CSR has launched a new Bluetooth Smart platform that has been designed to meet the needs of developers looking to create low-power wearable accessories. The CSR1012, which is part of the CSR µEnergy range, provides a smaller form factor package making it suitable for wearable devices, such as smart watches and activity monitors. While the platform provides a form factor small enough for wearable devices it still, critically, uses standard PCB technology, which allows developers to get a high-volume product to market quickly and cost effectively.
It’s also the first solution to support direct connection to a lithium-ion battery without the need for an external regulator, ensuring long-battery life which is critical for wearable accessories.
“IHS has just forecast that unit shipments of wearable technology will reach 210 million by 2018, driving $30 billion in revenue,” says Paul Williamson, Director of Low Power Wireless at CSR. “We want to help developers make the most of this emerging market by getting ahead of their competitors. The CSR1012 perfectly balances cost and size, to enable developers to get their products to market fast, without compromising on quality.”
In addition to wearable technology, the solution can also be used for other small form factor ‘appcessories’ and HID accessories, such as slim smartphone or tablet styluses and small advertising beacons.
The CSR1012 provides a solution for high-volume production coupled with a compact design. The 0.4 mm pitch QFN package can be handled easily on high-volume production lines. Space beneath the device enables I/O to be routed using standard drilled vias and this, coupled with a 4×4 package area, offers a very small final PCB to ensure developers can produce compact wearable devices with consumer appeal.
To reduce time to market, CSR will offer developers CSR1012 reference designs with full manufacturing information.
The CSR1012 is based on CSR µEnergy silicon and is fully compatible with CSR’s existing software, enabling an easy transition for developers using CSR1010 and CSR1011 solutions looking to develop wearable accessories with CSR1012.
The CSR1012 is designed to ensure the longest battery life possible for wearable accessories. It is the first solution that can be directly connected to rechargeable battery chemistries without the need for an external regulator. This saves on costs and PCB area, but also saves quiescent leakage current in the external regulator. The quiescent of an external switcher can be 10-15µA and of a linear 1-2 µA, which can significantly reduce the battery life of a device that is only working in the nano Amp to low micro Amp range. The platform achieves this using an on-chip switched mode power supply that operates from 1.8V to 4.3V. This enables the device to operate directly from compact lithium polymer batteries.