Developers of low-power electronic peripheral projects such as sensors or remote control devices can now consider using an RN487x Bluetooth Module made by Microchip for convenience. Here’s a brief look at this programmable PMIC (Power Management Integrated Circuit) and why it’s favored for building small devices.
Bluetooth, developed by IBM and Ericsson, is a wireless standard for transmitting data between fixed and low-powered mobile devices over short distances. It’s a reliable choice for short-range connectivity usually up to 330 feet, while some versions work up even to 1,000 feet. It’s commonly used for connecting personal computers, smartphones, and various peripherals with Wi-Fi networks. A microchip is one of the thousands of members of the Bluetooth Special Interest Group (SIG).
Since 1999, Bluetooth has been embedded in countless electronic products, including medical devices. The advent of System on a Chip (SoC) technology has included Bluetooth radio, such as in the case of the Nordic nrf52840, which has a 32-bit processor for its core. An SoC is highly sophisticated in the sense it includes an operating system, a microprocessor, RAM, USB, and several other common computer features.
However, the SoC model can be too complicated for new or limited developers as it takes time to develop and integrate software for these chips. Developers of basic peripherals seeking to produce faster turnaround prototypes can choose simpler alternatives to SoC. Microchip’s RN487x module, for example, is likely sufficient for creating a remote sensor or remote control with a limited number of analog and digital channels.
The main advantage of using the RN487x chip is that it’s more simplistic and easier to configure than an SoC. However, this modern programmable PMIC is still compatible with the Bluetooth low-energy standard. It allows the developer to integrate such peripherals with larger systems. The peripheral requires:
1. Hardware such as a transducer for generating voltage
2. An application for the user to present the data
3. Configuration of the RN487x module
The developer must additionally decide which type of RN487x module is appropriate for the specific project, either the RN4870 or the RN4871 programmable PMIC.
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