I need BLE connectivity in a product, so to save costs on FCC certification, Bluetooth SIG membership, etc. it will use a pre-certified module for this purpose.
Usually such modules work in one or multiple of the following ways:
- Controlled through an external interface (e.g. AT commands over UART)
- Programmable using some proprietary scripting language (e.g. Bluegiga modules)
- Fully user programmable
The first two approaches seem logical, the manufacturer of the module has very tight control over what can be done with the hardware (especially RF parameters, etc.).
The third approach is very appealing - most BLE chips already contain powerful microcontrollers, so it make sense to do all the processing on them. However I'm not sure whether one still gets the simplified FCC certification. I was under the impression that firmware is part of FCC testing too, especially since RF parameters (usually) can be changed significantly by software. However I wasn't able to find any warnings/clarifiactions about that in the datasheets/app notes/other docs. Could anyone clarify this a bit?