Nordic nRF8001-powered module

04 January 2013

LiSeng has developed a Bluetooth low energy module based on Nordic's µBlue nRF8001 Single-Chip-Connectivity solution.

The module is a tested wireless device fully compatible with Bluetooth v4.0. The module is available in three sizes measuring from 15 by 22 mm to 23 by 33 mm and can be easily incorporated into a battery-powered healthcare product without in-depth knowledge of RF engineering. The module includes a built-in PCB antenna, crystal, and supporting passives, and can be soldered directly to the target device's PCB. The module has a maximum range of 10 meters.

The nRF8001 is a member of Nordic's µBlue family and integrates a complete Bluetooth v4.0 low energy Radio, Link Layer, and Host stack for Peripheral (Slave) role operation, and features a simple serial interface supporting external microcontrollers of a designer's own choosing given the individual requirements of their application.

Incorporating Bluetooth low energy into a device such as a blood pressure monitor (or other portable consumer device) allows it to communicate seamlessly with any Bluetooth v4.0-equipped smartphone, tablet computer or PC now appearing on the market. Compatible devices include Apple's iPhone 5 and iPad, and handsets from Motorola, HTC, and NEC.

Data from the monitor, for example, could be transmitted to the handset, and from there, via the cellular network, to a remote server in a medical facility. Alternatively, the data could be sent via SMS or e-mail to a remote physician. Because the patient can remain at home while still being monitored the use of such systems promises to address burgeoning healthcare costs by cutting down on hospital visits.

Bluetooth low energy is a hallmark feature of the latest Bluetooth v4.0 specification and if certain qualification requirements are met the technology can be used to develop Bluetooth Smart devices that are compatible with any Bluetooth Smart Ready hub product.

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