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Enhanced connectivity for e-bike applications

E-bikes are steadily gaining in market share, with growth predicted to lie between 6 and 8% until 2025. Unlike the automobile market, range is less of an issue. Instead consumers are more focused on reliability and convenience. This means longer intervals between charging and higher integration into daily life. Many e-bikes are already fitted with some sort of display, providing information on charge, speed and estimated range. But with the trend toward wearables, and with smartphones positioned at the center of such data collection, connectivity is on the list of options for e-bike users to consider.

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:

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