Bluetooth has been 19 years this year since it was officially released as ver. 1.0. And, Bluetooth low energy has been 10 years since it was released.
Bluetooth classic and low energy devices have been released from many companies. Those devices diversify the features from high-performance to super low power.
In these days, NXP has released their Bluetooth low energy device with BT ver. 5.0 last year.
Guess what features does NXP BLE device has?
So, this time we are looking in NXP BLE device of QN9080.
Features of NXP BLE QN9080
- ARM Cortex-M4F core (32MHz)
- Powerful FSP (Fusion Signal Processor) for processing algorithm
- 512kB Flash ROM/128kB RAM
- USB interface , Capacitive touch interface
- Super low power
- Fast mode (2Mbps mode)
- Small package
Ok, let’s deep dive in this these features.
Above is QN9080 block diagram. CPU core is ARM Cortex-M4F. In general, BLE devices tends to have Cortex-M0 or M0+ for a lower power consumption, but QN9080 is cortex-M4F.
CPU clock is 32MHz, but it is expected that the core has still high performance thanks to Cortex-M4F.
FSP(Fusion Signal Processor )
Since the CPU core is Cortex-M4F, DSP instructions are available. Processing of such as a filtering and sensor algorithms can be done on the DSP, but you can use FSP too.
FSP stands for Fusion Signal Processor and it is a co-processor, being optimized for fast processing of sensor algorithm.
QN9080 is designed such that it is not only used for BLE data pipe, but also a sensor data processing.
Program code can be stored in 512kB internal Flash ROM, and it has huge RAM.
For processing sensor data, it requires a huge RAM as a work area. QN9080 RAM is 128kB and it should be enough for doing it.
There is nothing of BLE devices for such a small form factor and being capable of sensor algorithm with Bluetooth LE, but QN9080.
Because, it is amazing that BLE single chip can all handle reading sensor, filtering the sensor data, processing of algorithm and Bluetooth data transfer.
As there are many peripherals available, even if you use QN9080 as a general purpose MCU instead of BLE device, you should get benefit of super low power and powerful processing core.
16bit delta sigma ADC is implemented as analog ADC. What is more, USB2.0 and a capacitive touch interface are available. What a great device is!
Drawback however is a small pin count since the package is small. It is designed for a small form factor device such as a wrist type of an activity monitor or so. QN9080 is the best for such use-case scenarios.
This QN9080’s power consumption is extremely low.
TX <3.5mA (0dBm output)
Moreover, this number includes all power consumption of radio circuitry RX and TX and MCU core that processes Bluetooth protocols!
You can very often see the power of radio circuitry without MCU core or peripherals in order to show a better power consumption. But, QN9080 shows all included power consumption.
The power consumption as a whole system is specified as <3.5mA in the datasheet.
In previous article, QN9080 power consumption is measured by means of MCUXpresso IDE special feature of “Power measurement”.
BT ver. 5.0
QN9080 is complient with the latest of Bluetooth ver. 5.0.
The BT ver. 5.0 enhances x2 times faster of data transfer rate, x4 times longer distance of range and so on.
However, just because it is BT ver. 5.0, it is not necessarily supported with all the new features of it.
|ver. 5.0||Fix Errata||Core spec errata of 4.2||Mandatory|
|CSA5||TX output power <20dBm||Option|
|LE 2M PHY||2Mbps fast data rate (x2 faster)||Option|
|LE coded PHY||Long range (x4 distance)
Coded and reduced data rate(125/500kbps)
|LE Advertising extension||Enable longer advertising packet,
more adv channel,
more adv type
|High Duty Cycle
|Reduced minimum advertising interval for non-connectable advertising.
Enable high duty cycle beacon
|LE Channel Selection
|Enable advertising in sub-event||Option|
From above table which is a requirement of BT ver. 5.0, you can upgrade your product to ver. 5.0 if you fixe the core spec errata of ver. 4.2.
That is why there are many products that doesn’t support any new features of BT ver. 5.0.
Fast 2Mbps mode
QN9080 does support new feature of BT ver 5.0, which is 2Mbps PHY mode. The mode is x2 faster data transfer mode.
Other than that, it supports the core spec errata of ver.4.2.
Very small package
NXP seems be aware of small IoT devices. WLCSP (Wafer Level CSP) package is available on QN9080.
It is good for such a small IoT devices, but there are some companies that can not handle such a small pin pitch due to small package.
QN9080 NXP released is a powerful and super low power and very small package supported, which is suited for a small IoT devices.
It supports BT ver. 5.0 quickly, and does support new feature of a x2 faster data rate of 2M PHY mode.
I can not find out any devices that superior to the QN9080.
I hope this article helps you to find out Bluetooth LE device.