Proving the Business Case for the Internet of Things

Arm stack increases flexibility for Bluetooth 5

Steve Rogerson
September 26, 2018

Chip design company Arm has launched the Mbed Cordio stack, said to be the world’s first open-source, fully qualified and product-ready Bluetooth 5 Low Energy software stack, which gives developers more flexibility in developing IoT services with BLE connectivity.
The addition of Bluetooth 5 to an already robust set of Mbed OS connectivity options – Thread, wifi, 6LoWPan, LoRa and cellular – enables developers to build flexible, secure and connected IoT services that deliver enterprise value.
“Bluetooth Low Energy is quickly becoming the IoT connectivity protocol of choice for a variety of use cases, including smart lighting, smart cities and asset tracking, where low-cost, power consumption and small footprint are fundamental requirements,” said Zach Shelby, vice president at Arm’s IoT services group.
According to the 2018 Bluetooth Market Update, there will be more than five billion Bluetooth device shipments by 2022, with 97% of them containing Bluetooth Low Energy technology. The advances in Bluetooth 5 technology, along with the introduction of Bluetooth Mesh, are driving market opportunities across building automation, sensor networks and other IoT services.
“However, we as an industry still need to make it easier and more secure for organisations and developers to add BLE to their IoT devices to drive adoption levels to new heights,” said Shelby. “The Arm Cordio BLE stack continues to push the envelope in enabling developers to build-in the right IoT connectivity for their application and market.”
Bluetooth 5 supports double the data rate, four times the range and eight times the broadcast capability of the previous version, Bluetooth 4.2.
“We have integrated our Arm Cordio BLE stack with our free, open-source embedded operating system, Mbed OS,” said Shelby. “Our 350,000 plus Mbed developer ecosystem can initially innovate through a full Bluetooth 5 stack as well as get forthcoming access to Bluetooth Mesh through Mbed OS. For silicon partners, the solution gives them access to a full-featured, production-ready Bluetooth 5 stack as part of their Mbed OS offering and the ability to port to additional platforms.”
He said that having complete open source access to the stack removed the risk of relying on a stack vendor, and allowed users to meet changing requirements where full source code availability was critical.
“The addition of Bluetooth 5 to an already robust set of Mbed OS connectivity options enables developers to build the flexible, secure and connected IoT solutions best suited for their markets,” he said. “These devices can then be securely connected and managed through the Pelion IoT platform, further reducing the complexity of implementing and driving value from IoT. Arm is opening up the market to a wider range of developers and organisations, enabling partners to focus on innovation, differentiation and adding value through the IoT.”