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Embedded World: Low-power bluetooth MCUs deliver mesh networking with ubiquitous smartphone connectivity

Cypress Semiconductor is sampling two low-power, dual-mode Bluetooth 5.0 and Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) microcontrollers (MCUs) that include support for Bluetooth mesh networking for the Internet of Things (IoT).

The new CYW20819 and CYW20820 MCUs each provide simultaneous Bluetooth 5.0 audio and BLE connections, delivering low-power wireless solutions that enable music and voice commands for battery-powered fitness bands, health monitoring devices, and voice remotes. Designers can also use the solutions to develop low-cost, low-power Bluetooth mesh network devices that can communicate with each other—and with smartphones, tablets and voice-controlled home assistants—via simple, ubiquitous, and hub-free Bluetooth connectivity.

The CYW20819 Bluetooth/BLE MCU has the ability to maintain Serial Port Profile (SPP) protocol connections and Bluetooth mesh connections simultaneously. The CYW20820 offers the same features and integrates a power amplifier (PA) with up to 10dBm output power for long-range applications up to 400 meters and whole-home coverage. This provides classic Bluetooth tablet and smartphone connections while enabling a low-power, standards-compliant mesh network for sensor-based smart home or enterprise applications. The Arm Cortex-M4 core enables operation at 60% lower active power for connected 200ms beacons compared to current solutions—delivering up to an industry-leading 123 days of battery life from a CR2032 coin cell battery.

Previously, users needed to be in the immediate vicinity of a Bluetooth device to control it without an added hub. Using Bluetooth mesh networking technology, combined with the integrated PA in the CYW20820, the devices within a network can communicate with each other to easily provide coverage throughout even the largest homes, allowing users to conveniently control all of the devices via apps on their smartphones, tablets, and smart-speakers.

Author
Bethan Grylls

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