Certification guideline for STM32WB and STM32WBA


This page contains information related to Bluetooth® Low Energy and regional (CE, FCC) certification.
It is assumed that the reader is familiar with STM32WB and/or STM32WBA development. Otherwise, we recommend reading the Introduction to Bluetooth® Low Energy with STM32 guideline first.

1 STMicroelectronics tools for certification

STMicroelectronics provides dedicated STM32WB/WBA firmware called "Transparent Mode" that can be used for certification purposes.
STMicroelectronics also provides a dedicated GUI PC tool called STM32CubeMonitor-RF[1] that can be used for regional RF certifications.

1.1 Transparent mode firmware

A set of commands and events is sent through the STM32WB/WBA UART or USB to control the Bluetooth® Low Energy stack via the "Transparent Mode" application.

1.1.1 STM32WB1x, STM32WB3x, STM32WB5x

STM32WB devices embed Arm Cortex®-M4 and Arm Cortex®-M0 network coprocessors.
STM32WB-M0 devices embed the Bluetooth® smart protocol stack. For STM32WB-M4 devices, dedicated "Transparent Mode" firmware is available in the STM32CubeWB[2] software package. It is available in source code and must be rebuilt using the customer hardware configuration (UART interface used, SMPS used or not, etc.).

Info white.png Information
The stm32wbxx_BLE_Stack_full_extended_fw binary is mandatory for STM32WB-M0 with STM32WB-M4 "Transparent Mode" firmware.

For firmware examples, refer to:

  • The P-NUCLEO-WB55 Nucleo folder if the UART interface is used.
  • The P-NUCLEO-WB55 USBDongle folder if the USB interface is used.

1.1.2 STM32WBA5x

For STM32WBA devices, the "Transparent Mode" firmware is available in the STM32CubeWBA[3] software package. It is available in source code and must be rebuilt using the customer hardware configuration (UART interface used, SMPS used or not, etc.).

Refer to the dedicated STM32WBA Transparent Mode wiki page for more details.

1.2 STM32CubeMonitor-RF PC tool

STM32CubeMonitor-RF[1] is a PC tool for quickly testing the RF performance of STM32WB/WBA-based hardware devices.

Connectivity cubemonitorRF.jpg


In the RF Tests tab, the required mode (Rx/Tx), modulation, and power settings for the tested device can be configured quickly.

2 Bluetooth® certification

2.1 Bluetooth® Low Energy qualification process

All products using Bluetooth® technology must complete the Bluetooth® qualification process. Please refer to the Bluetooth® SIG webpage (Bluetooth® qualification process overview)[4].

The Bluetooth® qualification process is not a matter of putting the Bluetooth® logo on a product, but of using licensed technology.

2.1.1 Two paths: testing required/no testing required

There are two possible paths for the qualification process:

No testing required

  • The product is based on a precertified STMicroelectronics module, such as STM32WB5MMG or STM32WB1MMC.
  • The product uses STM32WB and follows the recommendations outlined in AN5165, or STM32WBA and no changes were made to the schematics and layout.

Testing required

  • The product is based on an STMicroelectronics chipset, such as STM32WB, and does not follow the recommendations outlined in AN5165, or STM32WBA, and changes were made to the schematics or layout.

2.1.2 Launch Studio process flow

The Bluetooth® qualification process example wiki article gives a step-by-step description of the Launch Studio process.

Whatever the STM32WB or STM32WBA chipset or associated modules used, STMicroelectronics does not provide end product devices, so the required testing path should be used. STMicroelectronics qualified its product as a component[5] (tested) to allow changes and maintenance to the latest core functionality.
The image below shows the main qualification steps and associated costs:

Connectivity process2.jpg

More information on certification fees is available from the SIG website[6].

THE RF PHY reports for STM32WB modules can be found on st.com:

  • STM32WB5MMG (cutY) RF PHY test report[7].
  • STM32WB5MMG (cutX) RF PHY test report[8].
  • STM32WB1MMC (cutX) RF PHY test report[9].
Info white.png Information
Whatever the path selected, no software testing is required, except when using adopted standard profiles.

2.1.3 Bluetooth® qualification test facilities

If testing is required, the qualification testing process takes place in an official Bluetooth® qualification test facility (BQTF). BQTFs are formally recognized by the Bluetooth® SIG as competent to perform Bluetooth® qualification conformance tests.
A list of official BQTFs is available on the Bluetooth® website[10].

2.2 Available qualified design IDs (QDID)

The tables below summarize all available PHY and host stack QDIDs for the STM32WB/STM32WBA family.
When proceeding to certification, customers should select the PHY and stack QDID corresponding to the STM32WBx version or the stack and features used.

As a reminder:

  • You need to start the Launch Studio process from the latest mandatory TCRL.
  • This ensures interoperability between a 5.1 device and a 5.3 device, for example.
  • All Bluetooth® Low Energy features are optional, so you need to select the necessary features for your application.

2.2.1 STM32WB PHY QDID

Package Part number Cut version RF PHY QDID
QFN48 STM32WB55Cx (Bluetooth® Low Energy 5.2 - 2 Mbit/s)
STM32WB50Cx (Bluetooth® Low Energy 5.2 - 1 Mbit/s)
STM32WB35Cx (Bluetooth® Low Energy 5.2 - 2 Mbit/s)
STM32WB30Cx (Bluetooth® Low Energy 5.2 - 1 Mbit/s)
Y or X 161807 (TCRL 2021-1)
STM32WB15CCU6E (Bluetooth® Low Energy 5.2 - 2 Mbit/s)
STM32WB10CCU5E (Bluetooth® Low Energy 5.2 - 1 Mbit/s)
Y or X 164054 (TCRL 2020-1)
STM32WB15CXX6 (Bluetooth® Low Energy 5.2 - 2 Mbit/s)
STM32WB10CXX5 (Bluetooth® Low Energy 5.2 - 1 Mbit/s)
Y or X 161969 (TCRL 2020-1)
QFN68 STM32WB55Rx (Bluetooth® Low Energy 5.0 - 2 Mbit/s) Y 127495 (TCRL 2023-1)
CSP 100 STM32WB5xVY (Bluetooth® Low Energy 5.1 - 2 Mbit/s) Y 134665 (TCRL 2021-1)
STM32WB55VY (Bluetooth® Low Energy 5.3 - 2 Mbit/s) X 178970 (TCRL 2021-2)
BGA129 STM32WB55Vxx (Bluetooth® Low Energy 5.2 - 2 Mbit/s) Y or X 161808 (TCRL 2021-1)
WLCSP49 STM32WB15CCY (Bluetooth® Low Energy 5.2 - 2 Mbit/s)
STM32WB10CCY (Bluetooth® Low Energy 5.2 - 1 Mbit/s)
Y or X 170241 (TCRL 2020-1)
Module 86-pin LGA STM32WB5MMG (Bluetooth® Low Energy 5.2 - 2 Mbits/s) Y 170767 (TCRL 2020-1)
STM32WB5MMG (Bluetooth® Low Energy 5.3 - 2 Mbit/s) X 187035 (TCRL2021-2)
Module 77-pin LGA STM32WB1MMC (Bluetooth® Low Energy 5.3 - 2 Mbit/s) 2.1 187042 (TCRL2023-1)

2.2.2 STM32WB host stack QDID

Features Host stack version STM32WB_Copro_Wireless_Binaries QDID
4.0 HCI
LL
STM32Cube_WB_BLE_HCI stm32wb5x_BLE_HCI_AdvScan_fw.bin
stm32wb5x_BLE_HCILayer_fw.bin
stm32wb3x_BLE_HCI_AdvScan_fw.bin
stm32wb3x_BLE_HCILayer_fw.bin
stm32wb1x_BLE_HCI_AdvScan_fw.bin
stm32wb1x_BLE_HCILayer_fw.bin
160726 (TCRL 2023-1) Bluetooth® Low Energy 5.2
4.0 HCI
LL, ATT, GAP, GATT, L2CAP, SMP
STM32Cube_WB_BLE_FULL_STACK
STM32Cube_WB_BLE_BASIC_STACK
STM32Cube_WB_BLE_LIGHT_STACK
stm32wb5x_BLE_Stack_full_fw.bin
stm32wb5x_BLE_Stack_light_fw.bin
stm32wb3x_BLE_Stack_full_fw.bin
stm32wb3x_BLE_Stack_light_fw.bin
stm32wb1x_BLE_Stack_full_fw.bin
stm32wb1x_BLE_Stack_light_fw.bin
160724 (TCRL 2023-1) Bluetooth® Low Energy 5.2
4.0 HCI
LL with extended advertising, ATT,
GAP, GATT, L2CAP with Enhanced
Connected Oriented Channel, SMP
STM32CubeFW_WB_BLE_HCI_FULL_EXT
STM32CubeFW_WB_BLE_STACK_FULL_EXT
stm32wb5x_BLE_HCILayer_extended_fw.bin
stm32wb3x_BLE_HCILayer_extended_fw.bin
stm32wb1x_BLE_HCILayer_extended_fw.bin
stm32wb5x_BLE_Stack_full_extended_fw.bin
stm32wb3x_BLE_Stack_full_extended_fw.bin
stm32wb1x_BLE_Stack_full_extended_fw.bin
201968 (TCRL2023-1) Bluetooth® Low Energy 5.3

216169 (TCRL2023-1) Bluetooth® Low Energy 5.4

Notice that more recent QDID will inherit from all previous QDID software STM32WB_Copro_Wireless_Binaries. As example QDID216169 (or QDID186628) could use variant stm32wb3x_BLE_HCI_AdvScan_fw.bin or stm32wb5x_BLE_Stack_full_fw.bin.

2.2.3 STM32WBA PHY QDID

Package Part number Cut version RF PHY QDID
QFN48 STM32WBA52 1.x 197135 (TCRL 2022-2) Bluetooth® Low Energy 5.4

2.2.4 STM32WBA host stack QDID

Features Host stack version QDID
4.0 HCI
LL with extended advertising, ATT, GAP, GATT, L2CAP with Enhanced Connected Oriented Channel, SMP
STM32CubeWBA_BLE_HCI_FW
STM32CubeWBA_BLE_FULL_FW
227877 (TCRL 2023-1) Bluetooth® Low Energy 5.4
4.0 HCI
LL with extended advertising, ATT, GAP, GATT, L2CAP with Enhanced Connected Oriented Channel, SMP
STM32Cube_WBA_BLE_HCI_STACK
STM32Cube_WBA_BLE_FULL_STACK
198195 (TCRL 2022-1) Bluetooth® Low Energy 5.3

2.3 Launch Studio process

Refer to the Bluetooth® qualification process example wiki article for a detailed description of the different steps of the qualification process for your end product. It describes the qualification process using a specific example (STM32WB55RG component).

2.4 Bluetooth® Low Energy PHY testing

In case PHY testing is required, the following chapters contain information on how to prepare the customer's hardware and software.

2.4.1 Software & hardware recommendation for Bluetooth® Low Energy RF testing

The customer should prepare their device to ensure that:

  • STM32WBx or STM32WBAx is programmed with the "Transparent Mode" firmware.
  • The SMA RF cable is set instead of the antenna (to ensure a solid grounding connection), because Bluetooth® Low Energy RF PHY tests are done in conducted mode only.

2.4.2 Direct test mode

Direct test mode (where the Bluetooth® tester sends HCI commands directly to the tested device) is mandatory for the Bluetooth® Low Energy qualification, which is why the customer product must be programmed with the "Transparent Mode" firmware (refer to the chapter on "Transparent Mode" firmware above).

Connectivity DTM.jpg

2.4.3 Protocol implementation extra information for testing (Pixit)

The protocol implementation extra information for testing contains additional information necessary for testing. When proceeding to the RF PHY tests, the customer might need to provide the test house with this information about the chipset RF PHY.

2.4.3.1 STM32WB

The table below lists the information needed for STM32WB devices:

Connectivity STM32WB pixit.jpg

Note 1: some information is product-related and not chipset-related (noted “Product dependent” in the table).
Note 2: 2M tests should be set to “NA” if the device does not support 2M modulation.

2.4.3.2 STM32WBA

The table below lists the information needed for STM32WBA devices:

Connectivity WBApixit2.jpg

Note 1: some information is product-related and not chipset-related (noted “Product dependent” in the table).
Note 2: 2M tests should be set to “NA” if the device does not support 2M modulation.

3 Regional certification

Bluetooth® Low Energy products need to comply with different regional RF regulatory requirements in different countries, such as:

  • FCC (Federal Communications Committee) for North America.
  • European Commission Radio Equipment Directive (RED) for Europe.
  • IC (Industry Canada) for Canada, etc.

3.1 Module versus chipset

3.1.1 Chipset use case

STM32WB chipsets are compliant with all regional RF regulatory requirements. However, RF tests for regional certifications are fully hardware-dependent (antenna, layout, etc.).

Info white.png Information
All customer products must submit to RF tests for regional certification.

3.1.2 Module use case

STM32WBxMMx modules have been precertified for RF in various regions. Certificates and test reports for STM32WB1M[11] and STM32WB5M[12] are available on our website.

Only a limited number of RF tests is required for the final product (Rx and Tx radiated tests) when using our certified modules, which reduces the RF test costs for the end product significantly.

Info white.png Information
All customer products must submit to RF tests for regional certification.

3.2 Regional certification testing

3.2.1 Setup for RF testing

The customer must prepare their DUT to ensure that:

  • STM32WB is programmed with the "Transparent Mode" firmware.
  • The tested device is connected to the STM32CubeMonitor-RF[1] PC tool.
  • The RF test is done in conducted and mainly radiated mode. For conducted tests, the RF cable should be implemented, replacing the antenna (to ensure a solid grounding connection).

The picture below describes the recommended test setup for performing RF tests for regional certification.

Connectivity regional testing setup.jpg

3.2.2 RED - EN 300 328 prefilled document

Customers are asked to fill out an EN 300 328 form for RED RF testing. The images below show a prefilled form with the suggested values related to STM32WB/WBA (to be completed with product-related information).

Connectivity EN300328p1.jpg


Connectivity EN300328p2.jpg


Connectivity EN300328p3.jpg


Connectivity EN300328p4.jpg


Connectivity EN300328p5.jpg


Connectivity EN300328p6.jpg


3.2.3 Immunity tests

For regional certification, the test house checks whether the final product is able to sustain Bluetooth® Low Energy communication when subject to EMC stress. A possible test setup is detailed below:

  • The tested device has been programmed with the "Transparent Mode" firmware and is connected to STM32CubeMonitor-RF.
  • The STM32WB evaluation kit (for example) is also used outside the anechoic chamber. It has been programmed with the "Transparent Mode" firmware and is also connected to STM32CubeMonitor-RF.
Connectivity immunity tests.jpg
  • The ACI Utilities tab in STM32CubeMonitor-RF lets you quickly establish a Bluetooth® Low Energy link between the DUT and an STMicroelectronics evaluation kit. You can then check any disconnections during the EMC stress test.
  1. DUT advertises:

    Connectivity cubemonitorview1.png

  2. STM32WB scans:

    Connectivity cubemonitorview2.png

  3. STM32WB connects:

    Connectivity cubemonitorview3.png

  4. If the RF link with the DUT is broken, the disconnection is displayed:

    Connectivity cubemonitorview4.png

4 References