BlueNRG-2 Development Kit from STMicroelectronics Reveals Bluetooth 5.0 Performance and Efficiency

By Tiera Oliver

Associate Editor

Embedded Computing Design

July 02, 2020


Jumpstarts new-application design for industrial and smart-building markets.

The STMicroelectronic’s STEVAL-IDB008V1M Bluetooth Low Energy 5.0 (BLE) evaluation platform  is designed to accelerate application development with modules, featuring BlueNRG-2, the company’s second-generation BLE System-on-Chip (SoC).

BlueNRG-2 contains an Arm Cortex-M0 core operating at up to 32MHz to handle the Bluetooth stack and application processing, and integrates new features including a 32kHz ring oscillator, 24KB RAM and 256KB Flash program memory. Reduced standby power is a further advantage, drawing 0.9µA in sleep mode with active Bluetooth stack and full RAM retention.

The SoC supports the Bluetooth 5.0 certification, which allows security with LE Secure Connections, power-efficient privacy with Link Layer Privacy 1.2, and up to 2.6-times higher throughput with LE Data Length Extension.

The BlueNRG-M2SA module combines in a compact 13.5mm x 11.5mm form factor the BlueNRG-2 SoC with a ceramic antenna, RF balun circuit, 32kHz crystal oscillator, and SMPS inductor to further reduce power consumption. According to the company, using this module reduces engineering costs and enables designers to create wireless devices with minimal radio-frequency engineering expertise.

BlueNRG-M2SA is qualified as a Bluetooth End Product, which may relieve customers of additional testing to complete their own product qualification. The modules are also pre-certified according to US FCC, Canadian IC, European RED, Japan TYPE radio-equipment regulations and will also meet China SRCC requirements when those are finalized.

The STEVAL-IDB008V1M plug-and-play kit enables evaluation and product development leveraging the BlueNRG-M2SA module. The board combines the BlueNRG-M2 module with sensors including a MEMS pressure and temperature sensor and motion sensors suitable for 9-axis sensor-fusion library. There is also a low-latency, low-power ADPCM codec, with BlueVoice middleware for voice over BLE streaming. Arduino R3 connectors are provided, which allow access to all the module’s peripherals and enable users to further extend functionality by adding expansion shields. The associated development-software package, STSW-BLUENRG1-DK, contains a BlueNRG-Navigator GUI (Graphical User Interface) that lets users bring their applications to life without an external programmer or hardware.

The kit offers ideal integration of the BlueNRG-M2SA module with ST’s STSW-BNRG-MESH software to explore application opportunities in industrial and smart-building markets. STSW-BNRG-MESH implements the Bluetooth SIG Mesh Profile v1.0 to allow true two-way communication and range-extending mesh networks, with cyber-security leveraging integrated features of the BlueNRG-2 SoC.

With its operating temperature range of -40°C to 85°C and 5dBm RF output power, the BlueNRG-M2SA module can be powered directly with a pair of AAA batteries or any power source from 1.7 to 3.6 V. BlueNRG-M2SA is well suited for industrial applications and is supported by ST’s 10-Year Longevity Commitment program and Sustainable Technology program.

The STEVAL-IDB008V1M evaluation kit is available now. Please contact your ST sales office for pricing options.

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Tiera Oliver, Associate Editor for Embedded Computing Design, is responsible for web content edits, product news, and constructing stories. She also assists with newsletter updates as well as contributing and editing content for ECD podcasts and the ECD YouTube channel. Before working at ECD, Tiera graduated from Northern Arizona University where she received her B.S. in journalism and political science and worked as a news reporter for the university’s student led newspaper, The Lumberjack.

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