In an effort to provide designers with more space for less money, Murata's Blue Module has squeezed itself into 9.8 × 9.6 × 1.8 mm. This full Host Controller Interface (HCI) -level module integrates active devices like ICs as well as passive components. Best of all, it creates complete circuits in one chip, which makes it a carrier of both the IC and functional device.
For such a small package, the module boasts high functionality. Flash memory is mounted in the bottom cavity of the substrate. Bandpass filters and other passives are realized within the device. Mounted on the substrate are an RF and baseband one-chip IC (Cambridge Silicon Radio's BlueCore02), along with a crystal oscillator and additional passives.
This high level of integration makes the Blue Module a sort of "all-in-one" device. Using it, engineers can bypass the process of designing and laying out additional RF circuits. Because it is compatible with other Bluetooth products, this module allows for greater connectivity. Compared to a discrete solution, it also flaunts cost savings. The Blue Module can help distributors and material-control specialists reduce the sourcing and inventory charges, as well as the line-item cost of managing several part numbers of a bill of materials (BOM).
The module has achieved logo certification for Bluetooth standard 1.1. In either fixed or variable power, it offers the following options: Class 2 USB, Class 2 UART/H4, and Class 2 BCSP. Eventually, the company plans to offer a modified version of the module specifically geared toward telematics applications.
The target price for the Blue Module will be around $15 to $20. As production volumes increase, the company plans to reduce the module's cost. The current lead time is 16 weeks.
Murata Electronics North America, Inc.
2200 Lake Park Dr., Smyrna, GA 30080-7604; (770) 436-1300, FAX: (770) 436-3030, www.murata.com.