I visited Embedded World Germany several weeks ago and in addition to show being extremely vibrant, and saw a lot of buzz around the Internet of Things (IoT) and Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE). Semiconductor vendors, hardware vendors and software vendors alike were talking about IoT in various ways. And why not? The IoT momentum is quite significant given the billions of embedded devices that we expect to be connected by 2020! It’s going to be an all-out cornucopia of connected devices in our not too distant future and Mentor Graphics is in the game!
One market that will benefit from IoT and BLE is the Medical Industry, in particular portable medical devices serving home health, patient monitoring, sports, fitness and wearable’s. There are several BLE profiles and specifications for medical and fitness applications. For example, in health care there are: HTP for Health Thermometer, GLP for glucose monitors, BPP for Blood Pressure and ANP for Alert Notification. Likewise, for sports and fitness, several profile options include HRP for heart rate, CSCP for cadence and speed sensors, RSCP for running speed, CPP for cycling power profile and LNP for location and navigation.
During Embedded World, we showcased a BLE Patient Monitor Demo with one of our partners, Nanopower Communications. The demo was set up on a Texas Instruments Sitara AM335x EVM board with the Nucleus RTOS and nanoBlue BLE stack. The BLE demo showcased a Find Me profile and the Health Thermometer Profile (HTP). The BLE software enables Bluetooth communication over the Sitara AM335x EVM board with the nanoBlue stack to an iPad (or other Apple iOS device). Patient temperatures can then be communicated over BLE to an iOS device, which can also be communicated to another device, over another network to another system. The nanoBlue stack offers a fast connection time, single and dual mode, and advanced Security features. Moreover, the nanoBlue stack requires 32Kb of space, which is incredibly small for a BLE stack. More information on the nanoBlue BLE stack for the Nucleus RTOS can be found here: http://www.mentor.com/embedded-software/multimedia/internet-of-things–iot–connectivity-for-embedded-devices
The value of BLE vs. a Classic Bluetooth is code size and power consumption. Couple those benefits with an IoT friendly RTOS like Nucleus, customers can maximize their feature set in the lowest memory configuration while also maximizing battery life by implementing the Nucleus Power Management Framework as part of their design. This is ideal for MCU platforms where memory and performance are critical design requirements, especially for portable medical and fitness devices with limited resources available.