Designing wearables just got easier

April 21, 2015 OpenSystems Media

If you’re not aware of the push for wearable-computing devices, you’re clearly not paying attention. Product after product crosses my desk that aims to simplify this process in any manner of ways. For example, some devices reduce the BOM, some offer lower power (thereby extending battery life), some offer better security, and some offer a combination of features.

The Dialog SmartBond DA 14680 falls into the category of reducing power consumption. It’s a single-chip Bluetooth Smart device that, according to the company, recues the required area and lowers system cost, too.

Supporting the Bluetooth 4.2 core specification, the “wearable-on-chip” DA 14680 can manage multi-sensor arrays and enables always-on sensing. Its features let a designer create a fully hosted wearable computing product.

The IC’s 30 uA/MHz ARM Cortex-M0 processor core can be programmed to a maximum clock frequency of 96 MHz. Security features include a dedicated hardware crypto engine with elliptic curve cryptology (ECC), delivering end-to-end banking-level encryption, ensuring personal data security. The device integrates 8 Mb of flash memory, audio support with PDM and I2S/PCM interfaces, two separate I2C and SPI buses, three white LED drivers, a temperature sensor, multi-channel DMA, and an 8-channel, 10-bit ADC. Intelligent power management, including system power rails and a LiIon/LiPo battery charger and fuel gauge are also included.

A series of development kits are available, which is a “must have” in my book. These include the SmartSnippets software development environment, example application code, and a power profiler for real-time, power-optimized coding.

Rich Nass, Embedded Computing Brand Director
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