editor's blog
Subscribe Now

Vertically Integrated BLE Module

Cypress_EZ-BLE_PRoC_Module.jpgSo you want to get into the wireless gadget business, eh? And you want to go with Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE)? You’re in good company – lots of folks are doing it. But how exactly are you going to go about it?

If you’re a big company with dedicated RF resources and lots of cash targeting high-volume applications (say, over 150,000 units a year), then you’ll probably do your own chip.

If not, well, you might want to think twice about tackling such a project on your own, according to Cypress. For one, RF design is tricky business – not a lot of small companies have RF experts in-house. And they say that it’s hard to find low-volume offshore assembly facilities (OSATs) that can handle RF.

But, perhaps even more importantly, even if you have the RF capabilities, you still have to get certified. Cypress says that, if you know what you’re doing, that can cost $200,000 and take 15 weeks. (Presumably, all bets are off if you don’t know what you’re doing…) That’s, like, over a dollar per device.

Instead, you could use one of many modules already out there. But Cypress says that numerous customers have experienced support challenges using that approach, since the module makers don’t make the ICs or write the stack software. Getting answers to questions can be maddening.

Then, in frustration, the engineers using the module dig into the open-source software to deal with things on their own – without realizing that, by changing the software, they’re nullifying the original certification of the module.

This is an area that Cypress is targeting with their own BLE module – a “programmable radio-on-chip” (PRoC – if you pronounce it –P-Rock, it magically becomes one of the more testosterone-infused names I’ve seen in a while… must utter in a grrrowl). The difference is that they also make the chip and wrote the software – and the design environment. The idea is that, because they own the entire thing, there’s only one place to go for support. No finger-pointing.

Cypress_EZ-BLE_PRoC_Module_block_diagram.jpg

The module has already been tested and certified, so manufacturers incorporating the module get the benefit of that work. (In order to be able to use the BLE logo, manufacturer would still need to pay for a “Declaration ID,” but that’s more of a quick, inexpensive paperwork thing – there’s no actual testing involved.)

You can read more about the details in their announcement.

 

(Images courtesy Cypress)

Leave a Reply

featured blogs
Aug 1, 2021
https://youtu.be/I0AYf5V_irg Made in Long Ridge Open Space Preserve (camera Carey Guo) Monday: HOT CHIPS 2021 Preview Tuesday: Designed with Cadence Video Series Wednesday: July Update Thursday:... [[ Click on the title to access the full blog on the Cadence Community site. ...
Jul 30, 2021
You can't attack what you can't see, and cloaking technology for devices on Ethernet LANs is merely one of many protection layers implemented in Q-Net Security's Q-Box to protect networked devices and transaction between these devices from cyberattacks. Other security technol...
Jul 29, 2021
Learn why SoC emulation is the next frontier for power system optimization, helping chip designers shift power verification left in the SoC design flow. The post Why Wait Days for Results? The Next Frontier for Power Verification appeared first on From Silicon To Software....
Jul 28, 2021
Here's a sticky problem. What if the entire Earth was instantaneously replaced with an equal volume of closely packed, but uncompressed blueberries?...

featured video

Design Success with Foundation IP & Fusion Compiler

Sponsored by Synopsys

When is 1+1 greater than 2? When using DesignWare Foundation IP & Fusion Compiler! Join Raymond and Yung in their discussion of a customer that benefited from the combination of Fusion Compiler’s machine learning and Foundation IP cells and macros.

More information about DesignWare Foundation IP: Embedded Memories, Logic Libraries, GPIO & PVT Sensors

featured paper

Configure the backup voltage in a reversible buck/boost regulator

Sponsored by Maxim Integrated

This application note looks at a reference circuit design using Maxim’s MAX38888, which provides a supercapacitor-based power backup in the absence of the system rail by discharging its stored charge. The backup voltage provided by the regulator from the super cap is 12.5% less than the system rail when the system rail is removed. This note explains how to maintain the backup voltage within 5% of the minimum SYS charge voltage.

Click to read more

featured chalk talk

Silicon Lifecycle Management (SLM)

Sponsored by Synopsys

Wouldn’t it be great if we could keep on analyzing our IC designs once they are in the field? After all, simulation and lab measurements can never tell the whole story of how devices will behave in real-world use. In this episode of Chalk Talk, Amelia Dalton chats with Randy Fish of Synopsys about gaining better insight into IC designs through the use of embedded monitors and sensors, and how we can enable a range of new optimizations throughout the lifecycle of our designs.

Click here for more information about Silicon Lifecycle Management Platform