Toshiba introduces Bluetooth LE IC for automotive applications

An IC from Toshiba Electronics Europe that is compliant with Bluetooth Low Energy (LE) core specification 4.2, including support for secure connection, LE privacy features and extended packet length support, has been announced. The mixed-signal TC35679IFTG is available for use in harsh automotive environments and extended temperature ranges.

It contains both analogue RF and baseband digital parts to provide a complete solution in a single, compact and low-profile, 40-pin QFN ‘wettable flank’ package. It measures 6.0 x 6.0 x 1.0mm, with a pin pitch of 0.5mm.

The TC35679 provides Bluetooth Host Control Interface (HCI) functions alongside low energy GATT profile functions (as defined by the Bluetooth Special Interest Group, or SIG) specifications. The IC becomes a fully-fledged application processor when used in conjunction with an external non-volatile memory, says Toshiba Electronics Europe, or it can be used in combination with an external host processor.

The highly integrated device is based on an Arm Cortex-M0 processor and includes a sizeable 384kbyte of on-board mask ROM to support the Bluetooth baseband process. There is a further 192kbyte of on-board RAM for Bluetooth application programs and data.

A key feature of the TC35679, according to Toshiba, is its ability to form part of sophisticated systems as a result of 17 general purpose input/output (GPIO) lines and multiple communications options including SPI, I2C and a 921.6kbit per second, two-channel UART. The GPIO lines offer access to a range of on-chip features including a wake-up interface, four-channel PWM interface, six-channel ADC and the ability to control the control interface of an optional external power amplifier for applications requiring a longer reach. On-chip DC/DC converter or LDO circuits adjust the external voltage supply to the required values on chip.

Designed for compliance with the AEC-Q100 standard, the low energy IC is primarily intended to be used in automotive applications. The wettable flank package supports the 100 per cent automatic visual inspection needed to deliver the high levels of soldering quality required to withstand vibration experienced in automotive applications.

At present, applications include remote key systems and reducing cables by providing a reliable wireless connection to sensors. The device will also facilitate remote connection to diagnostic equipment, creating a Bluetooth ‘soft’ on-board diagnostic (OBD) port, thereby saving the cost and weight of the associated cabling and OBD connector.

The TC35679 accepts a wide range of supply voltages (1.8 to 3.6V), suitable for automotive applications. Operating temperature range is -40 to +105 degree C for input voltages from 2.7 to 3.6V and -40 to +85 degree C from 1.8 to 3.6V.


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