Optimized BLE Module Simplifies Bluetooth 5 Upgrade and Speeds Time to Market

March 28, 2017, 8:30 am

With billions of connected devices, Bluetooth technology continues to be a global driver of the Internet of Things (IoT). Today there are more than six billion devices wirelessly connected to the Internet, and that number is estimated to grow to 20.8 billion “things” by 2020, according to Gartner. The rapidly expanding and evolving IoT market has opened a huge array of Bluetooth low energy (BLE) applications. Designed specifically for the IoT, Bluetooth 5 provides increased range, speed, and broadcast messaging capacity in addition to enhanced security features introduced in version 4.2 of the spec. As a result, BLE devices can now offer significantly improved throughput to securely handle the massive amounts of data within the IoT.

Laird is at the forefront of deploying certified module solutions for Bluetooth 5 development, which enables customers to better address the growing data and performance demands for IoT deployments. Today Laird announced the new SaBLE-x-R2 BLE module. The SaBLE-x-R2 builds on the field-proven hardware of the SaBLE-x to provide a simple drop-in upgrade path for Bluetooth 5 connectivity. With longer range, higher throughput, and extended advertising options, the SaBLE-x-R2 accelerates the development time for implementing cutting-edge BLE connectivity in IoT sensors and beacons for commercial, medical, and industrial applications.

Built to deliver unmatched RF and power performance, the SaBLE-x-R2 is the first and only module on the market based on the SimpleLink™ Bluetooth low energy CC2640R2F wireless microcontroller (MCU) from Texas Instruments (TI). Designed to remove complexity and accelerate development time, the module is pin-to-pin compatible with the original SaBLE-x hardware, which means upgrading to R2 does not require any PCB, footprint, or hardware changes in any existing SaBLE-x board layout.

The SaBLE-x-R2 will include certification compliance with the FCC, Industry Canada, CE, Giteki, and C-Tick regulatory bodies, as well as qualification with the Bluetooth SIG. The module certifications will feature no less than four pre-certified antenna options, with the option to add additional custom antennas to the certification at little to no cost to the customer.

Engineering samples of the SaBLE-x-R2 BLE module are now available. Modules and kits are expected to be commercially available in June 2017.

For more information, visit the SaBLE-x-R2 product page.

Read the full press release, here.