Optimized Bluetooth low energy Module from Laird Simplifies Bluetooth 5 Upgrade and Speeds Time to Market

Published on March 28, 2017

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Optimized Bluetooth low energy Module from Laird Simplifies Bluetooth 5 Upgrade and Speeds Time to Market

Global technology leader Laird (LRD: London) has unveiled its new SaBLE-x-R2 2.4GHz Bluetooth low energy (BLE) module. The SaBLE-x-R2 builds on the original field-proven hardware of the SaBLE-x module to provide a simple and easy upgrade path for Bluetooth 5 connectivity.

Bluetooth technology continues to drive the Internet of Things (IoT) worldwide through billions of connected devices. Today there are more than six billion devices wirelessly connected to the Internet, and that number is estimated to grow to 20.8 billion “things” by 2020, according to Gartner.

Laird is at the forefront of deploying certified module solutions for Bluetooth 5 development, which enables customers to better address the growing data and performance demands for IoT deployments. With longer range, higher throughput, and extended advertising options, the SaBLE-x-R2 accelerates the development time for implementing cutting-edge BLE connectivity in IoT sensors and beacons for commercial, medical, and industrial applications.

Built to deliver unmatched RF and power performance, the SaBLE-x-R2 is the first and only module on the market based on the SimpleLink™ Bluetooth low energy CC2640R2F wireless microcontroller (MCU) from Texas Instruments (TI). Designed to remove complexity and accelerate development time, the module is pin-to-pin compatible with the original SaBLE-x hardware, which means upgrading to R2 does not require any PCB, footprint, or hardware changes in any existing SaBLE-x board layout.

"The SaBLE-x-R2 is a next-generation module that optimizes the industry-leading SaBLE-x BLE hardware to make it easy for customers to make the move to Bluetooth 5,” said Scott Lordo, senior vice president of Laird’s Connectivity business segment. "With the new SaBLE-x-R2, customers can quickly get started and go to production faster, producing sophisticated and intelligent designs while future-proofing existing SaBLE-x designs."

The rapidly expanding and evolving IoT market has opened a huge array of BLE applications. Since its introduction in 2010, Bluetooth has evolved to its most recent version, Bluetooth 5, providing longer range, higher throughput, and extended advertising options.

As a result, BLE devices can now offer significantly improved throughput to handle the massive amounts of data within the IoT. Designed with the IoT in mind, Bluetooth 5 incorporates the enhanced security introduced in version 4.2 of the spec, enabling highly secure BLE connections in applications such as home automation and connected medical.

The enhanced security, featuring AES-128, Diffie-Hellman pairing, and link layer privacy, enables SaBLE-x-R2 customers to easily develop smart, secure and power-conscious devices for a greater number of IoT deployments.

Taking full advantage of TI’s innovative chipset technology, the SaBLE-x-R2 offers superior and secure RF performance ideal for IoT applications. To meet the needs of complex and sophisticated user applications, the Bluetooth low energy controller and host libraries are embedded in ROM and run partly on an ARM® Cortex®-M3 processor.

This architecture improves overall system performance and power consumption and frees up significant amounts of flash memory for the users’ application which is crucial for next generation designs.

“The SimpleLink™ CC2640R2F wireless MCU offers the industry’s leading Bluetooth low energy range at the lowest power, addressing the critical performance needs for Internet of Things applications,” says Sudheer Vemulapalli, Business line director, Connected MCUs, Texas Instruments. “Modules based on the CC2640R2F device will be leading the way in bringing the power of Bluetooth 5 to reality, so developers can design more intelligent beacons, longer range applications, and transfer data at higher speeds.”

The SaBLE-x is one of the certified modules within the comprehensive Laird portfolio originally offered by LSR, now a Laird business. Laird’s rapidly expanding portfolio of embedded wireless modules, paired with comprehensive IoT product design and development capabilities from strategy through production, creates a single trusted partner for customers looking to create wireless innovations quickly to succeed in the market.

Laird, well established as a leading provider of certified wireless modules, will offer SaBLE-x-R2 with the industry's broadest array of out-of-the-box certifications for a Bluetooth Smart module.

The SaBLE-x-R2 will include certification compliance with the FCC, Industry Canada, CE, Giteki, and C-Tick regulatory bodies, as well as qualification with the Bluetooth SIG.  Furthermore, the module certifications will feature no less than four pre-certified antenna options, and Laird will offer to add additional custom antennas to the certification at little to no cost to the customer.

Engineering samples of the SaBLE-x-R2 Bluetooth Smart module are now available. Modules and kits are expected to be commercially available in June 2017.

Laird will begin working with select customers immediately to successfully design the SaBLE-x-R2 into their Bluetooth Smart product applications.

For more information about Laird’s SaBLE-x-R2, CLICK HERE.
For more information about Laird Connectivity, CLICK HERE.

About Laird

Laird is a global technology company focused on providing systems, components and solutions that protect electronics from electromagnetic interference and heat, and that enable connectivity in mission critical systems through wireless applications and antenna systems.

Products are supplied to all sectors of the electronics industry including Connected Transport, Connected Industry, Connected Medical, Telecom/Computing, and Mobile Device markets.

Laird, a unit of Laird PLC, employs over 9,000 employees in more than 50 facilities located in 19 countries.

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