Radio modules using STMicroelectronics’ STM32WB55 wireless microcontroller are available from Arrow Electronics. The Sharky modules were co-developed with Italian designer, Midatronics. By Caroline Hayes
The microcontroller integrates a 2.4GHz RF transceiver supporting Bluetooth 5 (including Bluetooth Low Energy), Thread, and ZigBee stacks. Its dual Arm Cortex-M core architecture enables real-time secure application performance running on the 64MHz Cortex-M4F core, and concurrently manages the radio subsystem and security tasks on the integrated but independent Cortex-M0+
The MDX-STWBP-01 and MDX-STWUP-R01 Shrarkypro modules have an on-board PCB antenna or a UFL connector, respectively, for attaching an external antenna. Balun circuitry for connecting the antenna is integrated in the microcontroller. There is also the MDX-STWBC-R01 and MDX-STWBW-R01 modules, with a choice of a chip antenna or no antenna, respectively.
The power-efficient modules draw 13nA in shutdown mode and 600nA in standby with the microcontroller real-time clock and RAM powered up. Receive sensitivity is -96dBm and RF output is programmable, with low active current at 4.5mA receive and transmitting at 0dBm.
For security, the microcontroller’s hardware-based encryption consists of public key authorisation (PKA) and random number generator (RNG), with customer key storage to keep keys hidden.