It’s Bluetooth 5, concentrated

May 19, 2017
 

Written by Cobus Heukelman (MSc Stanford), FAE at Symmetry Electronics

When small size is of the utmost importance, designers often can’t use modules. That’s because a module takes up more space than if the designer put all the module components directly on the product PCB. This is just common sense, since most modules are assembled on a PCB of their own, with additional power management circuitry that may not be needed in every design. This is bad news for low volume designs, because modules have a number of benefits in this case: they cut down on development cost and time, decrease required testing and greatly reduce certification costs. For a long time, this meant that only companies with big budgets and high sales volumes could design products for this space. But that’s no longer true for Bluetooth 5, thanks to a new module from Taiyo Yuden (www.t-yuden.com). Taiyo Yuden has been in business since 1950, and has a solid reputation in the electronics industry. They have made every effort to keep this Bluetooth 5 module as small as possible, and it paid off.

The new EYSHSN module family measures only 3.25 x 8.55 x 0.9mm, giving each module a volume of only 25mm3. To put that into perspective, you can fit 6 of these modules on a dime. At this point you might be thinking: “that’s great and all, but what sort of features do these little modules have?”

It has a Nordic nRF52832 Bluetooth 5 SoC inside. Nordic Semiconductor (www.nordicsemi.com) has been around since 1983, and is well-known for their world class wireless chips. The nRF52832 has a Cortex-M4F 32bit processor running at 64MHz, 512kB flash and 64kB RAM. It also supports DSP instructions, and has a floating point unit which enables running complex onboard applications. In other words, you could run your product’s application code on the module processor, eliminating the cost of an application processor in the design. The 2.4GHz transceiver supports Bluetooth low energy, ANT, and a proprietary protocol stack. The module also has an onboard antenna, with a maximum transmit power of +4dBm.

Nordic offers some of the best software development support in the industry, with an online developer community and loads of examples. When your sales reach high volume and you want to switch to a chip design, Symmetry still has you covered. We can supply you with the Nordic chip so that your software stays the same and you can take advantage of the greater cost savings. It is for these reasons that I think this module is a serious contender for any space constrained Bluetooth 5 design.

Contact Symmetry Electronics at 866-506-8829, email us or start a live chat and we'll be glad to help you with your projects!

 

  



Written By: Cobus Heukelman

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