Microchip – Bluetooth Low Energy modules offer built-in beacon functionality


Microchip’s RN487x series of Bluetooth® Low Energy (LE) radio modules provides a simple means to integrate short-range RF connectivity into an end-product without the need for RF expertise or wireless certification.

The modules are expected to find many uses in people-movement applications. Bluetooth LE provides a standard, very low-power wireless link to any Bluetooth host device such as a mobile phone, laptop computer or internet hub. This can be useful, for instance, in wireless sensors for the Internet of Things (IoT), which may be configured to store data locally and download it when in range of a host device such as a smartphone that can act as an internet gateway.

A new capability provided in Bluetooth LE is beaconing, which may be used to provide location-aware services such as advertising and to help users to navigate around public spaces. Microchip’s RN487x modules offer a very fast time-to-market for new beacon designs, since they incorporate all the important functions of a Bluetooth LE transceiver. The module is provided with a Bluetooth LE v4.2 protocol stack, as well as a configurable beacon feature to make various beacons, such as iBeaconTM or EddystoneTM.

The module is supplied fully certified for compliance with the FCC radio regulations applied in North America and with other regulations in force in most parts of the world.

Both the RN4870 and RN4871 modules are available in shielded and unshielded versions. The shielded RN4780 is in a 12mm x 22mm form factor, and the shielded RN4871 measures 9.0mm x 11.5mm.

Microchip also supplies the ATSAMB11, a low-power Bluetooth LE v4.1 system-on-chip with integrated microcontroller, transceiver, modem, media access controller, power amplifier, switch and power management unit. It is a standalone ARM® Cortex®-M0-based applications processor with embedded Flash memory.

• Configuration by ASCII command set over UART interface
• GAP, GATT, SM, L2CAP and integrated public profiles
• Ceramic chip antenna on shielded modules
• Scripting engine for hostless operation
Orderable Part Number: RN-4870-SNSR