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Industrial/Scientific/Medical Channel / Industry News

Laird Technologies launches low-energy Bluetooth Smart modules for medical and other devices

April 16, 2013
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Medical devices that send small amounts of data wirelessly will be able to run for months or even years on a coin cell battery when they use new Bluetooth Smart™ modules announced today by global technology leader Laird Technologies

Jonathan Kaye, Laird product manager noted that the modules, each the size of a dime, are perfect for a broad range of devices including in-home medical devices, battery-powered sensors, data collection devices, and health and fitness equipment and applications. 

The world market for Bluetooth Smart, which uses Bluetooth® Low Energy (BLE) technology, is poised for explosive growth. Sales of Bluetooth Smart devices should grow from 5.4 million devices in 2012 to nearly 160 million units in 2016, according to industry analyst IMS Research. Thanks to the innovative smartBASIC programming language that it bundles with each of its Bluetooth Smart modules, Laird is positioned to capture a large share of the market. 

The new BL600 modules make their debut in Booth H2-M12 of the China International Medical Equipment Fair (CMEF), April 17-20, in Shenzhen, China. 

“A coin-cell battery supplies enough power for the module for months or even years of data transmissions to a smartphone or other gateway,” Kaye said. “Integration of the new module into a device is fast and easy, and we expect very quick adoption in medical devices and other equipment worldwide.” 

Laird Technologies provides components and solutions that protect electronic devices from electromagnetic interference and heat, and enable connectivity through wireless applications and antennae systems. A leader in innovative design, development and reliable fulfillment, Laird is a trusted partner and supplier to many of the world’s leading technology companies. 

Its custom products are supplied to all sectors of the electronics industry, including the mobile handset, telecommunications, data transfer and information technology, automotive, aerospace, defense, consumer, medical, mining, railroad and industrial markets. 

With world-class engineering and RF expertise, Laird’s Wireless Systemsdivision continues to develop technologies and capabilities that make a wirelessly connected world possible. Embedded wireless solutionsfrom Laird Technologies include Summit Wi-Fi radio modules, a full line of Bluetooth® radio modulesand innovative RAMP radio modules. These unique product solutions are ideal for applications in the industrial, medical, and M2M communicationsindustries. 

More About the Technology

What makes the BL600 modules unique is Laird’s smartBASIC, an event-driven programming language that simplifies BLE module integration. Even those with little software or Bluetooth expertise can develop fully functional applications in just days.  

Those applications, along with a complete BLE stack, reside on the module itself and do not require an external microcontroller or memory. Every BL600 Series (BL600) module will greatly simplify the process of adding single-mode Bluetooth Smart to any small, portable, power-conscious device. 

Based on the award winning Nordic Semiconductor nRF51822 system-on-a-chip (SoC), BL600 modules provide exceptionally low power consumption with outstanding wireless range. The modules support a variety of ultra-low power saving modes to achieve as little as 1000 nanoamperes (1000 nA, or 1uA) of power consumption in deep sleep mode and 10.5 mA when transmitting data at 0 dBm. 

"This series of modules from Laird Technologies means customers don't need to be experts in BLE to start designing BLE products or capabilities," said Geir Langeland, Nordic Semiconductor's director of Sales & Marketing. "And because the BL600 Series is based on the Nordic nRF51822 SoC, customer designs will benefit from class-leading levels of RF performance and ultra-low power consumption." 

Each BL600 module version – with an integrated antenna, an IPEX MHF4 antenna connector, or trade pads for an external antenna – has a compact footprint of 19 mm x 12.5 mm, making it suitable for even the smallest portable devices. A BL600 module can connect to a wide array of external sensors via its I2C, SPI, UART, ADC, and GPIO interfaces.  

In addition to carrying FCC modular, IC, MIC and CE approvals, BL600 modules are fully qualified as Bluetooth End Products, enabling designers to integrate the modules in devices without the time and expense of recertification.  

A low-cost developer’s kit including simple software tools make it easy for an OEM to integrate the module and guarantees the fastest route to market. Further detailed documentation can be downloaded from the BL600 product page at www.lairdtech.com/bluetooth

Recent Articles by Laird Technologies Inc.

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