Taiyo Yuden Bluetooth® LE EVK - Review

Table of contents

RoadTest: Taiyo Yuden Bluetooth® LE EVK

Author: gustavovelascoh

Creation date:

Evaluation Type: Development Boards & Tools

Did you receive all parts the manufacturer stated would be included in the package?: True

What other parts do you consider comparable to this product?: Nordic dev kits (boards and dongle), LAPIS Technology’s MK71521, Insight ISP3010

What were the biggest problems encountered?: Did not find any.

Detailed Review:

I would like to thank Element14 and Taiyo Yuden for letting me participate in this Roadtest, and also special thanks to Randall Scaszny, manager of the RoadTest program for his hard work.

 

For this Roadtest, I decided to evaluate the provided documentation but with the latest versions of the software tools (Segger Studio and Nordic SDK). I followed it step by step identifying some items where it should be updated to match the actual process. However, the documentation was very complete, comfortable to follow through and it was easy to complete even with the spotted differences. I will present a brief overview of the product, then will describe the first steps and finally, will show how to start using the EKSNSNZWW in an additional example.

 

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Product description

Taiyo Yuden’s Bluetooth product range is divided into three categories: Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) basic modules, BLE Application Embedded Module and BLE Evaluation tools/Development Kits [1]. These modules are based on Nordic Semiconductors devices nRF51 and nRF52, the basic version is intended to be used with Nordic’s Software (SoftDevices and SDK) and the Application Embedded version includes embedded software provided by Taiyo Yuden.

 

Naming convention

The selected product for the Roadtest was the development kit EKSNSNZWW [2], but at first, this name did not make any sense, and every time I had to go through the website and documentation to know what it was. So below I explain the naming convention of Taiyo Yuden product range based on this document [3]:

 

E[1][2][3][4]N[5]W[6]

or

E[Y,B,K][S,A][G,L,N,H,K,P][DBCSJ]N[U,A,Z]W[B,Z,W,Y,X][-WX,-VX]

 

  • E= Bluetooth product range
  • 1: Product type

Y=Module, B=Eval Board, K=Eval Kit

  • 2: Protocol Support

S=Bluetooth, A=Bluetooth + Ant (nRF51422)

  • 3: Device

G=nRF51x22, L=nRF52810, N=nRF52811, H=nRF52832, K=nRF52840, P=nRF52833

  • 4: Size

            D=9.6x12.9x1.3

            B=10.0x15.4x2.0

            S=3.25x8.55x0.85(1.00)

C=9.6x12.9x2.0

J=5.1x11.3x1.3

  • 5: Application Embedded Interface

            Z= Basic Module

            A= UART

            U= USB, SPI, ADC, UART

  • 6: RAM

B=256, A=128, Z=64, Y=32, W=24, X=16

 

nRF52 Family Overview

If you are not familiar with Nordic devices, fined below a brief comparison table. For more detailed information visit [4]:

First Steps

Unboxing

The unboxing pictures for the EKSNSNZWW Evaluation Kit are presented below. The box contains:

  • An EBSNSNZWW Evaluation board (Which is based on the EYSNSNZWW module)
  • A Segger Lite debugger
  • One Micro USB cable
  • One 10-pins ribbon cable
  • “How-to” guide

The “How-to” guide provides information on how to access documentation from the website and also includes a password for accessing a confidential “Quick Start Guide”. For doing so, you need to register for an account and then you will be able to download it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

{gallery} Taiyo Yuden EK unboxing

 

Quick Start Guide

 

As mentioned before, the quick start guide provided is confidential and password-protected, therefore I will limit this part of the Roadtest to an overall description of its contents.

 

This Quick Start Guide is compatible with modules EYSNSNZWW (The one we are Roadtesting) and the EYSNCNZWW. It is divided into 4 sections: an introduction of the requirements and software to be used, the preparation steps for Segger Embedded Studio (SES), the setup of a project from Nordic’s SDK and finally the usage of the NFR Toolbox UART application.

 

The total time I needed to complete this Quick Start Guide was less than 2 hours without taking into account the downloading time for the software tools. However, I had worked before with Nordic devices under Eclipse and command-line environment, but not with SES. So I was quite familiar with the tool.

 

The guide is written to be used with SES version 4.52a and Nordic SDK version 16, but for this Roadtest, I wanted to test it with updated versions and identify differences in the process. The versions I used were SES version 5.10a and Nordic SDK version 17.0. Now I will briefly list the steps provided highlighting the differences.

 

  • Preparation of Segger Embedded Studio: Everything works as stated in the guide
  • Setting up the project from Nordic SDK:
    • Opening the project: Works as expected.
    • Configuring external LF Clock: The screenshot of sdk_config.h does not match the newer version of the file. The modified file should be:

  • Configuring Preprocessor, SoftDevice and Memory: Works as expected.
  • Building and programming the target: The guide shows the building results and the percentage of FLASH and RAM, which did not match what I got, but just by 7% in FLASH and 1% in RAM. These are my results:

  • Debugging on target: After hitting debug, IDE switches to debug view and debug controls works well. However, the Debug terminal is not printing the messages from the NRF_LOG_INFO() function, as can be seen in this screenshot. I’m still investigating further the cause of this.

 

  • Using nRF Toolbox UART App: Everything works as explained in the guide. I used the mobile app in an Android Device, then I connected via Bluetooth to the Taiyo Yuden module. On the other side, I used minicom from terminal to connect to the module vía UART and then exchanged data between the devices as shown below:

 

 

{gallery} UART over Bluetooth

Terminal window on the PC (minicom)

Screenshot from nRF Toolbox UART app

 

Conclusions and Next steps

 

The Taiyo Yuden EYSNSNZWW is a good option for adding Bluetooth capabilities to your design. This and the other modules in the family are a compact solution for enabling wireless communication capabilities, based on the quality and reliability of Taiyo Yuden products and Nordic Semiconductor ICs. They offer a good cost-area balance and there is a diverse range of features that can suit specific needs.

 

The next project I plan to use the EYSNSNZWW in is to monitor voltage and temperature from a device that should be installed outdoors and without direct access to it or its battery (Installed on a mast at 3 or more meters high and battery could be +20m away in a closed room), so this module will be the perfect fit as it is compact, low power and reliable.

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