LONDON – EM Microelectronic-Marin SA, the semiconductor division of Swatch Group Ltd. (Biel, Switzerland), has announced that its EM9301 Bluetooth low energy radio chip has received Bluetooth V4.0 qualification.
The EM9301, part of the EM Microelectronic (Marin, Switzerland) CoolRF range, has been around since October 2009 when Triad Semiconductor (Winston-Salem, North Carolina) and Z-Focus Technology Group (Palatine, Illinois) demonstrated Bluetooth LE transfers using the chip, to BLE v0.9.
The EM9301 is a single-mode master/slave controller optimized for low energy systems such as wireless sensors, wireless remote controls and wireless monitoring and with an operating supply voltage as low as 0.8V. It is suitable for applications with single-cell batteries or of energy harvesters such as solar cells, piezo-electric and electro-magnetic elements, EM Microelectronic said. When used with an 8051 microcontroller the EM9301 provide's "the most energy-efficient solution for Bluetooth low energy application," the company claimed.
In receive mode, the EM9301 requires only 16.5-mA peak current from physical layer to application layer. When the Bluetooth low energy connection is not required, the system power budget can be optimized by setting the sleep or idle mode in which the circuit itself consumes less than 1.0-microamp. It can be interfaced with any 8-, 16- or 32-bit microcontroller and is now confirmed as being Bluetooth V4.0 compliant.
EM Microelectronic has worked with Alpwise SA (Grenoble, France) to develop a series of development tools including SDKs, dongles, modules and software suites running on the EM9301.
I hope new iPhone4S comes with BT4LE connectivity. Even though it has been more than a year passed since BT4LE spec was released, there are virtually no BT4LE End Products. Only products I know is latest MacBooks. I don't even know if there is BT4LE capable USB-Bluetooth dongle available.
Bluetooth has not seen much use in major consumer electronic devices except when it was introduced newly. I guess it will remain in these devices for some more time before it starts it's descent into oblivion. Zigbee or another will either replace this technology.
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