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Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Toshiba's first Bluetooth 5 chips trade data rate for range

By Nick Flaherty

Toshiba has launched two new Bluetooth 5 chips with a longer range at the 125kbit/s data rate.
As a result the TC35680FSG (featuring built-in flash memory) and TC35681FSG are aimed at applications requiring long-range communication, including beacon tags, IoT devices and industrial equipment. Sample shipments will begin later this month.

The chips support the full spectrum of data rates required for the high-speed features – 2M PHY and Coded PHY (500kbit/s and 125kbit/s) – Bluetooth 5.0 standard but trade off the data rate to get the sensitivity for the longer range. The chips have a receiver sensitivity level of -105dBm at 125kbit/s compared to -94.5dBm at 1Mbit/s, but do have a built-in power amplifier in the transmission block that provides up to +8 dBm transmission power for longer range (down to -40dBm for lower power consumption).

The chips are based on an ARM Cortex-M0 processor with a 256KB Mask ROM to support the Bluetooth baseband process and 144KB of RAM for processing Bluetooth baseband, stack and data. They have 18 ports of GPIO which can be set to 2 channels each for SPIs, I2C, and UART. This allows for the structuring of systems that connect to various peripheral devices. These GPIOs can be set for a wakeup function, 4-channel PWM, 5-channel AD converter interfaces, an external amplifier control interface for long-range communication, and more.

The TC35680FSG includes 128KB of flash memory for storing user programs and various data in stand-alone operations, removing the need for external non-volatile memory. This also lowers the part count, which reduces both the cost and mounting area.

The TC35681FSG, which does not include a built-in flash memory, operates in conjunction with an external non-volatile memory or host processor. A wide operating range of -40° to +125°C makes it suitable for applications exposed to high temperatures.

The power consumption is 11.0mA operating at 3.0V, +8dBm and 1Mbit/s for the transmitter and 5.1mA for the receiver at 3.0V  and 1Mbit/s, with a 100nA current at 3.0V in Deep Sleep

It supports Bluetooth low energy Ver. 5.0 central and peripheral devices and has built-in GATT (Generic Attribute Profile), supporting servers and clients defined by GATT.

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