Tiny Bluetooth SiP module makes big impact on IoT end nodes

A tiny Bluetooth low energy system-in-package (SiP) module with a built-in chip antenna has been launched by Silicon Labs.

Available in a 6.5 mm x 6.5 mm package, the BGM12x Blue Gecko SiP module enables developers to miniaturise IoT designs by minimising the PCB footprint, including the antenna clearance area, to 51 mm2. Applications for this ultra-small, high-performance Bluetooth module include sports and fitness wearables, smartwatches, personal medical devices, wireless sensor nodes and other space-constrained connected devices.

Based on the company’s Blue Gecko wireless SoC, the BGM12x module provides an all-in-one Bluetooth connectivity solution featuring an ARM Cortex-M4 processor, high-output Bluetooth power amplifier, high-efficiency onboard antenna, external antenna options, oscillators and passives, along with a secure Bluetooth 4.2 stack and best-in-class development tools.

The BGM12x module’s high level of SiP integration frees developers from the complexities of RF system engineering, protocol decisions and antenna design so that they can focus on their end applications. The module’s small size makes it useful to space-sensitive, battery-powered applications including low-cost, two-layer PCB designs.

This module offers developers the flexibility to start with a module-based design, then transition to a Blue Gecko SoC with minimal system redesign and full software reuse. To help developers further miniaturise wearable designs and other Bluetooth-enabled IoT products, Blue Gecko SoCs will be available in an ultra-small (3.3 mm x 3.14 mm x 0.52 mm) wafer-level chip-scale package (WLCSP).

All application code can be executed on the BGM12x. eliminating the need for an external MCU, which helps reduce system cost and board space, and speeds time to market. Bluetooth low energy application profiles and examples are also available to streamline development.

The BGM12x Blue Gecko module and WLCSP SoC product are supported by the same software framework developed for Silicon Labs’ BGM11x modules and EFR32BG SoCs in QFN packages.

The company’s wireless software development kit (SDK) gives developers the flexibility to use either a host or fully standalone operation through the easy-to-use Bluegiga BGScript scripting language or with the ANSI C programming language.

Silicon Labs’ Bluetooth SDK has been upgraded to support new Bluetooth 4.2 features such as LE Secure Connections for more secure Bluetooth bonding, LE Packet Extensions for improved throughput, and LE dual-topology for multiple simultaneous central and peripheral functionality.

BGM12x modules are available with different transmit output power options, from 3 dBm (BGM123) to 8 dBm (BGM121), to support connected device applications with varying range requirements.


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