Dialog SmartBond Bluetooth low energy wireless connectivity chip unveiled

Dialog Semiconductor, a provider of integrated power management, audio and short-range wireless technologies, has launched SmartBond, said to be the world’s lowest power and smallest Bluetooth Smart System-on-Chip (SoC), which is able to more than double the battery life of an app-enabled smartphone accessory or computer peripheral in comparison to competing solutions currently on the market.

It has been designed to connect keyboards, mice and remote controls wirelessly to tablets, laptops or Smart TVs and enable consumers to use new apps on their smartphones and tablets connected with watches, wristbands and smart tags ?to “self-track” their health and fitness levels, locate lost keys and much more besides.

SmartBond is the first Bluetooth Smart solution to break the 4mA current barrier for wireless transmission and reception. It means that designers will be able to double a product’s battery life or reduce the number and size of cells required. Its low power architecture draws just 3.8mA at transmission and reception – 50% less than other Bluetooth Smart solutions on the market – with a deep sleep current of under 600nA.

The device – model number DA14580 – features a power management block, including a DC-DC converter and all the necessary LDOs, reducing the need for external components and the overall bill of materials. By precisely switching on and off power delivery to each block on the chip, Dialog is able to reduce energy consumption to a bare minimum. SmartBond works at much lower voltages than was previously possible – down to 0.9V – enabling the use of just one alkaline or NiMH cell AA battery instead of two in computer or smart TV peripherals. This opens up exciting new possibilities for designers to create ultra compact and novel form factor products while reducing the total system costs. Alternatively, energy harvesting techniques that scavenge solar or kinetic energy can be used to power the rechargeable battery powering the system.

The DA14580 comes in three different form factors – the smallest Wafer-Level Chip-Scale (WL-CSP) is just 2.5 X 2.5 X 0.5mm. This enables Bluetooth to be now added to the most space-constrained wireless accessories.

The inclusion of a 32-bit ARM Cortex M0 core in combination with on-chip One-Time Programmable (OTP) memory provides increased design flexibility and eliminates the need for an external processor in the system while reducing costs.

The adoption of Bluetooth Smart is set to grow rapidly, with over 350 million Bluetooth Smart ICs projected to be shipped cumulatively by the end of 2016 according to HIS.

Lisa Arrowsmith, Associate Director for Connectivity Research at IHS, commented, “Bluetooth Smart is rapidly gaining traction within fitness and medical devices, with a clear trend away from proprietary technologies. Additionally, with significant penetration of the compatible Bluetooth Smart Ready standard in consumer electronics devices, such as TVs, tablets, laptops and all-in-one PCs, there is a growing opportunity for Bluetooth Smart to be used to enable power-efficient wireless connectivity within high-volume peripheral devices, ranging from remote controls to PC peripherals, as well as being used to enable a huge range of emerging applications”.



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