» Current | 2017 | 2016 | 2015 | Subscribe

Linley Newsletter

Nordic Tackles Multiprotocol IoT

June 20, 2017

Author: Loyd Case

The Nordic Semiconductor NRF52840 is taking on IoT by offering full 2.4GHz multiprotocol support—a feature smartwatches, smart home controllers, connected sensors, interactive entertainment devices, and other such products often require. A smart home controller hub, for example, may connect to Zigbee-based smart lighting while users connect to the hub through a smartphone using Bluetooth.

The new chip employs an ARM Cortex-M4F CPU, 256KB of SRAM, and 1MB of on-chip flash storage, allowing it to run complex applications and support high-end wearables. The new 55nm SoC is an update to the earlier NRF52832, which shipped with only 64KB of SRAM and 512KB of flash. The new NRF52840 implements the 2.4GHz 802.15.4, Bluetooth 5, and ANT+ protocols. Nordic also offers a Thread development kit. The company uses modular protocol stacks, which it calls SoftDevices, that allow developers to embed only the protocols they need for their application. The NRF52840 began sampling in 4Q16; volume shipments are slated for 4Q17.

Like its predecessor, the 52840 includes hardware support for Bluetooth 5 up to 2Mbps, as well as the proprietary ANT+ and 802.15.4. Nordic updated its SoftDevices for the older chip to implement either BLE 4.2 or Bluetooth 5. The SoftDevice in the 52840 implements both. The company also offers SDKs for Apple’s HomeKit, AirFuel (for wireless charging), and IPv6 application development over 802.15.4. Additionally, customers can purchase development boards for prototyping. The 52840 development board comes with ARM’s Mbed RTOS, offers Arduino Uno shield (expansion board) compatibility, and sells for $46. 

Subscribers can view the full article in the Microprocessor Report.

Subscribe to the Microprocessor Report and always get the full story!

Purchase the full article

Events

Linley Processor Conference 2017
Covers processors and IP cores used in deep learning, embedded, communications, automotive, IoT, and server designs.
October 4 - 5, 2017
Hyatt Regency, Santa Clara, CA
More Events »

Newsletter

Linley Newsletter
Analysis of new developments in microprocessors and other semiconductor products
Subscribe to our Newsletter »