TI-Bluetooth-LETexas Instruments announced today that it is adding iBeacon support across its Bluetooth LE chips and development kits. The company is starting by adding support to some of its Bluetooth wireless micro controllers, an automotive connectivity device, and other combo Wi-Fi/Bluetooth products and development kits. TI’s Oyvind Birkenes imagines support for iBeacons in its Bluetooth chips opening up new possibilities for Apple’s Bluetooth LE platform including “asset trackers, retail, building automation systems, automotive and industrial applications, and a wide variety of consumer electronics” beyond what we’ve seen so far. 

“Restaurants, retailers and even sports stadiums have started using iBeacon technology, but there are many more applications that could benefit from the technology. Everything from asset trackers, retail, building automation systems, automotive and industrial applications, and a wide variety of consumer electronics,” said Oyvind Birkenes, general manager, Wireless Connectivity Solutions, TI. “By providing support for iBeacon technology across our entire Bluetooth low energy portfolio as well as a new SimpleLink SensorTag location app and broadcaster reference design, we are enabling manufacturers to quickly add micro-locationing capabilities to their products.”

The company is adding support to its $25 SensorTag Bluetooth development kits that aims to speed up Bluetooth development for mobile developers alongside an updated app for it with iBeacon support. It’s also introducing a new “coin cell-sized, low cost and low-power broadcaster reference design that enables fast volume production of devices with iBeacon technology based on the SimpleLink CC2543.”

Full details on products updated with iBeacon support can be found in TI’s press release below:

TI supports iBeacon technology across TI’s Bluetooth® Smart, dual-mode and combo-connectivity portfolio

SimpleLink™ SensorTag, new SensorTag App and CC2543 reference design with iBeacon technology, deliver fast time to market of new apps and devices

DALLAS (April 16, 2014) – Texas Instruments (TI) (NASDAQ: TXN) today announced support for iBeacon technology across its Bluetooth® low energy portfolio including:

  • Bluetooth Smart with SimpleLink™ CC2541 and CC2543 wireless microcontrollers (MCUs)
  • Bluetooth dual mode with the SimpleLink CC2564 solution, and the BL6450Q automotive connectivity device
  • Wi-Fi and Bluetooth combo-connectivity with WiLink™ 8 and WiLink 8Q for automotive connectivity

Additionally, TI launched a new location app, with iBeacon technology, for the CC2541-based SimpleLink SensorTagdevelopment kit, as well as a new low cost, small form-factor broadcaster reference design based on the CC2543. The CC2543 is a low-cost version of CC2541 optimized for beacons and broadcast applications.

About iBeacon – More than retail

iBeacon is a technology introduced with iOS 7 that uses Bluetooth low energy and geofencing to provide apps with a whole new level of micro-location awareness, such as trail markers in a park, exhibits in a museum, or product displays in stores.

“Restaurants, retailers and even sports stadiums have started using iBeacon technology, but there are many more applications that could benefit from the technology. Everything from asset trackers, retail, building automation systems, automotive and industrial applications, and a wide variety of consumer electronics,” said Oyvind Birkenes, general manager, Wireless Connectivity Solutions, TI. “By providing support for iBeacon technology across our entire Bluetooth low energy portfolio as well as a new SimpleLink SensorTag location app and broadcaster reference design, we are enabling manufacturers to quickly add micro-locationing capabilities to their products.”

New location App demonstrating SensorTag with iBeacon technology

A new SensorTag location app with iBeacon technology is available to download on the App Store for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch. The app allows you to upload a floor plan and “place” SensorTags to easily set up your own indoor positioning system. The app provides feedback on how near you are to the SensorTags and can launch a user-specified URL when you are in the immediate vicinity of a SensorTag. Additionally, existing SensorTags can be updated with the latest SensorTag App through an over-the-air upgrade to be compatible with iBeacon technology.

TI broadcaster reference design with iBeacon technology

TI is also introducing a coin cell-sized, low cost and low-power broadcaster reference design that enables fast volume production of devices with iBeacon technology based on the SimpleLink CC2543. Manufacturers can also get a head start with the SensorTag reference design, which is FCC-certified and is compatible with iBeacon technology.

Support for iBeacon technology on TI Bluetooth platforms

TI offers support for iBeacon technology across its Bluetooth Smart-enabled products through royalty-free software offerings.

  • SimpleLink Bluetooth low energy CC2541 and CC2543 wireless MCUs are supported through TI’s BLE-Stack.
  • SimpleLink Bluetooth dual mode CC2564 and WiLink 8 combo connectivity solutions are supported by Stonestreet One’s Bluetopia stack.
  • WiLink 8Q and BL6450Q solutions for automotive applications are supported by Cybercom blueGO together with OpenSynergy Blue SDK stack.

Pricing and availability:

  • The SimpleLink SensorTag is available through the TI eStore and TI authorized distributors for $25.
  • Upgrade your SensorTag to be compatible with iBeacon technology using the latest SensorTag App.
  • The new location app with iBeacon technology is available to download on the App Store for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch.
  • The TI broadcaster reference design based on the SimpleLink CC2543 with iBeacon technology including Gerbers, schematics, layout, and BOM is available now. 

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2 Responses to “Texas Instruments adds iBeacon support to its Bluetooth LE chip and dev kit products”

  1. Sascha Uhl says:

    Thanks god! The new firmware is working great! We just released our weather app which is compatible with the SensorTag. Have a look and check it out: http://itunes.com/apps/flaschengeiststudios/myweathercenter

    Like