When selecting a Bluetooth solution for your designs, you might compare a processor and a module and think “well the Bluetooth processor is cheaper, so let’s go with that.” But the decision isn’t always so clear cut.
We had the opportunity to interview Sam De Marco, a sales engineer at Laird Technologies, to get his opinion on the factors designers should consider when selecting a bluetooth solution. Over the past 5 years, Sam has consulted dozens of customers on how to best integrate Bluetooth into their products and systems.
Hi Sam. What is the difference between a bluetooth module and a bluetooth processor?
Sam: From an engineering standpoint a module can be viewed as being like a miniature Bluetooth “daughter board” which can be designed using any of the several Bluetooth processors that are on the market today. A module essentially incorporates all of the components required to make the Bluetooth radio work and a module manufacturer will also carry out the necessary antenna design required to make the radio communicate reliably and correctly.
In addition, probably one of the biggest differentiators (and advantage) of using a Bluetooth module over a processor is certification. Most modules on the market today have undergone certification in order to operate in compliance with regulatory bodies such as the FCC, IC, and CE.