Dialog Semiconductor plc has introduced what is reportedly the world’s smallest and most power-efficient Bluetooth 5.1 SoC, the DA14531, and a companion module, to simplify Bluetooth product development and enable wider adoption.
The chip, also known as SmartBond TINY, is specifically designed to lower the costs of adding BLE functionality to an application to as little as 50 cents in high volume. SmartBond TINY addresses the growing breadth and costs of IoT devices by enabling a complete system cost reduction through a smaller footprint and size, while maintaining high performance. The DA14531 makes it possible to extend wireless connectivity to applications where it would have previously been prohibitive in terms of size, power or cost, especially those within the growing connected medical field. Examples include inhalers, medicine dispensers, weight scales, thermometers, glucose meters and more.
At half the size of its predecessors, SmartBond TINY is available in packages as small as 2.0 x 1.7 mm. The SoC only requires six external passives, a single clock source and a power supply to make a complete Bluetooth low energy system. This enables developers to fit the chip into almost any design, such as electronic styluses, shelf labels, beacons or active RFID tags for asset tracking. It will also be critical for applications that require provisioning such as cameras, printers and wireless routers. Consumers will also reap the benefits of SmartBond TINY’s reduced system size and power, in remote controls as a replacement for infrared (IR) or for other applications such as toys, keyboards or smart credit and banking cards.
SmartBond TINY is based on a powerful 32-bit ARM Cortex M0+ with integrated memories and a complete set of analog and digital peripherals. Its architecture and resources allow it to be used as a standalone wireless microcontroller or as an RF data pipe extension for designs with existing microcontrollers.
The SmartBond TINY module, leveraging the capabilities of the main DA14531 chip, makes it easy for customers to leverage the new SoC as a part of their product development, instead of having to certify their platforms themselves, thereby saving time, development efforts and costs. The module is also designed to balance running a high number of applications while keeping cost additions to the overall system as low as possible.
SmartBond TINY and the module use just half of the energy of their predecessors, the DA14580 and DA14580-based module, as well as all other offerings currently on the market. TINY’s low power consumption ensures a long operating and shelf life, even with the smallest of batteries. The DA14531’s integrated DC-DC converter enables a wide operating voltage (1.1 to 3.3V) and can derive power directly from environmentally-friendly, disposable silver oxide, zinc air or printable batteries required for high-volume applications, such as connected injectors, glucose monitors and smart patches.