STMicroelectronics Unleashes Bluetooth Mesh Solutions during CES 2020

Demonstrations of Bluetooth mesh solutions for smart-building/smart-factory automation solutions on display during CES 2020.

With the release of Bluetooth mesh software stacks for the BlueNRG family of Bluetooth Low Energy chips and modules, STMicroelectronics will demonstrate the many capabilities of Bluetooth mesh networks enabled by the new software during CES 2020, the Consumer Electronics Show, in Las Vegas (Jan 7-10).

The demonstrations show how ST’s BlueNRG mesh software and proven Bluetooth Low Energy-enabled Wireless Sensor Platforms, together, enable to form pervasive and scalable networks of sensors and actuators that can support new use cases extending throughout smart buildings and smart factories.

A 20-node Bluetooth mesh network, to be demonstrated at a private suite during CES, comprises tiny battery-powered BlueNRG-Tile wireless sensor nodes, STM32L4-powered modules, and sensor-evaluation boards, cooperating to let any network node communicate with any other node in the network and with a connected smartphone. The demonstrations showcase the breadth of smart-building and factory-automation scenarios for low-power battery-operated sensor nodes including motion sensing, voice-controlled smart lighting, proximity sensing, temperature and vibration sensing, as well as powerful edge-computing-enabled nodes for HVAC-system monitoring, and network-device provisioning. In all cases, the demos show a fully operational BlueNRG-Mesh network, monitored and controlled via smartphone/tablet app.

ST’s mesh software and BlueNRG devices are certified according to Bluetooth SIG specifications, confirming support for defined node features as well as interoperability with other Bluetooth Low Energy (LE) devices. To further simplify and streamline development, ST has created an extensive set of models that define the behavior of network elements, such as lighting, sensor, configuration, health, generic on-off, and template models.

The new software lets users create every type of mesh-network node as defined by the Bluetooth SIG — Relay, Proxy, Low-Power, and Friend – to enable communication between nodes and with Bluetooth LE devices such as smartphones using the generic attribute profile (GATT). 

The software stacks are ready to apply not only in newly designed BlueNRG mesh nodes but also enable existing Bluetooth LE devices to become mesh-network nodes.

 ST’s Bluetooth mesh solution includes three software packages:

·         STSW-BNRG-MESH manages a BlueNRG device as a System-on-Chip (SoC) and supports BlueNRG-Tile and BlueNRG-Plug platforms.

·         X-CUBE-BLEMESH1 manages a BlueNRG device as a network transceiver, enabling a vastly scalable STM32-powered platform for more complex and highly demanding applications.

·         FP-SNS-BLEMESH1 enables developers to create new Bluetooth mesh nodes by leveraging evaluation boards such as the X-NUCLEO-IKS01A3 motion MEMS and environmental sensor, out-of-the box.

Plug-and-play BlueNRG devices include the BlueNRG-Tile, a 1-inch-diameter multi-sensor module powered by a BlueNRG-232 wireless processor based on the Arm Cortex-M0 core. It contains a low-power accelerometer and gyroscope module, magnetometer, time-of-flight proximity sensor, acoustic sensor, pressure sensor, and a humidity and temperature sensor module.

The features a more powerful STM32L4 for demanding applications suitable for predicting maintenance or condition monitoring, for example. Edge-computing of acquired sensor information allows increased security and privacy of data as well as reducing the amount of data streamed to the cloud. Available sensors include a digital temperature sensor, 6-axis inertial measurement unit, two 3-axis accelerometers, 3-axis magnetometer, altimeter/pressure sensor, microphone/audio sensor, and humidity sensor.

The ST’s Bluetooth LE ecosystem, built around the BlueNRG family of wireless SoCs, enables rapid prototyping of a fully scalable wireless sensor network.

ST’s BlueNRG family also includes a selection of ultra-low-power wireless SoC devices, pre-certified programmable-radio modules, and multi-role network-processor modules that help accelerate the creation of original Bluetooth mesh products.

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