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Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Dual-Radio dev kit for simultaneous Bluetooth 5 and LPWAN IoT

By Nick Flaherty www.flaherty.co.uk

STMicroelectronics has launched a dual radio development kit that combines Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) and Sub-1GHz wireless.

The STEVAL-FKI001V1 kit is aimed at the development of smart-home or smart-building systems as well as asset-tracking, energy-management, smart-farming and industrial monitoring and control use cases with the BlueNRG-1 Bluetooth 5 System-on-Chip and S2-LP sub-1GHz transceiver. The dual-radio architecture enables simultaneous operations on a variety of radio-frequency bands and protocols such as Bluetooth LE or proprietary 2.4GHz, Sub-1GHz, and Sigfox.

The kit helps developers create smart objects that connect to each other locally through mesh or point-to-point connections and support flexible ways of connecting to the Cloud. For instance, a convenient sensor ecosystem for smart-home could be easily forged with local sensor networking leveraging either BLE or Sub-1GHz wireless link and the whole system connected to the Cloud through a local gateway or directly via a seamless Sigfox ubiquitous link, for surveillance or remote monitoring purposes – all based on same STEVAL-FKI001V1 kit.
The BlueNRG-1 ensures convenient setup, configuration or modification of device settings during installation or maintenance and permits monitoring of networked node sensors through a stylish app running on any Android or iOS device.

The sub-1GHz S2-LP transceiver allows local networking as well as LPWAN installations including global Sigfox connectivity, which allows capabilities such as real-time notification of events. Moreover, users can leverage out-of-the-box Sigfox-ready networking to track and remotely localise devices or assets.

The kit can readily be expanded through its Arduino Uno V3 connectors with the vast and comprehensive ST X-NUCLEO offering, including expansion boards with MEMS sensors, motor control, GNSS receivers or industrial input/output and power drivers.

The STEVAL-FKI001V1 development kit is also fully interoperable with the recently announced BlueNRG-Tile board, to build end-to-end smart-sensor solutions including the sensor node, local gateways and global Cloud connectivity.

The BlueNRG-1 SoC’s Arm Cortex-M0 core has 256KB of embedded program memory to add external sensors and process the data acquired locally in real-time. The STEVAL-FKI001V1 comes with an easy-to-use SDK that simplifies development and compresses time-to-market while preserving flexibility, scalability, and extensibility. It could also be used in conjunction with the ST BlueNRG-Mesh software package to create extensive networking on a large-scale installation. OTA firmware update is possible via the BLE connection.

Based on a ready-to-use WS2118 RF dual-radio module from Jorjin, the STEVAL-FKI001V1 provides a convenient, pre-certified solution for developers to quickly move from early concept-feasibility phase to prototyping, field trials and volume production. The programmable ultra-low-power radio module has flexible power management and wake-on-event capability that allows multi-year lifetime from a small primary battery.

The STEVAL-FKI001V1 development kit is available now from ST distributors, or directly through st.com, priced $56.00.
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