Blend Bluetooth with an Arduino Platform

June 3, 2014 | 07:59
Blend Bluetooth with an Arduino Platform
Blend Bluetooth with an Arduino Platform

Blend Micro is an Arduino development board with built-in Bluetooth 4.0 Low Energy (aka BLE or Bluetooth Smart) connectivity targeted at developers using the Arduino platform to design IoT applications. The board uses an Atmel ATmega32u4 micro-controller and the Nordic nRF8001 BLE chip.

The Blend Micro runs in the BLE peripheral role only, allowing BLE central role devices to establish communication.

Current supported BLE central devices:

  • iOS 7
  • iPhone 4s
  • iPhone 5 (all models)
  • iPod touch 5
  • iPad 3/4/mini/Air

Android 4.3 or above (4.4 recommended for stability) with Bluetooth 4.0 hardware support

  • Nexus 4
  • Nexus 7

Windows 8.1 with built-in Bluetooth 4.0 or USB dongle

Mac OSX 10.9.2 with built-in Bluetooth 4.0 or USB dongle

Linux with BlueZ 5.1 built-in Bluetooth 4.0 or USB dongle

According to its data sheet the maximum clock rate for the Atmega32u4 is given as 8 MHz at 3.3V or 16MHz at 5V. To reduce level-shifting hardware requirements (for the BLE chip) the board runs at 3.3 V only but the developers have indicated that the Blend Micro is happy to be overclocked at 16 MHz although this is not to spec and may impact reliability.

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