With so many wireless protocols widely used in the IoT such as Bluetooth low energy, Zigbee, and Thread, there has been an advent of multiprotocol IoT solutions that run them all to simplify wireless designs. Not only they offer developers the flexibility to build IoT systems supporting multiple protocols from the same device, but also help to reduce design costs and offer a better consumer experience.
To support today’s multiprotocol IoT environment, Nordic Semiconductor has started volume production of its high-end nRF52840 multiprotocol wireless IoT chip which allows developers to benefit from full Bluetooth 5 support, together with Bluetooth mesh and Thread support. As security is paramount in IoT applications, the chip also incorporates an on-chip Arm CryptoCell cryptographic subsystem, making it ideal for connected smart-home and -industry applications.
An array of features and peripherals on the SoC offer the capabilities and flexibility to support a broad range of networked, connected products for wearables, gaming, VR/AR, and home- and Industrial-IoT applications.
Compared to previous Bluetooth LE specification, the high-end nRF52840 chip brings all the benefits of Bluetooth 5 to the market, including 2x on-air raw data bandwidth (2Mbps); 4x range; 8x broadcasting ability with advertising packet payload size of 251 bytes, and an improved channel coexistence algorithm.
The nRF52840 SoC features a 64MHz, 32-bit Arm Cortex M4F processor which has ample generic processing power, Floating Point, and DSP performance to meet the demands of even the most challenging wireless applications, the company said.
Aside from that, an Arm CryptoCell-310 cryptographic accelerator on the chip offers best-in-class security for Cortex-M based SoCs. Extensive crypto ciphers and key generation and storage options are also available.
In addition, the chip is said to be the only multiprotocol device to offer concurrent Bluetooth 5 and Thread support through its Bluetooth LE and Thread ‘Dynamic Multiprotocol’ feature.
The chip is supported by Nordic’s S140 SoftDevice is Nordic’s latest RF Bluetooth 5 (Bluetooth LE)-certified protocol software or ‘stack’).
Nordic also offers the nRF5 SDK v15, a production-ready development tool with full peripheral driver support for the nRF52840 SoC.
According to the firm, the nRF5 SDK now incorporates the capabilities of the earlier nRF5 SDK for IoT including an IPv6 over Bluetooth LE adaptation layer (6LoWPAN) and a complete Internet Protocol (IP) Suite.
The nRF5 SDK also includes SEGGER Microcontroller’s ‘Embedded Studio’ for software development.
Commented John Leonard, a Product Marketing Manager with Nordic Semiconductor: “This single-chip product is the first in the market with full range of support for Bluetooth 5 and Bluetooth mesh, and also brings Thread, 802.15.4, ANT, and 2.4GHz proprietary to the most challenging wireless applications, including advanced wearables, virtual and augmented reality, high-performance HID controllers, smart-home and -industry, and IoT networks.”