Renesas has launched what it claims is the most highly-integrated advanced Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) system-on-chip (SoC) in the world, the SmartBond DA1470x family — which includes two CPU cores, power management, voice activity detector, 2D graphics processor, and radio.
"The DA1470x family expands on our successful strategy of integrating more functions, including greater processing power, expanded memory and improved power modules, along with VAD [Voice Activity Detection] for always-on wake and command word detection," says Renesas' Sean McGrath of the launch, announced this week at Embedded World.
“This feature-packed SoC product family enables developers to push the boundaries of connected consumer and industrial applications," McGrath continues, "and future-proof their IoT products to fit the needs of multiple applications, while optimizing their bill of materials."
The SmartBond DA1470x family includes a multi-core design, with a 160MHz Arm Cortex-M33F primary processor and a Cortex-M0+ as a sensor controller, An integrated 2D GPU and display controller offers an easy route to visual user interfaces without overloading the CPU, while the VAD coprocessor allows for always-on voice processing in a low power envelope.
When Renesas claims it's "highly integrated," though, it's not joking. In addition to the above, the chip includes a user-configurable MAC that can drive the radio for Bluetooth 5.2 Low Energy (BLE) or proprietary 2.4GHz protocols, while a power management unit offers 720mA JEITA-compliant USB charging of lithium-ion and lithium-polymer batteries plus a low-quiescent-current DC/DC converter for high-efficiency power supply to components both internal and external.
While Renesas is formally announcing the SmartBond DA1470x range this week, the part has actually already entered mass production — and has begun shipping in the Xiaomi Mi Band 7 fitness-focused smartwatch. The company has also created two reference designs, as part of its "Winning Combinations" program: a wearable activity tracker and an instrument panel for electric vehicles.
More information, including the option to request samples, is available on the Renesas website; the parts themselves are available in the channel starting at around $12 before volume discounts.