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Next generation wireless MCUs support Bluetooth 5.3 LE specification

Renesas is developing new microcontrollers (MCUs) that will support the recently released Bluetooth 5.3 Low Energy (LE) Specification.

These 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 that was introduced last year. Renesas expects to have first samples of the new MCUs in the first quarter of 2022.

The Bluetooth 5.3 specification, released in July, 2021, 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 sub-rated 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 these new MCUs. The inclusion of software-defined radio (SDR) capabilities will allow customers to later migrate to new specification releases.

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.

Renesas said that it is preparing to offer multiple Winning Combinations featuring the new Bluetooth 5.3 LE MCUs along with complementary analogue, power and timing devices.

Winning Combinations are intended to provide an easy to use architecture, simplifying the design process and significantly reducing design risk for customers in a wide variety of applications.

Neil Tyler

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What you think about this article:

Renesas developments here are very interesting. Almost all of my projects, designs and developments during the recent 25 years have involved principally the Nordic nRF24 and nRF52 families, and before that the Cambridge CSR classic Bluetooth BCxx series chipsets. Used in everything from industrial automation, sensor networks to asset management. Will explore Renesas developments further and develop some test rigs and prototypes.

Posted by: Martin Harnevie, 22/10/2021

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