Ultra low power (ULP) RF specialist Nordic Semiconductor ASA (Oslo, Norway) has announced that multi-die system-in-package (SiP) design specialist Insight SiP (Sophia–Antipolis, France), has developed a miniaturized Nordic nRF51822 System-on-Chip-based Bluetooth Smart module that requires no specialist RF engineering experience to employ. The module targets highly space-constrained smartphone and tablet appcessories and computer accessories such as body-worn health and wellness sensors and key fob proximity detectors.

The Insight SiP ISP130301 measures just 8 x 11 x 1.2 mm in size (smaller than an adult thumb nail) and is claimed to be a complete 'drop-in' Bluetooth Smart module solution housed in a QFN, LGA package. It has full FCC and CE EMC certification pending and is Bluetooth SIG certified to the latest Bluetooth v4.1 specification. It can be configured to operate in slave or master mode, requires no external supporting components beyond an on-board 2.1 to 3.6 V power source, and inlcudes the appropriate sensor for sensing applications.

Power consumption is also optimized for ultra low power operation with a claimed typical performance of 10.5 mA for transmission, 12.6 mA for reception, 2.3 µA for standby, and 0.5 µA for deep sleep mode. Insight SiP says this supports coin cell (watch) battery lifetimes of up to several years.

The module includes, in addition to the nRF51822: 

  • 32-bit ARM Cortex M0 microprocessor.
  • 256 kB of Flash memory.
  • Full suite of analog and digital peripherals (including 2-wire, ADC, AES, GPIO, PWM, Real Time Clock, RNG, SPI, Temperature Sensor, and UART).
  • DC-DC converter.
  • Integrated RF antenna.
  • 16 MHz and 32 kHz high stability quartz oscillators.
  • RF matching circuit and passive components.

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