Dialog Semiconductor plc has launched Bluetooth SoC chip called SmartBond (part number DA14580). Dialog claims DA14580 is the world’s lowest power and smallest IC which more than doubles the battery life of an app-enabled smartphone accessory or computer peripheral in comparison to competing solutions on the market. DA14580 targeted for designing wireless interface devices such as keyboards, mice and remote controls for tablets, laptops or Smart TVs. The devices using this Bluetooth chip can enable consumers to use innovative new apps on their smartphones and tablets connected with watches, wristbands and smart tags to “self-track” their health and fitness levels, locate lost keys and much more besides, suggest Dialog.
32-bit ARM Cortex M0 and OTP memory powered DA14580 draws as little as 3.8mA at transmission and reception, a 50% less current than other Bluetooth Smart solutions on the market, as per Dialog. The deep sleep current is under 600nA. This means a 225mAh coin-cell battery in a product sending 20 bytes of data per second would last 4 years and 5 months in comparison to just 2 years with previous generations of Bluetooth Smart technology, explains Dialog.
The DA14580 has on-chip DC-DC converter and all the necessary LDOs and works at VCC down to 0.9V so that just a single alkaline or NiMH cell AA battery can be used to power wireless device. Alternatively, energy harvesting techniques that scavenge solar or kinetic energy can be used to power the rechargeable battery powering the system.
The DA14580 also has a size advantage. It comes in three different form factors – the smallest Wafer-Level Chip-Scale (WL-CSP) is just 2.5 X 2.5 X 0.5mm. This enables Bluetooth to be now added to the most space-constrained wireless accessories.
Dialog is partnering with Murata to develop small form factor modules, enabling ODMs with little RF system knowledge to integrate certified solutions quickly into their products. Shinichi Kawanishi, Manager of the Connectivity Modules Products Department at Murata Manufacturing Co. Ltd said, “We’re really looking forward to being a key contributor to this high growth market by releasing a series of lower power and more compact Bluetooth low energy modules as a result of our partnership with Dialog Semiconductor and their competitive DA14580 device.” Sean McGrath, Vice President and General Manager of the Connectivity, Automotive and Industrial Business Group at Dialog Semiconductor, commented, “Dialog is continuing to diversify its product portfolio with the launch of SmartBond. We’ve been able to leverage our low power expertise in the smartphone, tablet and home wireless sensor network markets to develop this Bluetooth Smart System-on-Chip, which breaks records in terms of energy consumption and die size. We’re already engaged with a number of tier one customers in the accessory and peripherals sectors.”
Dialog shares the market research data on Bluetooth smart where it says "The adoption of Bluetooth Smart is set to grow rapidly, with over 350 million Bluetooth Smart ICs projected to be shipped cumulatively by the end of 2016 according to IHS Inc.".
Lisa Arrowsmith, Associate Director for Connectivity Research at IHS, commented, “Bluetooth Smart is rapidly gaining traction within fitness and medical devices, with a clear trend away from proprietary technologies. Additionally, with significant penetration of the compatible Bluetooth Smart Ready standard in consumer electronics devices, such as TVs, tablets, laptops and all-in-one PCs, there is a growing opportunity for Bluetooth Smart to be used to enable power-efficient wireless connectivity within high-volume peripheral devices, ranging from remote controls to PC peripherals, as well as being used to enable a huge range of emerging applications”.
The Dialog DA14580 is currently available in sample quantities for select customers with production scheduled for Q4 2013.