Today, Bluetooth is one of the key enabling technologies for the Internet of Things (IoT). The technology has been constantly evolving to address the changing requirements of IoT applications. Thus, developing Bluetooth-enabled products and gadgets depend on getting the right hardware and ecosystem to overcome the challenges of security and backward-compatibility. Many IoT hardware makers are prioritizing dual‑mode Bluetooth capability that is suitable for applications requiring connectivity to legacy devices that only support Bluetooth Basic Rate/Enhanced Data Rate (BR/EDR) wireless technologies, as well the latest applications using Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) such as health and fitness, point of sale terminals and telematics.
New Secure Dual-mode Bluetooth module for Industrial IoT
IoT module specialist u‑blox has recently unveiled the ultra-compact NINA‑B2 dual‑mode Bluetooth 4.2 stand‑alone module, The module is designed to enable industrial IoT applications due to its built‑in secure boot and wide temperature ranges. Already tested and certified globally, it also reduces development costs and speeds time to market.
Intended applications of the module include industrial automation such as machine control devices, industrial terminals and products for remote control. Other applications include wireless‑connected and configurable equipment, point of sale, telematics, and health devices.
Key features of the module at a glance:
- The NINA-B2 modules leverage secure boot which ensures the module only boots up with original u-blox software.
- Pre‑flashed with u‑blox connectivity software which supports many common use cases such as Beacon, GATT client, GATT server, and serial port, the module can be configured easily using AT commands over UART, without requiring deep knowledge of the Bluetooth protocol.
- NINA‑B2 is very compact, at 10 x 10.6 x 2.2mm (without antenna) and 10 x 14 x 3.8mm (with antenna) which makes it an easy fit in any IoT device. The company noted that most of the Bluetooth modules at this scale are single‑mode Bluetooth low energy or Bluetooth BR/EDR devices.
- The module is also pin‑compatible with the u‑blox NINA family, allowing it to be easily swapped in or out with other NINA modules, with their different radio technologies such as Bluetooth low energy and Wi‑Fi.
- Already tested and certified globally, it also reduces development costs and speeds time to market.
“As the IoT progresses and Bluetooth is a key wireless technology, security and backward-compatibility remain key challenges,” says Stefan Berggren, Senior Product Marketing Manager, Product Center Short Range Radio at u‑blox. “NINA‑B2 provides top‑grade security through its unique secure boot operating environment. As it is equipped with dual‑mode Bluetooth capability, it can simultaneously manage Bluetooth low energy and Bluetooth BR/EDR connections, making it ideal to connect to legacy devices.”
NINA‑B2 should go into production in summer 2018.