Getting Started with Bluetooth Xpress

BGX13 modules provide a wireless link between other BGX13 modules and smartphones. BGX13 modules create a serial interface replacement using the custom Xpress streaming service. An embedded host transmits and receives data through UART RX and TX pins. Mobile apps can connect and communicate with BGX13 modules using the Xpress framework, which provides a simple API for BGX13 interaction.

BGX Commander Mobile Apps

BGX Commander is an app available for both iOS and Android devices. This app allows users to connect and communicate with BGX devices, exercising both the streaming interface and the Xpress command API through remote command execution. To install the app on your mobile device, go to that device's app store and search for 'BGX Commander'.

The app also provides an OTA service for users. Silicon Labs strongly encourages users to perform an OTA update on BGX evaluation boards at the start of evaluation, to ensure that the module supports all the latest features and functionality.

Also note that the mobile apps were built using the Xpress framework, which simplifies communication between BGX devices and mobile apps. The source code for BGX Commander, which includes the Xpress framework, is available for download through Simplicity Studio.

Note that application source will only be available pre-launch upon request.

The BGX13P Evaluation Board

The BGX13P evaluation board provides a USB-to-serial interface that enables users to communicate with the on-board BGX13P through terminal programs. The board can also be connected to Silicon Labs EFM8 and EFM32 starter kits through the expansion header. This connectivity gives users the chance to prototype applications with embedded hosts.

Evaluating BGX with a Terminal Program

The BGX13P's CP2102N serial-to-USB interface device requires that drivers be installed to function optimally. Drivers for the CP2102N's virtual comm port can be found at

Once drivers are installed, a BGX13P evaluation board connected to a PC through the USB connection will appear as a comm port. This comm port can be opened in a terminal application and users can communicate with the on-board BGX13P through the terminal's interface.

Note that the default baud rate for the module is 115200, and so the terminal program in use should be configured to use that baud rate.

Xpress Configurator

Xpress Configurator is a graphical configuration tool for Bluetooth Xpress modules. With this tool, users can connect to a BGX13P through a serial-to-USB bridge to adjust parameters and test performance. Input validation in the tool ensures that all variables remain within limits. All configurable variables include informative links that open relevant content within the tool. Xpress Configurator also includes a terminal window with a live display of all interactions between the connected PC and the Bluetooth Xpress module. This window shows how all configuration settings translate to simple get commands. Additionally, this terminal can be used to test communication if the Bluetooth Xpress module has established a BLE connection.

Note that some BGX13P evaluation boards are not recognized by Simplicity Studio. To correct this problem, the CP2102N on the evaluation board needs to be reconfigured. Instructions on how to do this are here.