I am very sorry for not having had time to update the blog for such a long time, but perhaps this post can help explain part of the reason why I have been so busy.
All of us who have been working with BLE for several years now are extremely proud to announce that we are now officially releasing TI's CC2540 Bluetooth low energy SoC to production! Here is the press release: http://investor.ti.com/releasedetail.cfm?ReleaseID=519563. This is not a paper launch; we have samples, kits, our TI BLE stack and free software tools downloadable from the TI webpage, check out www.ti.com/cc2540. The CC2540 has also entered mass production, so we are taking orders from those of you who already have reached the stage where building BLE products in mass quantities is of interest.
As far as we can see, we are first to market with a single-mode BLE solution, if we consider that “first to market” means going into mass production and being able to supply the whole solution (including software stack) to all our customers. Our solution has also achieved Bluetooth certification (both host and controller), here are links to the relevant Bluetooth pages: https://www.bluetooth.org/tpg/QLI_viewQDL.cfm?qid=17183 and https://www.bluetooth.org/tpg/QLI_viewQDL.cfm?qid=16552.
So, how do you start developing with Bluetooth low energy? My recommendation would be to start by plunking down $99 for our CC2540DK-MINI development kit. This kit includes a coin-cell powered keyfob, a USB dongle, a CC-Debugger device as well as associated cables needed to get started. Once you have received the kit, download the software installation package as explained in the note that comes in the box. Once you have installed this, you can use the CC programmer to program the devices with the included firmware and you are ready to start playing with Bluetooth low energy. The enclosed example uses Bluetooth low energy to read the status of the buttons on the keyfob. The Btool PC program, together with the USB dongle, implement a BLE master and allow you to read and write attributes, set up notifications and basically do anything you would like to do at the ATT/GATT level. To create your own BLE device, you can modify the enclosed example software to fit your needs. For a quick evaluation, there is a free 30-day evaluation version of the IAR 8051 C compiler available, otherwise we recommend buying the full version. Using the CC debugger box that comes in the kit, in-circuit debugging is quick and easy and is integrated into the IAR IDE.
We have just opened a new forum on the TI E2E community dedicated to Bluetooth low energy http://e2e.ti.com/support/low_power_rf/f/538.aspx, and would love to hear from you there if you have any BLE-related questions or comments. If you create something really cool and what to share that with the world, you might even consider sharing this on the share your design forum on E2E http://e2e.ti.com/support/low_power_rf/f/157.aspx
I’m personally looking forward to all the innovative devices we will be seeing in the near future!
All the best,