SparkFun has announced that work is progressing on bringing full Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) capabilities to its Artemis microcontroller platform, through modifications to Arm's Mbed OS platform.
Launched around seven months ago, and the subject of an MCU Monday video shortly after, the SparkFun Artemis Module was a major departure from the company's usual hobbyist fare, designed instead for volume production of custom products. While the Module — and various carrier board designs for ease of experimentation — have been available for months, the software side of things is still a work in progress: The Module's on-board Bluetooth Low Energy radio is still not fully supported.
"BLE is still our highest priority feature to add," Sparkfun's Xtopher writes in a roadmap update. "As we have said since the release of Artemis, we are planning to support BLE by relying on Arm's Mbed OS. There has already been a significant amount of effort involved in simply understanding and setting up the required environment for Mbed to run properly. Fortunately, we've been able to reliably start the Mbed kernel, and are now focusing on porting HAL modules!
"The HAL modules include features like GPIO, Serial, and other MCU-specific peripherals. Some of these are required in order to be able to move forward with our BLE goal. So far we have the basics of GPIO and Serial working, and starting this week we are determining which we should tackle next to get us to BLE as quickly as possible."
Progress on adding BLE support can be tracked on SparkFun's fork of Arm's Mbed OS; those who are looking to experiment with the early support can purchase the Artemis Module, which offers a Bluetooth Low Energy 5.0 radio plus an Arm Cortex-M4F microcontroller in a 10x15mm package with chip antenna, or one of the Module-equipped Artemis development boards.