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Bluetooth 5: System-on-Chip Comparison 2018

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SP18427 Bluetooth 5 System on Chip Comparison flyer cover

A cost-oriented report on cutting edge components from NXP, Qualcomm, Dialog and Nordic, all dedicated to the fifth generation Bluetooth protocol.


By the year 2021, there are likely to be 48 billion connected internet-of-things (IoT) devices. Of this myriad of connected smart devices, it is estimated to 30% of them will include Bluetooth technology.

The low energy Bluetooth 5 specification has been developed to be a key IoT enabler. This new protocol brings some major advances, making it ideal for wider spectrum of IoT applications. It doubles device speed to 2MB/s, allowing eight times the data capacity, increases the range fourfold to 240m, and allows mesh topology networks.

SP18427 Overview of the four studied dies designs logo


We present a technological and economical comparison of four of the newest and most competitive systems-on-chips (SoCs) available on the market today from four different manufacturers. They are: the QN9080 from NXP; the QCC5121 from Qualcomm; the DA14585 from Dialog Semiconductor; and the nRF52810 from Nordic Semiconductor.

We base our analysis on full teardowns of the dies and packages to unveil the technological choices made by the different manufacturers.

We also estimated the different participants in the supply chain. The combination of the two allowed us to simulate the cost of these different components.

This report contains a complete cost analysis and a cost estimation of the SoCs. Finally, it features an exhaustive comparison between the studied samples, highlighting the similarities and differences and their impact on cost.


  SP18427 Flash Memory Implantation logo SP18427 Top view of the studied samples logo SP18427 WLSCP Cross Section logo






Table of contents


> Executive Summary

> Reverse Costing Methodology


Physical Analysis

> Summary of the Physical Analysis

> Packaging

- Package overviews, dimensions

> Dies

- Die views and dimensions

- Die delayering and main block IDs

- Die processes

- Die cross-sections

- Die process characteristics



Manufacturing process flow

> Die Front-End Process and Fabrication Unit

> Back-End Process and Fabrication Unit

> Summary of Inputs
















































Cost Analysis

> Summary of the Cost Analysis

> Yields Explanation and Hypotheses

> Dies

- Die front-end costs

- Die probe test and dicing

> Packaged Component

- Packaging costs

- Back end: final test

- Component costs



Physical Comparison



Cost Comparison



Comparison Summary




About the authors


System Plus Consulting specializes in the cost analysis of electronics, from semiconductor devices to electronic systems.

Created more than 20 years ago, System Plus Consulting has developed a complete range of services, costing tools and reports to deliver in-depth production cost studies and estimate the objective selling price of a product.

System Plus Consulting engineers are experts in:

  • Integrated Circuits 
  • Power Devices & Modules 
  • MEMS & Sensors
  • Photonics 
  • LED 
  • Imaging 
  • Display 
  • Packaging 
  • Electronic Boards & Systems.

Through hundreds of analyses performed each year, System Plus Consulting offers deep added-value reports to help its customers understand their production processes and determine production costs. Based on System Plus Consulting’s results, manufacturers are able to compare their production costs to those of competitors.

System Plus Consulting is a sister company of Yole Développement.

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  • Detailed photos and cross-sections

  • Precise measurements

  • Materials analysis

  • Manufacturing process

  • Supply chain evaluation

  • Manufacturing cost analysis

  • Comparison 

  • Estimated sales price