Bluetooth 5 is not exactly new. It has been in operation since 2016 and brings with it several benefits. It is easier to integrate into different components these days as well, which means that a lot of engineers have been using it. As Bluetooth, like all great technologies, continues to develop, you may have noticed the considerable benefits of upgrading to the Bluetooth 5 Microcontroller, but how do you choose one? This article takes a look. 

What Are the Features of Bluetooth 5? 

Some of the features offered by Bluetooth 5 include the likes of a longer range, much lower power consumption, and higher data rates. In the early days of Bluetooth, it was used (and still is to some extent) to pair devices that are close to one another. With Bluetooth 5, this is no longer the case, as it can pair devices up to 330 feet away from one another. This is because they are used more for industrial use rather than the personal use that a lot of people associate Bluetooth with. 

If you are considering incorporating Bluetooth 5 into one of your ongoing projects, then head on over to Octopart to learn more about the BLE microcontroller, including its uses, how easy it is to find, and how much it will likely cost. 

Things to Consider When Choosing One 

So, if you have decided that you would like to use a Bluetooth 5 Microcontroller, you are likely now wondering what you should be taking into account when choosing the right one for you. Some of the main points include: 

  • What Data Streaming Rate Do You Need?

The data streaming rate will be a point you need to consider. The amount will vary depending on what your project is. Some data rates extend to 2Mbps, although there are other custom controllers that can go even higher than that. 

  • Do you Need More Memory? 

Memory is vital, and so this needs to be taken into consideration when you are taking your pick. The memory you are considering includes both onboard Flash memory and onboard RAM. The amount you need will depend on your computing workload, as the greater this is, the more onboard RAM you will need. You tend to find that most microcontrollers have about 1MB or less on board the flash memory, so the code on them has to be optimized. Think about how much you are likely to need and whether there is a chance that this could increase in the near future. You may benefit from one with more RAM. 

  • Will You Be Using Mobile Devices? 

If you plan on using a mobile device, it will need to run on battery, and the battery voltage will likely drop over time. As and when the voltage gets too low, there is a chance that your device could switch off, meaning that any data that hasn’t been saved will be lost. Consider if you will be using a mobile device and what you would need to prepare for situations like this. 

  • How Often Will It Be In Sleep Mode? 

Like a lot of electronic components, devices often enter sleep mode when they are not actively processing data. You need to consider what the current is going to be when the device is in sleep mode, how often it will in this mode, and whether this is sufficient. You tend to find typical values vary from -90 dBm to -100 dBm.