Bluetooth Smart system-in-package module requires no RF expertise

May 16, 2014 // By Graham Prophet
Based on the Nordic Semiconductor nRF51822 System-on-Chip, the ISP130301 from French system-in-package specialist, Insight SiP, is a drop-in solution that requires only a 2.1 to 3.6 V on-board power source and sensor (if applicable), and can run up to several years from a coin cell battery.

The Insight SiP ISP130301 measures 8 x 11 x 1.2 mm in size and is postitioned as a complete 'drop-in' Bluetooth Smart module solution for developers of “appcessory” products. Nordic Semiconductor and Insight SiP say the module requires no specialist RF engineering experience to employ and targets highly space-constrained smartphone and tablet appcessories, and computer accessories, such as body-worn health and wellness sensors and key fob proximity detectors.

In a QFN, LGA package the module includes, in addition to the nRF51822 and its 32-bit ARM Cortex M0 microprocessor, 256 kB of Flash memory, and full suite of analogue and digital peripherals (including 2-wire, ADC, AES, GPIO, PWM, Real Time Clock, RNG, SPI, Temperature Sensor, and UART), a DC-DC converter, integrated RF antenna, 16 MHz and 32 kHz high stability quartz oscillators, plus an RF matching circuit and passive components.

The Insight SiP ISP130301, which has full FCC and CE EMC certification pending and is Bluetooth SIG certified to the latest Bluetooth v4.1 specification, can be configured to operate in slave or master mode, requires no external supporting components beyond an on-board 2.1 to 3.6 V power source and for sensing applications, an appropriate sensor.

Power consumption is also optimised for ultra low power operation with a claimed typical performance of 10.5 mA for transmission, 12.6 mA for reception, 2.3 µA for standby, and 0.5 µA for deep sleep mode. Insight SiP says this supports coin cell (watch) battery lifetimes of up to several years.

The ISP130301 supports all Nordic Semiconductor nRF51 Series compatible reference designs (all downloadable from the Nordic Semiconductor website) development tools and software including the nRFgo Evaluation Kit for nRF51822 (nRF51822 EK); nRFgo Development Kit for nRF51822 (nRF51822 DK); ARM mbed Evaluation Kit using nRF51822 SoC (nRF51822-mKIT). Insight SiP has also developed its own development kit including a sensor demo and smartphone application for use with the ISP130301 (the ISP130301-DK1) which is available for purchase separately.