Proving the Business Case for the Internet of Things

Wearable-on-chip device provides key functionality and low power consumption

Steve Rogerson
April 15, 2015
An IC that can provide the key functionality for wearable products while consuming little energy has been announced by Dialog Semiconductor. The London-based company provides integrated power management, AC-DC power conversion, solid-state lighting and Bluetooth Smart wireless technology.
The DA14680 wearable-on-chip Bluetooth Smart (v4.2) device includes the key functionality to create a fully hosted wearable computing product. It has flexible processing power, flash memory for virtually unlimited execution space, dedicated circuitry for sensor control, analogue and digital peripherals optimised for wearable products, and a power management unit. This device is said to eliminate several external chips from wearable product design, facilitating smaller form factors, lower system cost and reduced power consumption.
Addressing the wearable market predicted to reach approximately 170 million units by 2019, the device is based on a 30µA/MHz ARM Cortex-M0 application processor that can be programmed to a maximum clock frequency of 96MHz. Security features include a dedicated hardware crypto engine with elliptic curve cryptology, delivering end-to-end banking-level encryption, ensuring personal data security.
“The wearables market is fiercely competitive in terms of design aesthetics, cost, functionality, battery life and product life cycle,” said Sean McGrath, senior vice president at Dialog Semiconductor. “Dialog’s Bluetooth Smart wearable-on-chip gives our customers significant competitive advantage with respect to all of these factors, freeing them to concentrate on innovation for differentiating functionality to add to the next generation of wearables.”
The device integrates 8Mbit flash memory, audio support with PDM and I2S/PCM interfaces, two separate I2C and SPI buses, three white LED drivers, a temperature sensor, multi-channel DMA, and an eight-channel, 10bit ADC. Intelligent power management, including system power rails and a Li-ion and LiPo battery charger and fuel gauge are also on chip.
“With its feature-rich functionality, smallest size and lowest power, the DA14680 will also address other emerging IoT applications,” said McGrath.
To help product development, Dialog has available its SmartBond development kits. These include the SmartSnippets software development environment, example application code and a profiler for real-time, power-optimised coding.
The DA14680 will be sampling in the second quarter of this year.