Monday, June 17, 2024

Scalable and Secure Bluetooth Network Processor

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  • STMicroelectronics has introduced a Bluetooth Low Energy chip that allows designing of smart electronics products
  • Built-in image authentication technology enhances cyber-security

STMicroelectronics has released the BlueNRG-2N Bluetooth 5.0-certified network processor that enables low power consumption and adds support for the latest Bluetooth features that increase data throughput and enhance privacy and security. 

The newest member in ST’s BlueNRG family of Bluetooth Low Energy chips caters to various approaches when designing wireless systems. 

The BlueNRG-2N network co-processor comes pre-programmed, ready for connecting to a host controller to provide Bluetooth connectivity. Not only does this simplify product manufacturing but also allows scaling the performance, features and cost of the host system independently. Designers of products such as smart medical wearables, PC peripherals, remote controls, lighting, industrial and home automation can thus optimize their choice of microcontroller (MCU) to meet specific model requirements.

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The latest Bluetooth enhancements featured in BlueNRG-2N include support for Data Length Extension, which accelerates over-the-air (OTA) firmware updates by as much as 2.5 times and raises data transfers to 700kbit/s at the application level. Additionally, the support for Bluetooth LE Privacy 1.2, BlueNRG-2N changes addresses frequently without host-processor involvement to prevent unwanted tracking with minimal impact on system power consumption.

Enhanced Secure Feature

A built-in image authentication technology enhances cyber-security by always checking the stack before starting to allow only signed firmware images to run.

Power consumption is lower compared with previous BlueNRG generations, thanks to low transmit and receive current and drawing just 900nA in shutdown mode with the BLE stack running. At the same time, the device maintains robust and reliable radio performance with +8dBm programmable RF output power and up to a 96dB link budget.

It shares key features with the BlueNRG-2 Bluetooth 5.0-certified System-on-Chip (SoC), which also contains a programmable Arm Cortex-M0 MCU to host the main application and Bluetooth connectivity on the same device. Developers working with BlueNRG chips can take advantage of the powerful and user-friendly STM32 online development environment (ODE), which includes the STM32CubeMX GUI plugin, to kick-start their projects.

As a dedicated network co-processor within the BlueNRG family, BlueNRG-2N is in full production. Devices are available in a 2.66mm x 2.56mm WLCSP34 chip-scale packages: BlueNRG-234N or 5mm x 5mm QFN32: BlueNRG-232N.


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