Laird miniaturises Bluetooth for harsh Industrial IoT

  • September 30, 2020
  • William Payne

Wireless tech specialist Laird Connectivity has launched a series of modules that deliver longer range Bluetooth Low Energy (LE) connectivity for harsh industrial operating environments at a fraction of the size.

The BL653µ series is designed to provide connectivity in extremely challenging RF environments and wireless industrial IoT applications. With Bluetooth meshing capabilities, OEMs can extend the reach of messages by relaying them from node to node in a large group of connected devices. The additional strengths of Bluetooth 5 long range (Coded PHY support) allow Bluetooth signals to travel further, enabling wireless communication for constrained, hard-to-reach equipment within factory floors and manufacturing plants.

With a footprint of 6.3 x 5.6 mm, the miniaturised BL653µ targets designs where space is constrained while delivering complete multi-protocol embedded wireless connectivity, Bluetooth 5.1 direction finding with angle of arrival (AoA) and angle of departure (AoD), and an extended temperature range (-40° to +105 °C).

Powered by the Nordic nRF52833 WLCSP silicon, the small form factor BL653µ modules provide secure, robust LE connectivity and a Cortex-M4F CPU for any product design. The BL653µ’s small footprint and programing options for the Nordic SDK or Zephyr RTOS, intuitive AT command set, or Laird Connectivity’s own _smart_BASIC environment provide maximum development flexibility.

The BL653µ series brings out key nRF52833 hardware features and capabilities including USB access, up to +8 dBm transmit power, and up to 5.5V supply range. In addition to the stand-out Bluetooth 5.1 features, the BL653µ also has the potential to be Bluetooth 5.2 capable and has hardware support for NFC and 802.15.4 (Thread and Zigbee).

“The BL653µ series provides ultimate flexibility and enables further progress into IoT use cases where small footprints, extended temperature ranges, and multi-wireless capabilities are needed,” said Jonathan Kaye, Laird Connectivity’s Senior Director of Product Management. “These modules enable OEMs to quickly drive their entire product development with a single, integrated multi-wireless MCU core platform, matched with a large selection of development environments to suit their specific needs.”