Selecting the right device for your Bluetooth application is an extremely important part of any new design. There are many parameters that must be taken into consideration and this article will focus on the technical aspects of part selection.
The available Blue Gecko SoCs and modules are presented in tabular format for easy comparison of the main features between the different variants.
Designing with an SoC or a module is one of the first design decisions to be taken. To dig into the tradeoffs between selecting an SoC or a module for your Bluetooth application please refer to our whitepaper Six Hidden Costs in a 99 Cent Wireless SoC.
There are four variants within the Blue Gecko SoC family. The OPN decoder can be found on all EFR32BGx datasheets. The decoder below was taken from the EFR32BG13 datasheet chapter 2 'Ordering Information'.
The table below highlights the main differences between the Blue Gecko SoC variants.
For full BT5 support the most suitable part is the EFR32BG13 and EFR32BG21 variants which supports all the BT5 PHYs (1M, 2M and LE Coded). This makes it extremely flexible from a performance stand-point where the 2M PHY can be used for fast data throughput, or LE Coded PHY for longer RF range.
For more information on BT5 features please refer to our Bluetooth 5 Whitepaper.
The Blue Gecko modules come in two main form factors, PCB or SiP (System In Package). The table below highlights the main difference between the Blue Gecko modules variants.
The BGM13[P/S] modules have full BT5 support as they are based on the EFR32BG13 SoC variant.
SiP modules are clearly best where miniaturization is important as they require a smaller PCB area. If the application is not space constrained then the PCB modules might be a better option.
PCB modules are easier for manufacturing as they have larger solder pads. Most Contract Manufacturers (CMs) can easily handle PCB modules, whereas SiP modules may require a more specialized CM.