharky modules were co-developed with Italian designer Midatronics.
The STM32WB55 microcontroller (MCU) at the heart of these modules integrates a 2.4GHz RF transceiver supporting Bluetooth 5 (including BLE), Thread, and ZigBee stacks. Its dual Arm Cortex-M core architecture enables real-time secure application performance running on the 64MHz Cortex-M4F core, while concurrently managing the radio subsystem and security tasks on the co-integrated and completely independent Cortex-M0+.
The Sharky modules, MDX-STWBP-01 and MDX-STWUP-R01, respectively give users the choice of an on-board PCB antenna or a UFL connector for attaching an external antenna. Balun circuitry for connecting the antenna is integrated in the MCU. Alternatively, the Sharkypro modules, MDX-STWBC-R01 and MDX-STWBW-R01 offer a choice of a chip antenna or no antenna, respectively.
Compact and power-conscious, the modules draw 13nA in shutdown mode and 600nA in standby with the MCU real-time clock and RAM powered up. With -96dBm receive sensitivity and programmable RF output power, active current is also low at just 4.5mA receive and transmitting at 0dBm. Users can secure their devices on the IoT leveraging the MCU’s hardware-based encryption, Public Key Authorisation (PKA) and Random Number Generator (RNG), with customer key storage to keep keys hidden.
The modules come with the RF (32MHz) and 32.7kHz crystals required by the MCU already fitted and are ready to start work. Users can accelerate their projects by taking advantage of ST’s STM32Cube development ecosystem, which provides MCU-configuration tools, middleware, and new extensions for the STM32WB55, including peripheral drivers, connectivity libraries, and a monitoring tool for RF testing.
The Sharky modules measure 16mm x 27.25mm and the Sharkypro variants are 14.6mm x 23mm or 14.6mm x 14.6mm.