Small Bluetooth 5.1 modules for long range connectivity

September 28, 2020 //By Rich Pell
Miniaturized Bluetooth 5.1 modules for industrial IoT
Wireless connectivity company Laird Connectivity has announced new miniaturized Bluetooth 5.1 modules designed to deliver longer range Bluetooth Low Energy (LE) connectivity for harsh industrial operating environments at a fraction of the size.

Offering a footprint as small as 6.3 x 5.6 mm, the BL653µ Bluetooth 5.1 module series specifically targets designs where space is constrained. The modules, says the company, deliver complete multi-protocol embedded wireless connectivity with exceptional processing capability, Bluetooth 5.1 direction finding with angle of arrival (AoA) and angle of departure (AoD), and an extended temperature range (-40° to +105 °C).

"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," says 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."

Based on 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 the company's own smartBASIC environment provide maximum development flexibility.

The BL653µ series features USB access, up to +8 dBm transmit power, and up to a 5.5V supply range. In addition to its 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).

With the modules' 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.

Modular FCC, IC, CE, RCM, MIC, and Bluetooth SIG approvals extend to an OEM's design with no new testing, enabling faster time to market and reduced development risks. The modules are available with an optional


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