Cypress – EZ-BLE™ PSoC® Module / Energy Harvesting PMIC and EZ-BLE Target Tiny Battery-Free IoT Devices

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EZ-BLE PSoC Module is a fully integrated, fully certified, 11 x 11 x 1.8mm, programmable, Bluetooth Smart or Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) module designed for ease-of-use and reducing time-to-market. It contains Cypress’s PSoC 4 BLE chip, two crystals, antenna, shield and passive components.

EZ-BLE PSoC Module provides a simple and low cost way to add a microcontroller, CapSense® touch controller and Bluetooth Smart connectivity to any system. EZ-BLE PSoC Module integrates programmable
analog and programmable digital blocks to enable sensor-based designs for IoT products.

Energy Harvesting PMIC and EZ-BLE Target Tiny Battery-Free IoT Devices
Cypress’s S6AE101A/102A/103A Power Management ICs (PMICs) for energy harvesting are the industry’s lowest power devices, enabling the use of very small solar cells for battery-free BLE IoT devices such as wireless sensor nodes.
The devices require a very small quiescent current of 250nA and startup power of 1.2μW, and integrate system level features such as an LDO, comparator and auxiliary battery support. As a result, a light powered BLE Beacon or wireless sensor node can have a footprint as small as 1cm2.

Cypress’s S6SAE101A00SA1002 Solar Powered IoT Device Kit includes an S6AE101A energy harvesting PMIC and an EZ-BLE PRoC Module. It offers everything needed (including design example firmware) to develop a light-powered BLE IoT device.

Comparing IoT Memory Types
In IoT applications, Flash and EEPROMs are the prevalent memories used for data storage, mainly attributed to the low cost per megabit and larger densities available. However, floating gate technologies have a drawback in terms of energy consumption when writing frequently – it drains batteries faster.

Many developers partition Flash (which is by far the cheapest memory per bit) or use an EEPROM that consumes less energy (i.e., write infrequently to Flash and use EEPROM as a front-end for heavy writes). EEPROM standby and active modes consume lower currents than Flash.

The ideal play for write intensive applications is an external serial interface F-RAM (which has addressing capability), high speeds (40MHz SPI) and low active energy consumption (typically less than 100uA/MHz) and is available in up to 4Mb densities.

(Write energy in µJ consumed by different memory types)
Serial Nonvolatile Memory Technology Comparison:

FeaturesCypress 2Mb F-RAM2Mb EEPROM2Mb NOR Flash4Mb MRAM
Operating voltage2.0V to 3.6V1.8V to 5.5V2.7V to 3.6V3.0V to 3.6V
SPI speed40MHz5MHz75MHz50MHz
Energy (µJ)/1-byte write3146399610,611,1786606
Bandwidth (KB/s)500025115000
Write endurance (Cycles)10141.2 x 106105Unlimited
No. of writes with 3V, 220mAh battery7,552,98537,1272,239359,666
Nonvolatile retention100 years100 years20 years20 years
Active write current3mA at 40MHz3mA at 5MHz15mA at 75MHz46.5mA at 50MHz