Communications

Ultra-small high performance Bluetooth 5.0 module

17th December 2019
Alex Lynn

u-blox has announced its latest ultra-small, high performance Bluetooth low energy 5.0 module, the BMD-380. Measuring only 7.5x9.5mm including the ceramic antenna, it features Bluetooth 5.0 specifications, with its long range protocol suitable for implementing communication in harsh radio environments. It also supports IEEE802.15.4 (Thread and Zigbee).

All these features make the BMD-380 high performing for use cases in industrial automation, healthcare, smart cities, smart buildings and homes, and high-end wearables.

The BMD-380 is based on a Nordic Semiconductor nRF52840 System on Chip (SoC), which includes a 64 MHz Arm Cortex-M4 microcontroller with integrated floating-point unit, 256 kB RAM, and 1 MB of flash memory. In addition, it provides a wide range of hardware interfaces including I2C, SPI, QSPI, GPIO, ADC, and USB, making it powerful enough to include both communication stacks and advanced applications.

The BMD-380 also features Arm’s TrustZone CryptoCell cryptographic unit, which simplifies the implementation of security features necessary to build robust IoT ecosystems.

u-blox expects the BMD-380 module to be used where customers have limited space to implement their designs, need good radio performance, and want to control the bill of materials for their target device by using the onboard processor as the main system MCU.

The new module extends u-blox’s current BMD-3 series of Bluetooth low energy products. It draws on the company’s extensive expertise in RF circuitry, high-frequency board design, and dense packaging to deliver a smaller module with the same high performance as the rest of the range.

The BMD-380 module will be certified for use in Europe, the US, Canada, and Australia. First engineering samples will be available in Q1 2020.

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