November 2014

Bluetooth 4.0 low energy module

Benchmark for miniaturization

The Bluetooth Smart specification is designed to enable power-saving wireless connectivity for a growing range of wearable devices, sensors and other small mobile devices. The miniature TDK SESUB-PAN-T2541 Bluetooth 4.0 low energy module helps manufacturers of these devices get Smart.

The new TDK SESUB-PAN-T2541 module is designed for the new Bluetooth specification, which is being marketed as Bluetooth Smart. With its miniature footprint of just 4.6 mm × 5.6 mm and slim insertion height of 1.0 mm, the module set the industry benchmark for Bluetooth Smart modules.

Thanks to its compact size, the SESUB-PAN-T2541 is very well suited for use in emerging wearable devices, a market that market researchers expect will grow rapidly in the near future.

The new module is based on TDK’s proprietary SESUB technology (semiconductor embedded in substrate). The Bluetooth IC die is embedded into the thin substrate, and all the peripheral circuitry, including a quartz resonator, bandpass filter and capacitors, is integrated on top (Figure 1).

Figure 1: Block diagram of the TDK SESUB-PAN-T2541 Bluetooth 4.0 LE module

The Texas Instruments IC is embedded into the thin SESUB subsrate. Additional passive components, including a quartz resonator, are mounted on top.

Thanks to the advanced SESUB embedding technology, the new Bluetooth low energy module is nearly 65 percent smaller than modules that employ discrete components. Its substrate layers optimally route all of the I/Os to a BGA on the module’s bottom surface, enabling designers to take full advantage of the chip’s functionality. The new module thus facilitates the hardware design process and allows easy implementation of Bluetooth connectivity simply by connecting it to a power supply and antenna.

The Bluetooth 4.0 LE specification, which was developed by the Bluetooth Special Interest Group, aims at significantly reducing the power consumption of battery-powered wireless devices. Under the specification, Bluetooth Smart devices, typically battery-operated sensors, communicate either with other Bluetooth Smart devices or with dual-mode, Bluetooth Smart Ready devices, such as a smartphones, tablets or notebooks. The hardware of Smart Ready devices is compatible with both classic Bluetooth and LE peripherals.

Table: Key technical data of the TDK SESUB-PAN-T2541 Bluetooth 4.0 low energy module

Communication standardBluetooth 4.0 low energy (2.4 GHz)
Dimensions [mm]4.6 × 5.6 × 1.0
Supply voltage [V DC]2.0 to 3.6 (operating conditions)
Typical wireless output power [dBm]0
Communication range [m] 10 *
InterfacesUART, SPI, I2C, GPIO, ADC

* Module requires an external antenna. The range is for line-of-sight connections and depends on the antenna characteristics.

The new SESUB-PAN-T2541 Bluetooth 4.0 LE module cuts power consumption to about one quarter of that of classic Bluetooth devices. This makes the new TDK module ideally suited for a wide range of wireless devices, where minimal size, weight, and power consumption are essential. They include:

  • Healthcare, sport and fitness devices such as physical activity monitors, thermometers, blood pressure monitors, blood oxygen monitors, blood sugar monitors, and heart rate monitors
  • Wearable devices such as smart bracelets, watches, rings, glasses, and clothing
  • Home and entertainment devices such as remote controls, sensor tags, toys, lighting equipment, and more
  • Computer peripheral devices such as mouses, keyboards, stylus pens, or presentation pointers

In order to ensure the smooth development of Bluetooth Smart devices, TDK offers the SP13801 evaluation board designed specifically for the SESUB-PAN-T2541 module (Figure 2). In addition to the Bluetooth module, the evaluation board is equipped with a program writing terminal, a chip antenna, and a crystal unit land pattern for generating a sleep clock. Connected to the IC evaluation kits of IC manufacturers, it enables the easy evaluation of SESUB-PAN-T2541 functions.

Figure 2: Evaluation board for the TDK SESUB-PAN-T2541 Bluetooth 4.0 low energy module

In order to support the smooth development of products, TDK offers the SP13801 evaluation board for the SESUB-PAN-T2541 Bluetooth 4.0 low energy module. The evaluation board can be connected to the IC evaluation kits of IC manufacturers in order to evaluate product functions.

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