Swatch Claims the World’s Smallest Bluetooth Chip

March 05, 2017 by Jeff Shepard

Swatch Group has introduced a new Bluetooth 5.0 IC with features believed to be unrivaled by any existing product. The new integrated circuit was designed by EM Microelectronic, Swatch Group R&D and the Swiss Center for Electronics and Microtechnology (CSEM).

This Bluetooth IC claims the following records: 1) It is — first and foremost — the smallest Bluetooth chip on the market. The ultra-miniaturization of electronic components is crucial for the densification of functions in portable electronic devices and for the Internet of Things. 2) It has the lowest energy consumption — compared to its competitors — for different scenarios of use, thus increasing the autonomy of connected objects, an essential factor in this field. 3) Its high-speed start-up capability is unparalleled, which makes it possible to improve the reactivity and the lifetime of, for example, electronic beacons.

And this device has already been officially qualified to meet the latest Bluetooth standard, version 5.0. Its prowess is masterful because the chip consists of more than 5 million transistors on a surface of about 5 mm2. Designed for maximum flexibility, it can work alone or in conjunction with various sensors; system integrators can take advantage of a microcontroller with very low power consumption or can use the chip to add a Bluetooth communication function to any portable electronic device.

Swatch Group and the CSEM, both based in the "Swiss Silicon Valley", collaborate in a wide range of fields. As announced in February, the two long-standing partners are working to develop a unique Swiss Made ecosystem. It will be specially designed to meet the needs of small connected objects (the Internet of Things) and above all and, of course, watches. This platform will be built around a completely new, bespoke operating system.