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Bluetooth technology

Bluetooth is a short range wireless technology that operates in the unlicensed Industrial, Scientific and Medical (ISM) 2.4 GHz radio frequency band.

Bluetooth logo

Robust connectivity in a globally deployed ecosystem

Bluetooth is currently available in two variants:  BR/EDR (basic rate/enhanced data rate) for audio and streaming applications and Bluetooth low energy (BLE) for intermittent transmission of data in battery operated sensor devices.

The latest revision of the Bluetooth Specification, Bluetooth 5, increases the range and speed of Bluetooth low energy. With mesh networking, Bluetooth low energy nodes can form large scale networks with extended reach.

Robustness

Bluetooth dynamically adapts the frequency hopping sequence (Adaptive Frequency Hopping / AFH) to avoid channels potentially in use by other technologies. As a result, Bluetooth is particularly suitable for industrial, automotive and medical applications, where the reliability provided by Bluetooth is key.

Unprecedented ecosystem

According to ABI Research, Bluetooth enabled device shipments will reach more than five billion by 2021. Indeed, Bluetooth has become a standard for wireless connectivity between mobile devices with an unmatched ecosystem, available in all smart phones and tablets, which is important for connecting hand‑held generic devices with other installed Bluetooth enabled devices.

Bluetooth BR/EDR vs Bluetooth low energy

While the core name is the same, there are fundamental differences between Bluetooth low energy (previously known as Bluetooth Smart) and Bluetooth BR/EDR (previously known as Classic Bluetooth).

Bluetooth low energy technology is ideal for applications using periodic transfer of small amounts of data where low cost and ultra‑low power consumption is the focus. It is particularly useful for sensors in Internet of Things (IoT) applications.

Dual‑mode Bluetooth devices support both Bluetooth low energy and Bluetooth BR/EDR. This is, for instance, the case with a smartphone; it connects to a laptop via Bluetooth BR/EDR and to a heart rate sensor via Bluetooth low energy. The heart rate sensor is an example of a single‑mode Bluetooth low energy device.

In Bluetooth low energy, one speaks of peripheral and central roles for a device. Once the connection is established, the devices form a master and slave topology similar to Bluetooth BR/EDR. To use the above mentioned example, the heart rate sensor acts as a peripheral/slave while the smartphone acts as central/master.

For two Bluetooth BR/EDR enabled devices to connect they need to have the same profile implemented. For instance, Personal Area Networking (PAN) allows two or more devices to form an ad‑hoc network and the Serial Port Profile (SPP) replaces a serial communication interface.

In Bluetooth low energy, the Generic Attribute (GATT) profiles define a hierarchical data structure used to exchange data between Bluetooth low energy devices. The GATT profiles describe use cases and the GATT services are characteristics collections (data, descriptions, possible actions, etc.) that define the capabilities of a Bluetooth low energy device.

GATT defines clients (“devices that want data”) and the servers (“devices that have data”). The GATT server stores data transported over the Attribute Protocol (ATT) and accepts requests, commands and confirmations from the GATT client. The GATT server sends responses and GATT server event triggered messages to the GATT client.  As an example, the u‑blox NINA‑B1 Bluetooth low energy module has both GATT server and GATT client roles implemented.

It is also possible to define custom services. For instance, u‑blox has defined the u‑blox Serial Port Service to allow for serial data exchange between Bluetooth low energy devices similar to the Bluetooth EDR/BR SPP.

Features Description
Bluetooth 4.1
BR/EDR Secure Connections Provides 128‑bit AES encryption strength
Dual Mode Topology Enables a device to act as a Bluetooth dual‑mode hub and Bluetooth low energy peripheral at the same time
L2CAP Dedicated Channels Enables IPv6 over Bluetooth low energy
Bluetooth 4.2
Internet protocol support profile (IPSP) A Bluetooth low energy sensor can access the Internet through a gateway device
LE Privacy 1.2 Keeps Bluetooth low energy devices from being tracked
LE Secure Connections Provides 128‑bit AES encryption strength for Bluetooth low energy
LE Data Length Extension Increases data throughput up to 2.5x
Bluetooth 5
2 Mbps LE Extends the data rates supported by Bluetooth low energy up to 2 Mbps
LE Long Range Extends the range supported by Bluetooth low energy devices to more than double the range
LE Advertising Extension Support for longer advertisement messages which prepares for future IPv6 based mesh

 

Products

ODIN-W2 series
Stand-alone IoT gateway modules with Wi-Fi & Bluetooth
NINA-B1
Stand-alone Bluetooth low energy modules
Stand-alone dual-mode Bluetooth module series
JODY-W165
Host-based modules with Wi-Fi 2×2 MIMO 802.11ac and dual-mode Bluetooth
EMMY-W161
Host-based multiradio modules with Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, & NFC
Host-based multiradio module series with Wi-Fi and Bluetooth

Bluetooth bus ticketing trial in Britain

By Pär Håkansson – Courtesy of Nordic Semiconductor, March 22, 2017

Bus passengers in a town in northern England are testing a mobile ticketing system that uses Bluetooth beacons and a smartphone app instead of buying a ticket.

Mobile ticketing on buses around the world is nothing new, but most solutions still require the user to buy a ticket. In cities where regular bus passengers already use a mobile app to pay and/or store their tickets, it’s a small step forward to automate the system with Bluetooth beacons.

The 662Pay pilot has begun on the Keighley Bus Company Shuttle service between the towns of Keighley and Bradford, and runs until 26 March. To encourage use of the service, volunteers receiving a 50% discount on their travel throughout the trial period.

Read more here on Get connected Blog

www.blog.nordicsemi.com

Bluetooth rising

Courtesy of www.networkworld.com

In a few years, we will see enterprise-grade Bluetooth infrastructure solutions along the lines of today’s Wi-Fi WLANs

We are used to external developments driving progress in enterprise networking. An obvious example is the modern smartphone, born in the consumer market but now the primary client for enterprise WLANs.

Another is the move towards white-box networking, an extraordinary change in the way enterprises build data centers that would not have happened but for the activities of the big consumer internet companies.

So, it is natural to look to other markets for technologies that may become important in the enterprise over the next few years. In wireless, Bluetooth is the one to watch.

Bluetooth Low Energy: wireless technology of choice

Bluetooth has enjoyed an extraordinary rise since re-inventing itself with BLE (Bluetooth Low Energy, also called Bluetooth Smart and Bluetooth 4.0) in 2010. Its main benefits are very low-cost chips and very low power, enabling inexpensive battery-powered devices that run for years.

Virtually all phone-based indoor navigation apps rely on BLE in the form of beacons, whether Apple iBeacons or other variants. We see beacons in shopping malls, airports, stadiums—wherever there are dedicated venue navigation apps.

Similarly, wearables for fitness and health use BLE to communicate, either directly to apps on smartphones or via smartphones as gateways to the internet. Wearables can be thought of as personal IoT, and there’s a profusion of start-ups developing IoT devices for the consumer market. Their wireless technology of choice is BLE.

After these products become successful in the home, they will inevitably spill over into the enterprise. Familiar installation, ease of use, low cost—all these are essential to the consumer market and are difficult to resist when brought (not necessarily by the IT organization) to the workplace.

Problems BLE solves in the enterprise

What problems will BLE solve in the enterprise? Location is the obvious entry point.  As turn-by-turn navigation breaks into the enterprise, it is likely to rely on BLE beacons. Turn the BLE beacon around, attach it to a mobile object, and install BLE receivers at known points, and we have an asset-tracking infrastructure where tags last for years between battery changes.

No doubt we will also find uses for wearables in industry, healthcare and other vertical markets. And as other BLE-equipped devices from the consumer world make their way into the enterprise for facilities management, security, telemetry, and other purposes, there will be a need to connect them to the enterprise network.

The one component that has not yet emerged is an enterprise networking BLE gateway or hub. There is surely a need? Most BLE connections today are anchored on smartphones, ideal for personal networks but not for the enterprise. We can envisage infrastructure devices—similar to Wi-Fi access points—that are part of the corporate network, are deployed and coordinated throughout the building, and provide BLE beacons and communication services. As these BLE gateways emerge, the enterprise will be able to support all kinds of BLE devices.

The insurgency will echo the early days of Wi-Fi. Enjoying the benefits of consumer devices at home, employees want to bring them to work and will bypass the IT team. Where these BLE devices connect to a consumer BLE hub, the employee will bring one in and backhaul it over corporate ethernet—a rogue Bluetooth access point.

We know how to deal with rogues. Identifying them and educating users that they are insecure is only marginally successful. Electronic countermeasures work up to a point. But the best solution is to provide a better enterprise infrastructure so people don’t feel the need to bring their own.

And security will surely be a concern. Although the standards have progressed recently, today’s BLE devices seldom encrypt traffic, making them vulnerable to eavesdropping—albeit within the short range of the wireless signal and requiring complex equipment to follow the channel hopping. Also, authentication methods are not optimized for enterprises—there’s no 802.1X support, for instance. But as BLE infiltrates the enterprise, networking vendors will have to accept these inherent limitations and add a security envelope around the wireless system, augmenting authentication and limiting the scope of BLE devices while protecting gateways from unauthorized access.

Bluetooth 5

Meanwhile, the Bluetooth standards group is working on Bluetooth 5. While future features should always be discounted—standards sometimes flop—the signs are encouraging. Features include enough space in the beacons for full URLs, somewhat longer range, higher rates and meshing, possibly better battery life. These are all sensible extensions. Bluetooth has mojo.

The timescale is not predictable, but the trend is clear. Bluetooth has momentum in the market, and it’s backed up by progress in standards. It has a solid start as the technology for indoor location and navigation and for personal-area networking. And it’s the wireless technology of choice for consumer IoT, which will spawn new products applicable to the enterprise.

In a few years, we’ll see enterprise-grade Bluetooth infrastructure solutions along the lines of today’s Wi-Fi WLANs.

Courtesy of www.networkworld.com

Bluetooth 5: everything you need to know

By  – Courtesy of www.techradar.com

Faster, stronger, better

The group in charge of Bluetooth development has announced that the 5 specification of the technology is going to be unveiled next week, on the 16 June. Shortly afterwards, it should start finding its way into your phones, laptops andcar stereos.

We’ll have to wait until the launch event to get the full rundown on what Bluetooth 5 can do, but some details of the new wireless transmission standard have already leaked out.

Here’s 5 things you need to know about the new technology.

1. It’s going to be faster

No surprises here, Bluetooth 5 will be twice as fast as Bluetooth 4.2 LE, say its developers – that means a maximum throughput of 2Mbps by our quick maths. You’re not likely to get up to those speeds out in the real world but it should still be a significant speed jump.

2. It’s going to work from further away

The other major improvement is a quadrupling of the range from earlier versions, so theoretically you could be 1000+ feet (300+ metres) or so away from your Bluetooth speaker and still beam a song to it. The exact distance limits depend on the hardware you’re using.

3. It will be more ‘location aware’

Bluetooth 5 is going to add extra navigational features so the technology can be more easily used in indoor beacons and similar location-aware devices – basically enabling you to use Bluetooth technology to find your way around a shopping centre, for example.

4. It’s ready for the Internet of Things

The IoT buzz isn’t going away and nor is Bluetooth – version 5 of the standard will include various under-the-hood tweaks and optimisations to provide better performance and draw less power when installed in smart home kit dotted around the home.

5. You might need new devices

Unlike some Bluetooth upgrades, this one might require new chips (although old kit will work with Bluetooth 5, you won’t get the extra performance and features). Get ready for the flagship phones of 2017 to all come with Bluetooth 5 installed inside.

Courtesy of www.techradar.com

One of the world’s largest model railroad makers transforms a decades old market with the introduction of the first Bluetooth low energy controlled trains

Bluetooth

‘E-Z App’ from model railroad maker Bachmann brings smartphone and tablet wireless touchscreen control and app-based interactivity to the model train market for the first time, reducing the startup cost and complexity of the hobby while representing the biggest technological advance in the model railroad market since its digitization in the late 1980s

Nordic Semiconductor today announces that one of the world’s oldest and largest traditional model railroad and train manufacturers, Bachmann Trains, is employing Nordic SemiconductorBluetooth® low energy (previously known as Bluetooth Smart) nRF51822 Systems-on-Chip (SoCs) at the heart of its E-Z App™ system.

E-Z App was developed in conjunction with Bluetooth model train PCB design specialist and game developer, BlueRail Trains, using Nordic nRF51822-based BMD-200 modules from U.S. engineering firm Rigado that also contributed design expertise to the project.

Bachmann says E-Z App brings simple wireless touchscreen control and intuitive app-based interactivity to the traditional model train market for the first time, and reduces the startup cost and complexity of the hobby while representing the biggest technological advance in the traditional model train industry since it was digitized over 20 years ago.

“This includes putting quite literally at a user’s fingertips features such as speed table controls [acceleration and deceleration rates], volume controls for sound effects, lighting effects, and many other variables,” says Rich Janyszek, Senior VP of Sales & Marketing at Bachmann.

“In addition, the E-Z App control system automatically keeps track of all locomotives that are present on a track layout and lists them on the program’s opening screen in a roster that can be accessed at any time. This makes it possible for multiple users to simultaneously control their locomotives on a single layout.”

Janyszek adds that E-Z App supports wireless smartphone and tablet control of any of its E-Z Appcompatible model trains over a range of up to 100 ft (33 m) and requires no special or costly equipment to operate beyond a free partner iOS app. E-Z App is also said to be compatible with all MFI-approved game controllers.

“Existing DCC [Digital Command Control] model trains and the related equipment can be costly and complicated to program by consumer mass-market standards,” comments David Rees, CEO & Creative Director at BlueRail Trains. “However, with the advent of E-Z App and Bluetooth low energy wireless control from smartphones and tablets, it has been incredibly refreshing to see adults, young children, and experienced hobbyists downloading the app because of its simplicity, and rediscovering the pleasure of model trains.”

“The Rigado BMD-200 module delivers drop-in Bluetooth low energy wireless functionality out-of-the-box to minimize design lead-times and unnecessary development risk, including being pre-approved to all major wireless standards,” says Damon Barsuglia, Modules Sales Manager at Rigado. “It also features IP-protecting encrypted bootloader updates over the air using AES-128 technology, smart beacon functionality, and UART bridging. The module is 17.0 x 17.0 x 2.9mm in size and has full FCC, IC, and CE certification and is qualified to the Bluetooth 4.1 specification.”

“The ability to wirelessly and securely update a model train’s E-Z App firmware was also a major feature for us,” continues Janyszek of Bachmann, “because it makes updating railroad products in the field very quick and easy both for us as the manufacturer and for customers.”

Janyszek concludes: “Bringing E-Z App to market was a totally cooperative and rewarding experience. BlueRail, Rigado, and Bachmann were able to complement each other’s respective strengths and areas of expertise. This has resulted in an exciting opportunity for current modelers to gain even more enjoyment from their hobby, while potentially attracting brand new people to the market by lowering costs and complexity, and pairing a traditional toy with modern touchscreen control and brand new app-based interactivity. In fact E-Z App could propel model railroading in brand new directions that before now wouldn’t have been possible.”

www.nordicsemi.com

Things you should know about Bluetooth range

By Jon Gunnar Sponås June 2, 2016

Like all communication technologies, Bluetooth is a better fit for some applications than other. If you’re considering to use Bluetooth, there are some basic things that are really good to know! Here’s an outline of the primary factors that determine the effective range of Bluetooth communications, plus some ways to improve it with networking.

Bluetooth Classic vs. Bluetooth Low Energy

Bluetooth was originally designed to exchange a lot of data at close range in continuous, streaming data applications. The devices are able to both send and receive data at the same time. This is perfect for many common consumer products, such as computer headsets, where the two devices are close together.

When Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE, formerly called Bluetooth Smart) hit the market in 2011, the key advantage over earlier versions was lower power consumption over the same range, but with lower bandwidth. It’s intended for devices that only need to exchange small amounts of data periodically, extending battery life by months or even years.

Comparison table for Bluetooth ranges:

Bluetooth v2.1 Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE)
Range up to 100 meters up to 100 meters
Max Range (free field) Around 100 m
(class 2 outdoors)
Around 100 m
(outdoors)
Frequency 2.402 – 2.481 GHz 2.402 – 2.481 GHz
Max data rate 1-3 Mbit/s 1 Mbit/s
Application throughput 0.7-2.1 Mbit/s Up to 305 kbit/s
Topologies Point-to-point, scatternet Point-to-point, mesh network
Network Standard IEEE 802.15.1 IEEE 802.15.1

Range depends on surroundings, radio performance and antennas

There are many factors affecting Bluetooth range, typically:

  • The output power of the transmitter
  • The sensitivity of the receiver
  • Physical obstacles in the transmission path
  • The antennas

While the radio performance and antennas are pretty static for a given Bluetooth device, the surroundings can vary a lot. Outdoors, in an open field, you can get a range of up to a hundred meters. But that is a rare situation. Indoors, obstacles like concrete walls will attenuate the radio signal and the effective range will be drastically reduced. In normal use, ten meters is a good guide to what can be achieved between two Bluetooth devices indoors.

When developing a Bluetooth device, you can give your device a better range by selecting the Bluetooth chip with the best receiver sensitivity and output power, and making sure that you use a good antenna.

Sometimes you may need to use Bluetooth over hundreds or thousands of meters. In the next section we will discuss how to extend Bluetooth range using networks.

Typical use of Bluetooth and Bluetooth Low Energy:

Bluetooth v2.1
  • Wireless headsets
  • File transfer between devices
  • Wireless printers
  • Wireless speakers
Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE)
  • Medical devices for monitoring and reporting
  • Sports and fitness devices
  • Industrial monitoring sensors
  • Home automation
  • Geo-based, targeted promotions via beacons
  • Public transportation apps
  • Remote controls
  • PC peripheral devices like wireless mouse and keyboard

How to improve Bluetooth range with networkingcloud-network-internet.jpg

You can connect Bluetooth devices to multiple distributed gateways connected to the internet. The Bluetooth devices can communicate with each other, and with online services, via these gateways. This is an ideal solution if the devices are spread over a large geographical area. Each hub can usually only handle a few directly connected devices, which is another limitation of Bluetooth. You are likely to run into a situation where you want to handle hundreds or even thousands of Bluetooth devices in a relatively small area, such as an office building. For this you need to use a Mesh Network to connect the gateway and the local Bluetooth devices.

The power of mesh networks.

mesh-network-internet.jpgThe number of devices that require low-power operation and communication with other devices – and online services – is growing daily. In order to support this, BLE introduced support for Mesh Networks. A Mesh Network allows you to connect a large number of Bluetooth devices over a wider area. In this situation, all devices, or “nodes”, in the same mesh are able to communicate with each other, either directly or via one or more intermediate nodes, as long as each node is close enough to at least two others.

This way, the network does not depend on a central gateway to pass all traffic.

Just like the Internet, data packets can find the most efficient route via any nodes between the sender and the receiver.

In a Mesh Network you can also use a “broadcasting” approach, where all nodes within the Mesh Network receive the same message, and then interpret it and take appropriate action.

room-lights-on-smart-lightbulb.png

One example could be a smart lighting system. Each switch or bulb is a node on a Mesh Network using Bluetooth Low Energy. Each bulb is configured to know which room it’s in. The message is broadcast from Node 1, a light switch, via the mesh. The connected light bulbs in Room 1 receive this message, but they will not act upon it, as they know they are not in Room 2. The message is passed along and when it reaches the bulbs in Room 2, they turn on. Room 2 could be hundreds of meters away from Room 1, but will still receive the message via the other nodes in between. This way there could be a thousand or more rooms, all with lighting controlled from anywhere, using a Bluetooth Low Energy Network.

www.blog.nordicsemi.com

 

Why doesn’t my Smartphone Prompt me to Buy a Ticket at the Station?

By Pär Håkansson May 3, 2016

App development for railway stations and train operators is nothing new. Live departure times and reservations have been available as apps for a while, but it’s still primarily a manual process.
Wouldn’t it be better to just have the app prompt your purchase as soon as you reach the station? Of course it would, and although the technology is available, we are not quite ready for such a change.

Can your train app prompt you to buy tickets at the station today?

App development for railway stations and train operators is nothing new. Live departure times and reservations have been available as apps for a while, but it’s still primarily a manual process.

Wouldn’t it be better to just have the app prompt your purchase as soon as you reach the station? Of course it would, and although the technology is available, we are not quite ready for such a change.

Location based services are getting here

Traditionally, location-aware apps are available thanks to GPS technology. Such apps use geo-fencing to estimate your physical location. Alternatively, your location can be determined by GSM call towers, or tracking the Wi-Fi networks you connect to. More recently a new technology called Bluetooth beacon has become popular for location based services.

Your phone already knows your travel patterns. If you travel the same distance every business day at more or less the same time, you could let your app book your ticket automatically. If you have a more varied travel pattern, your app could prompt you with a few easy-to-select alternatives based on your most frequent journeys.

Or the transport company could turn its ticketing practice upside down, allowing you to pay for your journey as you disembark, by having your connected device inform the company of your journey details.

The technology to enable these business ideas for the Internet of Things is already in place.

Bluetooth beacons

Bluetooth beacons will likely play a huge role in the development of such IoT solutions. In time, millions of devices will run for years on small coin cell batteries. Beacons have one simple task: Broadcast a single message repeatedly to any receiving device within its range.

What is a beacon?

  • It acts as a lighthouse, with only one purpose: Send out a repeated signal to all devices within its range field to make devices and apps aware of its presence.
  • It is not aware of itself or any of the surrounding devices
  • It does not connect to any devices
  • It has a unique identifier
  • It is a small hardware device consisting of a Bluetooth IC, antenna and battery
  • It is platform independent, so can transmit to iOS, Android, Windows and Linux devices

Although most beacons are not connected to the Internet today, as more mesh networks and hubs come online, beacons may become capable of sending data to a cloud server themselves. This could help railway stations and other public services to conduct remote maintenance, or to spot beacons that need new batteries or total replacement.

Where are beacons today?

The use of beacons is currently rolled out in the millions worldwide, but you will notice even more beacons are popping up everywhere on a daily basis and it will increase over the coming years. A growing number of apps can take advantage of beacon signals, and we anticipate a lot of useful services will enter the market.

Some brick-and-mortar stores and advanced marketing agencies are early adopters of this technology but now it is getting more common. Among other things, beacons are used to create more personal shopping experiences, with relevant offers and discount coupons made available to customers nearby.

In 2013, Apple launched their iBeacon technology, but it had no support for Android devices. As a response to this, Google rolled out Eddystone, their own cross-platform Bluetooth-based beacon technology.

These technologies could replace and/or complement the GPS/Wi-Fi-based location methods, to notifying you of a late train or prompting a ticket purchase. GPS technology suffers from an additional disadvantage: it does not work in an indoor environment. Adding low cost beacons enables location based services indoor. Another advantage of Bluetooth beacons is their accuracy, making them able to locate devices with an accuracy of a few tens of centimeters.  The low cost of the beacons make them ideal for large deployments and the battery lifetime is typical several years. This together makes it attractive total cost of ownership.

To the next consideration: Privacy issues.

Privacy issues of Bluetooth beacons

This level of location-awareness could make people worry that they are being monitored, or their personal data is at risk. Yet beacons themselves are not intelligent, they are just hardware transmitting a signal. There is no Internet connection and no transfer of data from nearby devices.

Nevertheless, people will worry about their privacy. National legislation may regulate the use of beacons, so in general, explicit opt-in from the end user must remain mandatory when it comes to beacon services. Users need to choose to download the app and give it explicit permission to access their location.

To be successful, beacon services must be so easy to use that anyone can connect to them, which is not always the case with Wi-Fi networks today.

Lately, a new Eddystone beacon format from Google have been launched aimed to increase privacy and security. It is called the Eddystone-EID. The Bluetooth Smart chip from Nordic Semiconductor all have hardware and software in place to avoid that the end consumer being easily tracked.

Ready to get started with your own product?

If you see the exciting possibilities that opens up with the use of beacon technology, this is the perfect time to get started. The beacon technology already exists today, ready for you to take advantage of. In fact, Nordic Semiconductor has already sold millions of chips for beacons.
Are you ready to take the next step?

http://blog.nordicsemi.com

u-blox NINA B1

Bluetooth low energy 4.2 module brings state-of-the-art performance and power efficiency to IoT designs

Sensing and control applications can be embedded on top of the NINA‑B1 module stack

Thalwil, Switzerland – February 22, 2016 – u‑blox (SIX:UBXN), a global leader in wireless and positioning modules and chips, today announced the NINA‑B1 Bluetooth low energy (Bluetooth Smart) stand‑alone module. Compliant to the latest Bluetooth 4.2 specification and certified to global radio type approvals, the module is key to bringing Bluetooth low energy‑based Internet of Things (IoT) designs to market in the shortest possible time.

Comprising an antenna, radio transceiver, an embedded ARM Cortex® M4F microcontroller and a Bluetooth low energy stack, NINA‑B1 is ready for design‑in for many applications. It is ideal for a wide range of IoT solutions, such as IoT connected sensors, building automation, medical devices, telematics applications, as well as monitoring and control systems. Supporting ARM® mbed™, the module and its evaluation kit (EVK) are open for designers who wish to embed their own application on top of the Bluetooth low energy stack.

The latest Bluetooth 4.2 specification offers an enhanced connection security capability, IPv6 and faster throughput compared to previous versions. The module is ready to support the future Bluetooth 5.0 specification by means of a firmware upgrade. The application memory – 512 kB Flash and 64 kB RAM – allows for firmware upgrades to be performed over‑the‑air (OTA).

With the u‑blox Serial Port service pre‑loaded, NINA‑B1 enables fast integration into devices running serial protocols. AT commands, compatible with other u‑blox modules, keep configuration efforts to a minimum.

NINA‑B1 has advanced power management features to keep the power consumption down to 400 nA with wake up on an external event, 2 µA during idle state, and 5 mA (at 0 dBm) at 3.0 VDC, during transmission.

With integrated NFC (Near Field Communication) capability, the module may be used to support Touch‑and‑Pair use cases for simplified Bluetooth pairing.

“NINA‑B1 is a fully certified Bluetooth low energy module with excellent RF capabilities. The open architecture approach to software development from ARM® mbed™ speeds up the IoT application development, thus greatly reducing the time to market and the related costs,” explains Pelle Svensson, Product Marketing Short Range Radio at u‑blox.

u-blox NINA B1

The module is a complete stand‑alone Bluetooth low energy product and does not require any additional hardware. Sensors, accelerometers, LEDs along with other sensing and control devices can be connected directly to the module via GPIO, ADC, I2C, SPI and UART interfaces. It is available in two versions, NINA‑B112 (10 x 14 mm) with integrated antenna, and NINA‑B111 (10 x 10 mm) with an antenna pin designed for customer‑specific antenna solutions.

To watch the video: https://youtu.be/I1f30R42gfY

NINA‑B1 will be displayed at the u‑blox booth (Hall 5: 5‑158) of Embedded World on 23‑25 February 2016.
About u‑blox

Swiss u‑blox (SIX:UBXN) is a global leader in wireless and positioning semiconductors and modules for the automotive, industrial and consumer markets. Our solutions enable people, vehicles and machines to locate their exact position and communicate wirelessly over cellular and short range networks. With a broad portfolio of chips, modules and software solutions, u‑blox is uniquely positioned to empower OEMs to develop innovative solutions for the Internet of Things, quickly and cost‑effectively. With headquarters in Thalwil, Switzerland, u‑blox is globally present with offices in Europe, Asia and the USA.

(www.u‑blox.com)

SWYP Nordic Semiconductor

SWYP from Qvivr: Using Bluetooth Smart for enhanced security

Qvivr-founder Ashutosh Dhodapkar introduces the SWYP, an electronic credit- and loyalty card replacement to make your wallet thinner! A super-slim Bluetooth Smart SoC enables enhanced security using your phone for authentication via Nordic Semiconductor.

The SWYP Card is designed to seamlessly integrate into our everyday lives. It begins with a revolutionary paper-thin PCB board that is populated with the tiniest components available. It goes through a series of assembly processes that result in durable metal cards that pass our rigorous tests. Its dynamic magnetic stripe means that a single card can now change into another at the press of a button. The display is optimized to show you exactly the information you need, and the prediction algorithms determine exactly when you need it. All of this technology now fits inside a card that is less than 0.8 mm thick. Meet the simple, sleek, secure SWYP card.

SWYP Nordic Semiconductor