Arrow Electronics takes a bite out of the IoT with Sharky modules

Distributor, Arrow Electronics has introduced a family of radio modules to jump-start IoT-device design, leveraging the power-efficient dual-core performance of STMicroelectronics’ STM32WB55 wireless microcontroller. The Sharky modules were co-developed with Italian designer Midatronics and are described as secure, energy-efficient, and real-time application-ready modules.

The modules have an STM32WB55 microcontroller that integrates a 2.4GHz RF transceiver supporting Bluetooth 5 (including Bluetooth Low Energy), Thread, and ZigBee stacks. The dual Arm Cortex-M core architecture enables real-time secure application performance running on the 64MHz Cortex-M4F core, while concurrently managing the radio subsystem and security tasks on the independent Cortex-M0+.

Two Sharky modules, the MDX-STWBP-01 and MDX-STWUP-R01, offer the choice of an on-board PCB antenna or a UFL connector, respectively, for attaching an external antenna. Balun circuitry for connecting the antenna is integrated in the microcontroller. The two Sharkypro modules, the MDX-STWBC-R01 and MDX-STWBW-R01 have a chip antenna or no antenna, respectively.

The modules draw just 13nA in shutdown mode and 600nA in standby with the microcontroller real-time clock and RAM powered up. With -96dBm receive sensitivity and programmable RF output power, active current is also low at just 4.5mA receive and transmitting at 0dBm. Devices can be secured leveraging the microcontroller’s hardware-based encryption, public key authorisation (PKA) and random number generator (RNG), with customer key storage to keep keys hidden.

The modules come with the required RF (32MHz) and 32.7kHz crystals and are ready to start work.

For development support, there is the ST STM32Cube development ecosystem, which provides microcontroller-configuration tools, middleware, and new extensions for the STM32WB55, including peripheral drivers, connectivity libraries, and a monitoring tool for RF testing.

The Sharky modules measure 16mm x 27.25mm and the Sharkypro variants are 14.6mm x 23mm or 14.6mm x 14.6mm.

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