Bluetooth LE 5.0 module enables batteryless sensors thanks to Renesas RE01B MCU

RELOC RM-BE1 Bluetooth 5.0 module with embedded energy harvesting capabilities for batteryless sensors adds to the list of energy harvesting news we’ve written about since the beginning of the year, with UEI chip for remote controls, a devkit with a smart coffee cup,  and Atmosic ATM33 BLE 5.3 chip.

The RM-BE1 module is powered by Renesas RE01B Arm Cortex-M0+ Bluetooth microcontroller that leverages Renesas’ SOTB (Silicon on Thin Buried Oxide) process technology enabling ultra-low power. We’ve been told the chip can run at 35uA/Mhz with internal LDOs and <20uA/Mhz with additional external DCDCs, as well as around 600nA in standby mode.

RELOC RM-BE1 BLE 5.0 module energy harvesting
With ceramic antenna or u.FL antenna connector

RELOC RM-BE1 module key features and specifications:

  • MCU – Renesas RE01B Arm Cortex-M0+ microcontroller @ 64 MHz with 1.5MB flash, 256KB SRAM
  • Connectivity
    • Bluetooth LE 5.0 with Long Range (up to 400 m) and high data throughput (2 Mbps) support
    • RF output power – Up to +4 dBm
    • Receiver sensitivity – -95 dBm @ 1 Mbps
  • On-chip energy harvesting control circuit for battery-less Bluetooth communication
  • Expansion – Castellated holes with 9x Timers (2x GPT, 2x AGT, 2x TMR, RTC, WDT, LST), up to 3x I2C, up to 2x UART, up to 2x SPI, up to 4x analog inputs
  • Security – Security functions using Trusted Secure IP
  • Supply Voltage – +1.62 V to +3.6 V
  • Power consumption
    • 35 µA/MHz during operation
    • 600 nA (core: 500 nA, Bluetooth: 100 nA) during standby
    • Peak current of 3.0 mA (1Mbps) during Bluetooth reception
    • Peak current of 4.3 mA during transmission (0 dBm, 1Mbps)
  • Dimensions
    • RM-BE1-S1 – 27.5 x 15.0 x 2.6 mm (with SMD antenna)
    • RM-BE1-U1 – 26 x 15.0 x 2.6 mm (with u.FL connector)
  • Temperature Range – -40 °C to +85 °C

Renesas RE01B BLE module

Besides Batteryless Bluetooth sensors, the module can also be used in devices with long battery life for the Smart Home, Smart Metering, Smart City, smart management systems, industrial monitoring and control, Smart Parking. and in asset tracking devices.

The module can be programmed with tools used by Renesas RE01B wireless microcontroller including Renesas e² studio and IAR Embedded Workbench for Arm, while BLE configuration is supported through Renesas QE tool for BLE. The company provides the RM-BE1-DVK kit to evaluate the RM-BE1 BLE module with energy harvesting capabilities with a temperature and humidity sensor,  an accelerometer, and a microphone.

batteryless bluetooth le devkit

RELOC says both samples of the modules and the development kit are available now, but you’d need to request a quote to get pricing information. More information may be found on the product page.

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Tomáš Jíra
Tomáš Jíra
2 years ago

Renesas is a big no-no if you have not ordered some metric ton of a component and/or you are not a big tech company.
It is a pitty, as they bear some pretty interesting components.
But for enterpreneurs, there is no support, no community, no freebies, no nothing.

2 years ago

“The exclusive Silicon on Thin Buried Oxide (SOTB) technology from Renesas”

That’s like rebranding water as “Hydra, an exclusive Our Company product”. Silicon-on-Insulator is older than Renesas itself.

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