MCU family adds Bluetooth 5 and boosts power efficiency

January 10, 2018 // By Jean-Pierre Joosting
The Apollo Blue microcontroller family relesased by Ambiq Micro breaks barriers in power efficiency while integrating Bluetooth 5 low energy radio connectivity with the company's patented Subthreshold Power Optimized Technology (SPOT™) architecture.

The integrated energy-efficient Bluetooth 5 low energy radio combined with improved communication features enables always-connected, ultra-low power designs. The Apollo Blue family of products includes a second core dedicated to running the Bluetooth stack – an architecture that allows the Ambiq Micro ARM Cortex-M4F main processor to focus on managing applications like voice control, keyword detection, and sensor processing with extreme power efficiency.

The device integrates 1 MB of flash memory and 256 KB of RAM to accommodate radio and sensor overhead while leaving space for application code. It also includes several masters and one slave SPI and I2C ports and two UART ports for communicating with sensors including accelerometers, gyroscopes, and magnetometers.

Key Bluetooth specifications include -95 dBm RF sensitivity,  transmit output power of -40 dBm to +5 dBm, AES 128-bit encryption, Over-The-Air updates (OTA), coexistence with other 2.4 GHz wireless, Bluetooth SIG profiles support, and enhanced data rate up to 2 Mbps.

See also: Mesh networking capability added to Bluetooth

According to Aaron Grassian, VP of Marketing and Business Development, Ambiq Micro, integrated Bluetooth low energy offers customers even more choices to develop always-on, always-aware, and always-connected products without sacrificing battery life.

The first product in the Blue family is Ambiq Micro's Apollo2 Blue which is in full production and available now.  

See also: IoT startup Wiliot closes investment round to push battery-free Bluetooth

The SPOT™-enabled ultra-low power Apollo Blue products are being demonstrated at CES 2018 – and are ideal for use in IoT and wearables applications.

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