ComLinkB – introduction

Bluetooth Gateway for iPhone/iPad and PC/Laptop to embedded hardware

» Posted on 20. Dec 2011

ComLinkB – Introduction



ComLinkB (Communication Link over Bluetooth) is a hardware module designed to build a gateway between an Bluetooth host system and an embedded hardware. ComlinkB is also capable to pair with an iPhone or an iPad beside Bluetooth enabled PCs and Laptops.

The initial idea was to create a highly flexible human interface, running as an application on an iPhone to control any desired target system via Bluetooth making the iPhone to be a remote control for any embedded system. The aim was to have a local wireless control access point to a fixed installed hardware with a maximum range of few ten meters.

One communication endpoint is the application running on the iPhone/iPad, which builds the human interface or the remote control. The other endpoint is the ComLinkB module, which is connected to the desired hardware and builds the remote target system.

ComLinkB module acts as an adapter between the two endpoints and depending on which combination of hardware interfaces are used to connect to the target system, following features may be available:

  • Bluetooth-to-UART
  • Bluetooth-to-USB
  • Bluetooth-to-GPIO
  • Bluetooth-to-I2C      (only in single master mode)
  • Bluetooth-to-ADC    (data from target’s ADC)
  • Bluetooth-to-DAC    (data to target’s DAC)

ComLinkB is small in form factor (65mm x 20mm) and the pad holes on the edge of the board makes the ComLinkB hardware easy to be used as an add-on module for other targets. It is possible to use the same hardware as an USB stick to realize the communication link between a PC and the embedded system via Bluetooth.

The heart of the hardware is based on BlueCore5™ Multimedia chip, which was detected as the best option for a feature rich hardware module. ComlinkB is designed in a way to enable all possible features given by the BlueCore5 solution to the target system via easy reachable connectors on the edge of the board.

The board is designed on 4 layers in 0.1mm technology using through hole “plugged vias”. The PCB has a thickness of ~1mm and the module height is below 7mm. A suitable USB stick enclosure is available for ComLinkB module.

The BlueCore5 processor is suitable for realizing several applications without the need for an additional external controller. Therefore ComLinkB module itself is hosting desired applications, while offering at the same time the link to the user’s control application on the iPhone.

By purchasing the “Bluetooth development License” one is able to develop own applications running on the ComLinkB module if needed.

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