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Secure BLE Microcontrollers Meet Industrial IoT Needs

【Introduction】With the rapid development of the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), more and more sensors need to be used to detect the operation status of equipment in the industrial application environment. Power-efficient new Bluetooth® Low Energy (BLE) microcontrollers (MCUs) to improve sensor networking and operational efficiency. This article will introduce the BLE microcontroller launched by onsemi to understand its functional characteristics and application fields.

Secure BLE Microcontrollers Meet Industrial IoT Needs

Wireless connectivity with low power consumption and security

From beacons for contact tracing to traceable asset tags, millions of connected devices around the world run on small batteries, and the power requirements of the devices are particularly high, requiring the use of low-power BLE wireless connectivity technology to Improve the operating efficiency of equipment. BLE is a personal area network technology designed and promoted by the Bluetooth SIG. Compared with classic Bluetooth, BLE aims to significantly reduce power consumption and cost while maintaining the same communication range.

BLE technology uses the same operating frequency as classic Bluetooth technology (2.400GHz-2.4835GHz, ISM band), but uses another set of channels, unlike classic Bluetooth’s 79 1-MHz channels, BLE uses 40 2-MHz channels, in a In the channel, data is transmitted using Gaussian frequency shift modulation, similar to the basic rate scheme of classic Bluetooth, with a bit rate of 1Mbit/s and a maximum transmit power of 10mW.

In IIoT applications, the ability to defend against network threats is an important consideration for manufacturers when choosing wireless MCUs. Advanced system-level security functions can provide complete device security and prevent devices from being hacked and affect enterprise information security. And to reduce the chance of system downtime, security guarantees must be provided at the hardware, application and software levels.

Secure BLE Microcontrollers Meet Industrial IoT Needs

New industry-leading secure BLE wireless MCU

ON semiconductor, a leader in smart power and sensing technology, has launched a new secure RSL15 wireless MCU that provides the industry’s lowest power consumption, supports BLE wireless connectivity, and can meet industrial requirements without sacrificing power consumption. The growing security needs of connected applications.

To validate energy efficiency, the RSL15 is certified by the Embedded Microprocessor Benchmark Consortium (EEMBC), the organization’s ULPMark™-CoreMark benchmark program that measures the energy efficiency of MCUs used in embedded systems when active. The RSL15 leads its peers with a “performance” score of 60.5. In the ULPMark-CoreProfile benchmark, which calculates MCU deep sleep efficiency, ON Semiconductor also maintains the top two positions with RSL10 and RSL15, respectively. With certified energy efficiency performance, the RSL15 will help industrial applications and many other applications achieve longer battery life beyond expectations.

While maintaining its state-of-the-art power consumption, the RSL15 is designed with Arm® TrustZone® technology to establish a device root of trust, and Arm CryptoCell™-312 technology to protect the authenticity, integrity and confidentiality of code and data. This PSA Level 1 certified design is part of the Bluetooth protocol, enhancing device security and providing assurance at the application and software level. With its advanced system-level security features and best-in-class energy efficiency, the RSL15 provides a comprehensive wireless solution that OEMs and consumers can rely on.

Secure BLE Microcontrollers Meet Industrial IoT Needs

High-performance MCU designed for industrial smart device applications

ON Semiconductor’s RSL15 is an ultra-low-power secure BLE 5.2 wireless MCU based on the Arm® Cortex®-M33 processor, designed for connected smart devices in industrial and medical applications. ON Semiconductor provides a comprehensive and easy-to-use software development kit (SDK) for the RSL15, with sample applications that demonstrate security-enabled hardware capabilities using a cybersecurity platform and acquisition of sensor data in Smart Sense mode , configure built-in power management, and take advantage of the features of BLE technology.

The Arm Cortex-M33 built into the RSL15 is a 32-bit processor designed for IoT and deeply embedded applications that require high performance, power efficiency and security. The processor has many functions to perform high-performance applications, such as floating point unit (FPU), DSP expansion and memory protection unit (MPU).

The RSL15’s Cortex-M33 processor supports the TrustZone Armv8-M security extension and forms the basis of the security platform, the Arm CryptoCell-312 allows the use of secure boot with root of trust, secure lifecycle management, secure key management, and the use of symmetric or Asymmetric encryption of application and data encryption for end-to-end product security. Arm TrustZone enables secure software access control, as well as multiple cryptographic services such as SHA1, SHA256, Keyed Hash Message Authentication Code (HMAC) and True Random Number Generator (TRNG), and allows the development of custom proprietary security solutions Program.

The RF architecture of the RSL15 RF subsystem is based on a 2.4 GHz RF front-end that implements the physical layer of the BLE 5.2 standard as well as other proprietary or custom protocols. The RF operation of the RSL15 is based on a Bluetooth 5.2 certified baseband and protocol stack with 2 Mbps RF link, Angle of Arrival (AoA), Angle of Departure (AoD) and Coded PHY (“Long Range”), hardware supports the implementation of custom protocols , and RSSI for enhanced positioning capabilities.

The RSL15 has built-in DC-DC converters in buck and LDO modes, requires few external passive components, enables a wide voltage supply range, and can directly use any voltage in the range of 1.2 V to 3.6 V without external power conversion , allowing simple use of common coin cells such as 3 V coin cells and 1.5 V silver oxide cells.

The RSL15 features multiple power modes that can be used to reduce power consumption while still maintaining system responsiveness. Each mode is configurable by RAM reservation and wake-up sources. Smart Sense mode allows some digital and analog peripherals to remain active to monitor and acquire data from external sensors with very low system-level power consumption.

Secure BLE Microcontrollers Meet Industrial IoT Needs

Provide complete peripheral configuration and system architecture

There are two crystal oscillators and two internal RC oscillators on the RSL15, which provide a variety of clock configurations. The main oscillator is based on a 48 MHz crystal, which is required for any connected RF operation. The secondary oscillator is based on a 32 kHz crystal and can be used for precise timing even in low power modes. When precise timing is not required, the internal fast RC oscillator can be used in place of the 48 MHz crystal oscillator for general non-RF processing. Also, for some use cases, the internal 32 kHz RC oscillator can be used in place of the 32 kHz crystal oscillator. Additionally, 48 MHz and 32 kHz external clocks can be driven to the RSL15 from an external clock source.

In addition, the RSL15 has two analog-to-digital converters (ADCs), a high-speed 12-bit SAR ADC for fast conversion of analog inputs up to 2 Msps, and a low-speed ADC for slow conversions up to 50 ksps, and an integrated temperature sensor , which can be read by a low-speed ADC.

RSL15 also has a flexible I/O interface, general-purpose I/O can be mapped to GPIO, SPI, QSPI, I2C, UART, PWM, PCM, pulse counter, clock input/output and analog functions. The RSL15 also has a built-in analog comparator, as well as a DAC for generating bias voltages for external components, and a current source output.

The memory architecture of the RSL15 is centered on the Arm Cortex-M33, and the flash memory contains the application code as well as the protocol stack. The RSL15 has built-in 80 kB RAM and offers options of 284 kB or 512 kB of flash memory. Its RAM architecture is very flexible and can power only the amount of memory required by the application, implemented as 8 by 8 kB, for a total of 64 kB of user RAM available, additional 16 kB of the available digital baseband hardware, the DMA controller can be used to easily transfer data between peripherals/interfaces and memory.

ON Semiconductor also offers RSL15-enabled software development kits, including Eclipse-based onsemi IDE installers, as well as support for other industry-standard development environments, Bluetooth stacks, sample applications, libraries, RSL15 firmware packages, and many other software components and Tool support for rapid application development, ON Semiconductor offers RSL15 Central and RSL FOTA mobile programs for iOS® and Android™.

Available in a tiny 40-pin QFN package and RoHS compliant, the RSL15 can be used in a variety of industrial automation and sensing applications, including connected asset tracking, smart retail, and IoT edge nodes, as well as connected medical sensors, wearables Devices, Electronic tags and access control, data loggers, smart appliances, energy harvesting switches and more.


BLE technology can meet the low power consumption and security requirements of IIoT sensing applications. The RSL15 ultra-low power security BLE 5.2 wireless MCU launched by ON Semiconductor has industry-leading energy efficiency performance and feature-rich security functions, which will be relevant to IIoT. One of the best device choices for product design.

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