SparkFun gets FCC/IC/CE Mark Approval on Open-Source BLE ModuleAugust 29, 2019 by Paul Shepard
SparkFun’s Artemis module has earned Federal Communications Commission (FCC), Industry Canada (IC), and Conformité Européenne (CE) mark approval making it the first open-source, US-manufactured, FCC/IC/CE-certified BLE module on the market. With this certification, the Artemis module enables product designers to use the same module from prototype to production, and significantly increases accessibility of low-power machine learning for any design.
“At best, the transition from prototype to final product has been clunky—Artemis changes that by providing a single module from prototype to production,” said Nathan Seidle, SparkFun founder and engineer. “Add to that the power of the TensorFlow® machine learning platform and the Apollo 3 microcontroller from Ambiq®, and you have a tool that most engineers will want to play with.”
The release of Artemis is a landmark move for the company, which has traditionally been known for prototyping tools, R&D resources and edgy projects. By extending support through final product, the company helps developers and entrepreneurs avoid getting locked into a proprietary tool chain; use familiar tools throughout the development process, like the Arduino programming language; and lower the cost of development and risk by supplying a certified module. The company manufactures the modules in Colorado and is committed to both scale and long-term supply.
“Many in our community were—and are—struggling to move their product to market. There are many obstacles and complexities to navigate—this is one way we could help,” said SparkFun CEO Glenn Samala. “The idea of Artemis is to help creators move great innovations more quickly to scale.”
In terms of technology, the Artemis is on the leading edge of low-power machine learning—it can be powered from a single coin-cell battery. It is a Cortex-M4F with BLE 5.0 running up to 96MHz, with power needs as low as 6uA per MHz (less than 5mW) and a footprint of only 10mm by 15mm. The module enables the integration of TensorFlow into any design, runs machine learning models locally, and can be programmed and used with the Ambiq Apollo SDK or Arduino (with the written-from-scratch by SparkFun Arduino Core).
To get users started, SparkFun has also co-released three carrier boards: SparkFun RedBoard Artemis, SparkFun RedBoard Artemis Nano and SparkFun RedBoard Artemis ATP (All the Pins). Each of these boards has been equipped with Qwiic® connectors, enabling immediate access to the extensive SparkFun Qwiic ecosystem, so users can easily integrate more than 70 daisy-chainable sensors and accessory boards with no soldering necessary.
The module and boards are now available exclusively from SparkFun and Digi-Key Electronics.