Unboxing ST BlueNRG-LP Evaluation KitFollow article
This episode of DesignSpark unboxing is dedicated to the BlueNRG-LP (STEVAL-IDB011V1)evaluation platform from STMicroelectronics.
BlueNRG-LP is an ultra-low-power, fully programmable Bluetooth Low Energy v5.2 certified system-on-chip (SoC) device, which belongs to ST’s wider BlueNRG family. BlueNRG-LP embeds 32-bit Arm Cortex-M0+ microcontroller and ultra-low-power radio on the same chip. This type of solution is great for optimizing the cost and BOM for your application, as both the full application and BLE stack can be hosted over the same core.
BlueNRG-LP - Block diagram
Bluetooth Low Energy implemented on this device supports up to 2Mbps data rate and various advanced features, such as long-range communication, advertising extension, GATT caching and much more. If we look at some of the performance characteristics, BlueNRG-LP provides excellent receiver sensitivity and very low power consumption.
|RX sensitivity level||Power level|
|-97dBm @ 1Mbps||3 mA TX current|
|-104 dBm @ 125bps (long-range)||4 mA RX current|
|Up to +8 dBm output (at antenna connector)|
The device also supports 256 Kbytes of Flash memory, up to 64 Kbytes of RAM memory and offers an extensive peripheral set. The BlueNRG-LP series is available in three types of packages, including the QFN32, QFN48, and WLCSP49 package for size-constrained applications.
Overview of the board
The BlueNRG-LP device on the development platform comes in the QFN48 package. Next to the chip, you will find two crystal oscillators: 32 MHz high-frequency crystal and 32 kHz low-frequency crystal for the lowest power consumption. A 2.4 GHz Bluetooth antenna with an SMA connector is also provided with the kit.
STEVAL-IDB011V1 circuit schematic - BlueNRG-LP
For programming and debugging the BlueNRG-LP device, you have an option of using CMSIS-DAP interface firmware implemented on the STM32F103 Cortex-M3 64-bit microcontroller present on the board. This chip allows implementing a direct USB connection from the eval board to a debugger running on your PC, and consequently over to the target device via JTAG or SWD interfaces. Luckily, USB cable comes with the kit.
Following the same logic, CMSIS-DAP debugging/programming capability on this board can be used to program and debug BlueNRG-LP device on a different board.
On the other hand, there is a possibility to use an external SWD programming/debugging device to program and debug the BlueNRG by removing JP3, JP4 and JP5 jumpers and connecting respecting pins of SWD interface from the external device to the eval board.
STEVAL-IDB011V1 circuit schematic - STM32F10x
The BlueNRG-LP evaluation platform features several of ST sensors:
- LPS22HH (U4) piezo resistive pressure sensor which outputs a digital value of absolute pressure in the range between 260 to 1260 hPa.
- LSM6DSOX (U6) iNEMO inertial module, which consists of 3D digital accelerometer and 3D digital gyroscope and features embedded temperature sensor and dedicated Machine Learning core.
- MP34DT05-A(U9) MEMS omnidirectional digital microphone. The output of the audio is in PDM format which feeds into the PDM interface inside the BlueNRG-LP.
STEVAL-IDB011V1 circuit schematic - Sensors
You will also find Arduino R3 connectors and user LEDs and buttons for interfacing with the board.
To power the board, you can use either two AAA batteries on BATT1 region at the rear of the board or CR2032 coin cell battery, if you solder battery holder in BATT2 region. Alternatively, you can use USB power through CN6 connector. Jumper JP2 must be set to position BAT or USB. DL1 LED will be green if the board is powered correctly.
Bluetooth Low Energy can be used for a wide range of applications, from asset tracking and smart homes to industrial automation and healthcare. With STMicroelectronics’ BlueNRG-LP being certified with the latest Bluetooth LE v5.2 specification, the designers can develop these and other applications without sacrificing on the cost, speed of data transfer or the range of connection.