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PIC16LF171X MCU Family/RN4020 Bluetooth® Low Energy Module


Wearable activity trackers featuring step counting and Bluetooth® Low Energy (BTLE) have become popular as everyday exercise measurement and motivation tools for people wanting to increase their physical activity and improve their health. Our Pedometer Demonstration Board is a basic wearable activity tracker that counts each step a person takes by detecting the motion of the person's body using an accelerometer. It can be worn on the wrist like a bracelet or a watch. Our Pedometer Demonstration Board can also be used as a development platform for the design of more advanced activity tracker functions. The on-board RN4020 Bluetooth Low Energy module allows the pedometer to communicate with a smartphone or tablet where the user's exercise progress can be tracked. The Pedometer Demonstration Board is powered by a single 3V Lithium coin cell battery.

Our Pedometer Demonstration Board demonstrates the implementation of a Bluetooth Low Energy digital pedometer using the PIC16LF1718, a cost–effective 8-bit microcontroller (MCU) with eXtreme Low Power (XLP) technology, RN4020 Bluetooth 4.1 Low Energy module and the Bosch Sensortec BMA250E Digital Triaxial Accelerometer.

Design Files Downloads

Start with the free download of the application note, schematics and 'C' source code that can easily be modified to your specific application needs. To download, see the Resources section.

This reference demo helps you develop a low-cost, low-power, wearable pedometer with both an on-board LED display as well as Bluetooth Low Energy capability to connect to smartphones and tablets.*

*Microchip medical reference designs and demos are intended for evaluation and development purposes only. Use of Microchip devices in life support and/or safety applications is entirely at the buyer's risk, and the buyer agrees to defend, indemnify and hold harmless Microchip from any and all damages, claims, suits, or expenses resulting from such use.

System Diagram


Demonstration Highlights


  • Wearable measurement of user step count
  • Platform for development of more advanced activity tracker functions
  • LED display is used to demonstrate stand-alone wearable design capability
  • Bluetooth Low Energy module is used to demonstrate smartphone/tablet connected wearable design capability
  • Low overall BOM cost due to high level of integration
  • Low-power operation
    • Uses an eXtreme low power PIC16LF1718 MCU
    • No user motion causes the MCU to go into Sleep mode, wakes up with motion
    • No user motion causes the Bosch accelerometer to go into low-power mode, wakes up with motion
  • Powered from a single 3V Lithium coin cell battery
  • Accelerometer uses a step detection firmware library developed by Bosch Sensortec
  • Additional biometric measurement capability can be added using our other reference designs

Product Features


PIC16LF1718 MCU Features

  • eXtreme Low Power (XLP) technology
  • Capacitive touch channels
  • Several packages including a small Ultra-Thin QFN (UQFN) package
  • Core independent peripherals (peripherals that offload the MCU core) such as:
    • Configurable Logic Cells
    • Complementary Output Generator (COG)
    • Numerically Controlled Oscillator (NCO)
    • Zero-Cross Detector (ZCD)
  • 10-bit Analog-to-Digital Converter (ADC)
  • 8-bit Digital-to-Analog Converter (DAC)
  • Operational amplifiers
  • High-speed comparators
  • Internal voltage reference module

RN4020 BTLE Module Features

  • Fully qualified Bluetooth 4.1 module offers rapid time to market for connected designs
  • On-board Bluetooth Low Energy 4.1 stack
  • Simple ASCII command interface over UART
  • Certifications: FCC, IC, CE, QDID
  • Small form factor
  • Low-power modes
  • GAP, GATT, SM, L2CAP and Bluetooth SIG profiles

Microchip's Wearable Bluetooth® Low Energy Pedometer Demonstration Board

Microchip’s wearable Bluetooth Low Energy pedometer reference design demo helps designers develop a low-cost, low-power, wearable pedometer with both an on-board LED display as well as Bluetooth Low Energy capability to connect to smartphones and tablets. This demo board can be used as a basic wearable step count activity tracker design, but it can also be used as a development platform for the design of more advanced activity tracker functions such as distance traveled or calories burned. Also, additional biometric measurement capability can be added using other Microchip medical reference demo designs. http://www.microchip.com/medical