New Toshiba chips aim to aid adoption of Bluetooth LE for wearables, sensors, other small devices

Toshiba America Electronic Components (TAEC) introduced Thursday three new integrated circuits (ICs) that support Bluetooth Low Energy (LE) ver.4.1 communications for Bluetooth Smart devices, including wearable electronics, sensors and high-end coin battery-powered devices. At 3V supply voltage, the TC35678FSG, TC35678FXG and TC35679FSG consume just under half the power of previous Toshiba products – in turn, achieving current consumption on par with the lowest in the industry, according to company estimates.

The new ARM Cortex -M0 based ICs combine an original low-power circuit design with the highly efficient DC-DC converter introduced in earlier products. This allows the chips to reduce current reduction by nearly 46 percent compared to the prior products, and to realize peak current consumption of 3.6 milliamps (mA) at 3V in transmitting mode.

All three ICs operate at voltage ranges of 1.8V to 3.6V and temperature ranges of -40ºC to 85ºC. The TC35678FSG and TC35679FSG are housed in 5mm x 5mm QFN40 packages. The TC35678FXG is a TC35678FSG repackaged in a 7mm x 7mm QFN60 package that extends the number of general-purpose I/Os from 16 to 32. It is suitable for equipment that requires a large number of control pins, such as keyboards and remote controls.

The TC35679FSG is a mask-ROM-based product with no built-in Flash ROM and can achieve extremely low current operation by reducing current consumption that would beused for access to Flash ROM. Ideal for applications with external host MCUs, it also supports external EEPROM over an I2C interface to support standalone mode. Accordingly, it can achieve long operating times for applications powered by small coin batteries. For example, using a CR2032 type coin battery, the new IC can carry out beacon operation for over a year.

TC35678FXG and TC35678FSG chips include all TC35679FSG features and additionally incorporate built-in 256KB Flash ROM to store user programs and various data in standalone operations, eliminating the need for external EEPROM and helping lower mounting cost and area.

Out of 256KB Flash ROM, approximately 200KB is available for user application. Further, SRAM memory capacity for user programs is extended to 100 kilobytes (KB) from 64KB in previous products, contributing to expandability of application programs. The TC3678 line of chips also supports over-the-air (OTA) firmware upgrades.

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