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Wednesday, February 27, 2019

Bluetooth 5.1 chips with Arm M33 core

By Nick Flaherty www.flaherty.co.uk

Dialog Semiconductor has launched its latest wafer scale multicore Bluetooth low energy devices.

The SmartBond DA1469x family of four devices includes the first wireless microcontroller in production with a dedicated application processor based on the ARM Cortex-M33 processor. The M33 offers developers greater processing power for more intensive applications, such as high-end fitness trackers, advanced smart home devices and virtual reality game controllers.

The DA1469x integrated radio offers double the range compared to its predecessor together with an ARM Cortex-M0+ based software-programmable packet engine that implements protocols and provides full flexibility for wireless communication.

On the connectivity front, an emerging application is for manufacturers to deploy accurate positioning through the Angle of Arrival and Angle of Departure features of the newly introduced Bluetooth 5.1 standard. With its world-class radio front end performance and configurable protocol engine, the DA1469x complies with this new version of the standard and opens new opportunities for devices that require accurate indoor positioning such as building access and remote keyless entry systems.

To enhance the sensing functionality of the DA1469x, the M33 application processor and M0+ protocol engine is complemented with a Sensor Node Controller (SNC), which is based on a programmable micro-DSP that runs autonomously and independently processes data from the sensors connected to its digital and analog interfaces, waking the application processor only when needed. In addition to this power-saving feature, a state-of-the-art Power Management Unit (PMU) provides best-in-class power management by controlling the different processing cores and only activating them as needed.

The devices provide up to 144 DMIPS of performance with 512 kBytes of RAM, memory protection, a floating-point unit, a dedicated crypto engine to enable end-to-end security and expandable memories, ensuring a wide range of advanced smart device applications can be implemented using the chipset family and supporting a range of key value-add interfaces to extend functionality even further.

The PMU also provides three regulated power rails and one LDO output to supply external system components, removing the requirement of a separate power management IC (PMIC). Additionally, the DA169x product family come equipped with a range of key value-add interfaces including a display driver, an audio interface, USB, a high-accuracy ADC, a haptic driver capable of driving both ERM and LRA motors as well as a programmable stepping motor controller.

“The demands of today’s connected consumer are expanding with each new product cycle,” said Sean McGrath, Senior VP & GM of Dialog Semiconductor’s Connectivity Business Group. “Our SmartBond wireless microcontrollers are recognized in the market as being designed not only to meet the needs of today’s users, but to anticipate where the market is heading and offer development opportunities for our customers for their next product cycles. With the DA1469x family, we have doubled the processing power, quadrupled available resources and doubled the battery lifetime compared to its predecessor, making it by far, one of the most advanced, feature-rich Bluetooth products we’ve developed to date.”
The DA1469x variants will start volume production in the first half of 2019. Samples and the SmartSnippets development kits are available at https://www.dialog-semiconductor.com/products/da1469x-product-family

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