Bluetooth is the long established short-range wireless interface of choice, having embedded itself in the minds of consumers who have grown up with hands-free car kits and wireless headsets and headphones. Wearables, such as fitness trackers, also share their data with smartphones via the latest, low-power, Bluetooth Low Energy (LE) technology. With cyclists already relying on their smartphone for navigation support, Bluetooth integration with an e-bike is the next logical step.
With a large, powerful battery available, Bluetooth is a small contributor to the overall power consumption of an e-bike. All the same, leveraging low-power technology for wireless connectivity ensures that battery life is not unduly impacted when adding such features. Supporting the latest features of the Bluetooth 5 specification, the TC35680 supports both the 2Mbit high-speed data rate as well as being Bluetooth LE compliant. A large part of the required matching circuitry is integrated into the silicon, which significantly simplifies the design of the antenna.
Based upon an Arm® Cortex® M0 processor, the device is supported by a software development kit (SDK). This allows the device to be integrated as the main processor for an e-bike display, or simply added to provide Bluetooth connectivity to an existing solution. Alternatively, a Bluetooth capable smartphone, when combined by a suitable app, could completely replace existing user interface solutions. The interface to the e-bike to acquire battery status, ride statistics and other information could all be channeled via this wireless interface.
To find out more about how Bluetooth, along with other low-power technologies, can be used to develop energy efficient e-bike applications, take a look at our latest whitepaper: