New Atmel SmartConnect Modules boost battery life by almost three times for wearables, IoT applications

Global vendor of microcontroller and touch offerings,  Atmel Corp., launched its low power Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) connectivity modules for small form factor applications. The ultra-low power Atmel SmartConnect XR and ZR modules consume less than 4mA in RX and less than 3mA in TX with 3.6V, and below 1.2µA in sleep mode, increasing battery life by up to three times longer than other solutions.

All XR and ZR modules integrate the Atmel SmartConnect BTLC1000 solution, an ultra-low power Bluetooth SMART system-on-a-chip (SoC) with an integrated Atmel | SMART ARM Cortex-M0 MCU and Bluetooth transceiver. Atmel’s BTLC1000 sets new low-power standards with at least 30 percent power savings in dynamic mode compared to available solutions.

Atmel’s SmartConnect XR and ZR modules can be powered by a number of different battery types, ranging from coin cell, AA and AAA batteries to Lithium polymer batteries, without the need for external power management circuitry. The modules integrate a Bluetooth Low Energy radio and DSP architecture that deliver extremely low-power consumption along with high performance, and provide a cost-effective solution for many Bluetooth Smart-based applications by integrating an ARM Cortex-M0-based application processor.

Solutions are available in small 2.1mm x 2.1mm WLCSP packages, enabling design flexibility for next-generation Internet of Things (IoT) applications, and give designers a very low-power platform to develop smart, connected devices in space-constrained applications.

The cost-effective BTLC1000-XR and SAMB11-XR modules integrate all bill-of-material (BOM) components with the exception of an antenna and an optional 32kHz crystal, greatly enhancing the customers’ system assembly yield. The BTLC1000-ZR and SAMB11-ZR modules are fully FCC/CE/IC certified and integrate all BOM components including a chip antenna with an optional 32kHz crystal, allowing designers with no prior Bluetooth or Radio Frequency (RF) design experience to add BLE connectivity to their designs.

The new modules added to Atmel’s existing BLE solutions provide designers with additional options to select from cost-effective, ultra-small modules that require an external antenna, or from fully FCC/CE/IC certified ZR modules with an integrated antenna. Both XR and ZR modules are fully-qualified Bluetooth Smart end products with the Bluetooth Special Interest Group (BT SIG).

The Atmel SmartConnect BTLC1000-XR and SAMB11-XR modules come in an extremely small 4.5×5.5mm LGA package with 40L, while the BTLC1000-ZR and SAMB11-ZR modules come in a 7.5×10.5mm package with 34-pins and a ground paddle. These new modules are ideal for space-constrained IoT applications including beacons, sensor tags, door locks and wearables, among other things.

In February, Atmel launched its hardware interface library for Transport Layer Security (TLS) stacks used in IoT edge node applications. Hardening is a method used for reducing security risks to a system by applying additional hardware security layers and eliminating vulnerable software.

Atmel’s Hardware-TLS (HW-TLS) platform provides an API that allows TLS packages to utilize hardware key storage and cryptographic acceleration even in resource- constrained edge node designs. HW-TLS is a comprehensive solution pre-loaded with unique keys and certificates designed to eliminate the complexities of generating secure keys in the manufacturing supply chain.

With the rise of the IoT, security has become a pressing topic because autonomous remote devices are now routinely connecting to wireless networks to form complex smart-device and cloud-service ecosystems. As a result, autonomous smart IoT devices constitute a significant part of those networks and must be able to authenticate themselves to the network resources to maintain the integrity of the ecosystem. In addition, these remote, resource-constrained clients must be able to perform this authentication using minimal processing, memory and power.

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