Micros

Development of next-gen wireless MCUs supporting New Bluetooth 5.3 LE

22nd October 2021
Beatrice O'Flaherty

Renesas, supplier of advanced semiconductor solutions, announced that it is developing new microcontrollers (MCUs) that will support the recently released Bluetooth 5.3 Low Energy (LE) Specification.

The new devices will be part of the Renesas Advanced (RA_ Family of 32-bit Arm Cortex-M microcontrollers, joining the RA4W1 Bluetooth 5.0 LE device introduced last year. Renesas expects to have first samples of the new MCUs in the first quarter of 2022.

The new Bluetooth 5.3 specification was released on July 13, 2021. It includes important new features, such as allowing receivers to filter out messages without involving the host stack to improve the receiver duty cycle. It also enables peripheral devices to provide preferred channels to a central device in order to improve throughput and reliability. In addition, it adds subrated connections that improve switching time between low and high duty cycle connections for applications that occasionally need to switch to burst traffic. On top of these features the direction-finding functionality introduced in Bluetooth 5.1 as well as the isochronous channels added in Bluetooth 5.2 for stereo audio transmission will be supported in Renesas’ new MCUs. The inclusion of software-defined radio (SDR) capabilities will allow customers to later migrate to new specification releases.

Renesas has a long history of Bluetooth development and deep expertise in the design of Bluetooth LE devices. The new products will be supported by the RA family’s Flexible Software Package (FSP) for easy development of applications and the Renesas QE for Bluetooth LE plug-in, a dedicated Bluetooth profile and application development support tool. The RA family’s high level of security and safety mechanisms, including TrustZone support, is also part of these new products.

“We are committed to providing the best performance, ease-of-use, and the latest features on the market,” said Roger Wendelken, senior vice president in Renesas’ IoT and Infrastructure Business Unit. “By offering early, robust support for the Bluetooth 5.3 LE specification, we will enable our RA customers to be first to market with their next-generation products.”

Renesas is preparing to offer multiple Winning Combinations featuring the new Bluetooth 5.3 LE MCUs along with complementary analog, power and timing devices. Winning Combinations provide an easy to use architecture, simplifying the design process and significantly reducing design risk for customers in a wide variety of applications.

Availability

The new MCUs are being developed using an advanced manufacturing process that will enable high-performance, low power consumption and small package options. Samples are expected to be available in the first quarter of 2022. Read the blog post What’s New in Bluetooth 5.3 Low Energy for more information about the Bluetooth 5.3 LE specification.

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