What Bluetooth specification does the AGX-832 Support?

The AGX-832 is a Single Mode Bluetooth Low Energy Module with support for v4.2 of the specification. It can be used to enable your product to communicate .with Smartphones and other BLE devices. Note that it isn’t compatible with  Classic Bluetooth.

What are Single Mode and Dual Mode Devices?

Single Mode devices implement only the Low Energy (LE) protocol, while Dual Mode devices support both Classic Bluetooth and the BLE specification.

What protocols are supported?

Because the nRF52832 is a multi-protocol SoC, it’s possible to run several protocols:

  • Bluetooth LE
  • ANT – Low Power mesh networking
  • Gazelle – Nordic’s Proprietary 2.4GHz RF protocol
  • Custom 2.4GHz protocols

Some protocols can run concurrently using time slots allowing for flexibility in getting connectivity.

What kind of wireless range can I get with the AGX-832?

As the AGX-832 is still in testing it’s early to say, but our previous modules have managed 150m+ Line of Sight and given the improvements in the nRF52 line we expect slightly more range. In general, the actual range depends on factors such as:

  • Antenna and Antenna design
  • Output Power
  • Obstacles
  • Actual design

We will update once we tests are concluded.

How Long does BLE run off batteries?

BLE was designed from the ground up to enable low power products, and in our designs for customers we’ve been able to design products that can last several years from a single battery.

Coin Cell batteries are extremely common and can allow a device to operate for a year or two. This depends heavily on the use case as well as tradeoffs with latency, range, and other factors.

Larger batteries can typically allow 5-7 years of operation, depending on application.

Can I control BLE devices from the Internet?

Up until the introduction of Bluetooth v4.2, BLE did not have any way to communicate over the internet. Starting with Bluetooth v4.2 Specification, a new profile has been added which allows a BLE device to communicate using a gateway. This gateway connects BLE to an IP network, typically using Wi-Fi or Ethernet

It is also possible to control a BLE device from the internet if a Smartphone is connected to it and it contains software to allow this.

Can I send Audio over BLE?

The AGX-832 has native I2S and PDM peripherals allowing microphones and codecs to connect seamlessly to enable applications such as remote voice control and low to mid quality audio transmission. Bluetooth v4.2 also allows for larger packets making audio transmission more efficient.

What kind of performance can we expect?

The nRF52832 has a 64MHz Cortex-M4 processor with floating point support. This processor is often more efficient at processing instructions than comparable Cortex-M0 processors requiring less time and consequently using less energy.

The processor and the large 512kB Flash / 64kB SRAM enables significantly more complex applications that previously required an external processor, helping lower cost and reducing power consumption.

In addition to the processor, the PPI and EasyDMA peripherals help offload the CPU. In some cases, a complete function can be realized with little or no CPU time which reduces power consumption significantly.

All these factors help extend the lifetime of the battery while increasing the range of applications the AGX-832 can support.

What kind of Beacons are supported with the AGX-832?

We support practicaly all major beacon formats, including:

  • iBeacons – Apple
  • Eddystone – Google
  • Custom beacon

Does the AGX-832 support Apple's HomeKit?

Yes. HomeKit support is avaiable.

For MFI and HomeKit please contact us directly at support@argenox.com

What are the manufacturing implications of using the AGX-832 ?

The AGX-832 module was designed from the ground up to simplify the design and manufacturing of products.

The modules come in standard tape and reel form to make automated assembly possible. It can be reflowed using standard processes and with a standard reflow profile.

Because the module is thoroughly tested in our factory, you may choose to skip testing the RF performance of the system using a Golden Unit or other techniques. We do however recommend that you test system functionality to ensure that the reflow process is successful.

What are the requirements to certify the final products?

The AGX-832 is certified for FCC, IC, CE and others. Argenox can also assist in certifying for particular regions as needed.

The AGX-832 Datasheet contains a section on certifications that goes into significant detail, but the main points are:

  • The module must be located at least 20cm from any other transmitter in your system. If not, separate certification must be obtained.
  • FCC and IC IDs must be visible to the user. The module inside an enclosed product is not visible. This is typically done by embossing in the product plastic, adding a labels or other methods
  • The User manual must be include the relevant notices
  • The user must not be informed of how to modify the module in ways that may result in violating regulatory.

If these aspects are satisfied, then the FCC and IC ID of the module can be reused.

Although the module is certified, it is still the responsibility of the integrator to perform relevant testing to ensure the rest of the system complies with all regulations (so called unintentional radiator testing).

Do I need Bluetooth SIG Certification for my product?

In practicaly all cases it is necessary to obtain Bluetooth SIG certification including a declaration of the product. The reasons are two:

  • To obtain a license for the Intellectual Property (IP) used with Bluetooth
  • To be able to use the Bluetooth Trademark and Logos in marketing

In 2014, the Bluetooth SIG changed the rules which previously allowed manufacturers using a certified module to avoid paying the declaration fee. Starting with the changes, even if using a previously BT SIG certified design such as the AGX-832, it is necessary to declare the product to obtain a QDID.

Once the design has been declared once it can be reused in other products from the same company, provided the design remains the same.

Can Argenox help me get fully Certified?

Absolutely!

We’ve helped countless customers take their designs through certifications, including Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, Cellular, and more complex designs with multiple transmitters on the same board.

We have parner certified labs labs that can certify your design, and we can take care of the submission process.

How long does Bluetooth and other testing take?

Our experience is that BT testing and certification can be obtained in approximately two weeks. Combined with other testing it may take up to 4 weeks to complete.

How much does BLE Certiifcation Cost?

Aside from the cost charged by a testing house which depends on the specific design, the Bluetooth SIG charges the following fees to obtain a declaration and QDID:

  1. Adopter Member – $8,000
  2. Associate Member –  $4,000
  3. Innovation Incentive Program – $2,500 for companies with revenues < $1M USD and first declaration