electronica – Silicon Labs unveils Bluetooth SiP module

Silicon Labs has introduced what it claims in the smallest Bluetooth low energy system-in-package (SiP) module with a built-in chip antenna, offering a complete connectivity solution.

The BGM12x Blue Gecko SiP module, measures 6.5 mm x 6.5 mm, and has been designed to enable developers to miniaturise their IoT designs by minimising the PCB footprint including the antenna clearance area to 51 mm2. Applications for this ultra-small Bluetooth module could include sports and fitness wearables, smartwatches, personal medical devices, wireless sensor nodes and other space-constrained connected devices.

The module is based on Silicon Labs’ Blue Gecko wireless SoC and provides an all-in-one Bluetooth connectivity solution featuring an ARM Cortex-M4 processor, high-output Bluetooth power amplifier, high-efficiency on-board antenna, external antenna options, oscillators and passives, along with a reliable, secure Bluetooth 4.2 stack and best-in-class development tools.

The BGM12x module’s high level of SiP integration means that developers don’t have to worry about the complexities of RF system engineering, protocol decisions and antenna design so that they can focus on their end applications. Being exceptionally small these modules makes it easy to use in space-sensitive, battery-powered applications including low-cost, two-layer PCB designs.

“Small size is as critical to IoT end node design as ultra-low power, low system cost and high levels of integration,” said Daniel Cooley, Senior Vice President and General Manager of IoT Products at Silicon Labs. “The BGM12x SiP module enables developers to design compact Bluetooth designs quickly and easily by integrating all required hardware and software components including a Bluetooth 4.2 compliant stack.”

The BGM12x module provides developers with the flexibility to begin with a module-based design and then transition to a Blue Gecko SoC with minimal system redesign and full software reuse. To help developers further miniaturise wearable designs and other Bluetooth-enabled IoT products, Blue Gecko SoCs will be available in an ultra-small (3.3 mm x 3.14 mm x 0.52 mm) wafer-level chip-scale package (WLCSP).

The BGM12x module has been pre-certified for use in many key global markets, minimising development costs and RF regulatory compliance effort for developers. All application code can be executed on the BGM12x module, eliminating the need for an external MCU, which helps reduce system cost and board space and speeds time to market. Bluetooth low energy application profiles and examples are also available to streamline development.

The BGM12x Blue Gecko module and WLCSP SoC product are supported by the same software framework developed for Silicon Labs’ popular BGM11x modules and EFR32BG SoCs in QFN packages.

BGM12x modules are available with different transmit output power options, from 3 dBm (BGM123) to 8 dBm (BGM121), to support connected device applications with varying range requirements.