Bluetooth wireless module suits IoT gateway applications

Paul Boughton

Alpha Micro has announced the availability of the BL620 Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) wireless module from Laird plc.

Adding to the existing line-up of BL600 wireless modules already stocked by Alpha Micro, the BL620 features enhanced firmware that provides Bluetooth Central mode connectivity.

The module makes the task of provisioning BLE connectivity to a host of compact battery powered devices very straightforward. Such designs might only be powered by AAA or coin-cell batteries so the extremely low power consumption profile of the BL620 makes it suitable for these applications.

Like the rest of the BL6xx series, the BL620 can be quickly programmed for use in stand-alone applications with the smartBASIC event-driven programming language that greatly simplifies BLE development.

The Central mode function allows the BL620 to operate as a gateway device, receiving data from another BLE device such as a sensor and then forward it on to a cloud-based service. Central mode devices might typically be used within a smartphone, tablet or a home gateway unit. Applications running on a central mode device can perform a number of features not available when running in the BLE Peripheral mode. These include updating or triggering web services and opening a URL. Central mode also added GATT client and server services with the ability to have four simultaneous connections.

Measuring just 19 x 12.5 x 3mm the ultra compact BL620 module consumes 3.5uA in idle mode and up at 10.5 mA when transmitting at 0 dBM. Maximum transmit power is 4dBM and the receiver sensitivity is typically -91dbM. Peripheral support includes UART, SPI, I2C together with an ADC and 28 GPIO pins.

The module supports the Bluetooth application profiles including those of Heart Rate Service, Health Thermometer and Blood Pressure Service.

The BL620 is certified to all relevant international safety and wireless standards.