STMicroelectronics Introduces Bluetooth 5.2-Certified SoC

October 8, 2020 Tiera Oliver

STMicroelectronics has announced its latest BlueNRG-LP Bluetooth LE System-on-Chip (SoC), which leverages the latest Bluetooth features designed to increase communication range, raise throughput, security, and save power.

According to the company, the ultra-low-power radio is optimized to consume 3.4mA in receive mode, 4.3mA when transmitting, and less than 500nA, cutting by half the size of battery needed in most applications and prolonging runtime.

Also per the company, the BlueNRG-LP, the 3rd-generation Bluetooth SoC from ST, is the world’s first Bluetooth LE 5.2-certified SoC to support concurrent connections up to 128 nodes, enabling low-latency control and monitoring large numbers of connected devices.

Combined with high RF-output power, which is programmable up to +8dBm, and RF sensitivity up to -104dBm, the BlueNRG-LP radio SoC can now natively cover a much larger area in beacons, smart lighting, gaming, building automation, industrial, and tracking applications. Furthermore, the communication range can be extended without limit by adding Bluetooth LE Mesh.

In addition, BlueNRG-LP supports Bluetooth Long Range mode, which uses coded physical layers (Coded PHY) with Forward Error Connection (FEC) to extend radio-communication range up to hundreds of meters, as well as GATT (generic attribute) caching to connect efficiently.

BlueNRG-LP comes with ST’s third-generation Bluetooth Low Energy protocol stack certified to Core Specification 5.2 and designed to match its ultra-low-power architecture. The stack is provided as a free-of-charge and compiler-independent linkable library supported by multiple Integrated Development Environments (IDEs) and is optimized for small footprint, modularity, low latency, interoperability, and lifetime over-the-air upgradability. It supports features such as extended advertising and scanning, high-duty-cycle non-connectable advertising, extended packet length, and 2Mbit/s throughput.

In addition BlueNRG-LP supports L2CAP Connection-Oriented Channel (CoC), designed to ease large bidirectional data transfers, multi-role simultaneous connectivity, and Channel Selection Algorithm #2 (CSA #2), which permits robust connections in noisy environments such as home, building, or industrial networks.

Enhanced security mechanisms included in the integrated Arm Cortex-M0+ microcontroller (MCU) comprise a secure bootloader, readout protection for the entire 256KB embedded flash, a 48-bit unique ID, as well as customer key storage, true Random-Number Generator (RNG), hardware public-key accelerator (PKA), and a 128-bit AES cryptographic co-processor. The processing unit executes code at up to 64MHz, consuming 18µA/MHz, and features digital interfaces, multi-channel 12-bit ADC, an analog microphone interface with programmable gain amplifier, user and system timers and watchdog, and up to 31 5V-tolerant user-programmable I/O pins.

Per the company, the BlueNRG-LP SoC also integrates an embedded RF balun, DC/DC converter, and capacitors for the HSE (High-Speed External) oscillator and internal low-speed ring oscillator, minimizing bill-of-materials (BOM) costs and simplifying circuit design.

BlueNRG-LP is available in a choice of 5mm x 5mm QFN32, 6mm x 6mm QFN48, and a miniature 3.14mm x 3.14mm WLCSP49 wafer-level package. With 32KB or 64KB RAM and a choice of temperature range up to 85°C or 105°C, designers get extra flexibility to choose a configuration that best meets their needs. The devices are covered by ST’s 10-year industrial longevity commitment, assuring users of long-term parts availability.

BlueNRG-LP SoCs are in production now, in QFN48, priced from below $1.00 for volume orders.

For more information, visit: www.st.com/bluenrg-lp-pr 

About the Author

Tiera Oliver, edtorial intern for Embedded Computing Design, is responsible for web content edits as well as newsletter updates. She also assists in news content as far as constructing and editing stories. Before interning for ECD, Tiera had recently graduated from Northern Arizona University where she received her B.A. in journalism and political science and worked as a news reporter for the university's student led newspaper, The Lumberjack.

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