Bluetooth Smart solution offers new levels of design flexibility
Nordic Semiconductor has revealed that it is sampling the first member of its next generation nRF52 Series of ultra low-power wireless solutions - the nRF52832 System-on-Chip (SoC). The nRF52832 redefines the single-chip Bluetooth Smart category by marrying barrier-breaking performance to power efficiency. It also features a unique on-chip NFC tag for consumer-friendly Touch-to-Pair and offers new levels of design flexibility unmatched by any existing Bluetooth Smart solution, says the company.
"Current single-chip Bluetooth Smart solutions are struggling to keep up with the rate of innovation in Bluetooth Smart - the fastest growing wireless market in history - particularly in applications such as wearables and IoT," said Thomas Embla Bonnerud, Nordic Semiconductor's director of product management. "The main reason being that until now greater performance could only be achieved at the expense of power efficiency. The nRF52 Series uniquely merges barrier-breaking performance and power efficiency together on a Bluetooth Smart single chip for the first time."
The nRF52832 features: A category-first 64MHz ARM Cortex-M4F processor; 512kB Flash and 64kB RAM; a best-in-class ultra high performance, ultra low power multi-protocol Bluetooth Smart, ANT, and proprietary 2.4GHz radio with -96dB RX sensitivity, 5.5mA peak RX/TX currents, and an on-chip RF Balun. A novel fully-automatic power management system also makes achieving optimal power consumption easy for designers. Built on a cutting-edge 55nm process, the nRF52832 includes 6mm x 6mm QFN and miniature 3mm x 3.2mm CSP packaging options.
With a EEMBC 215 CoreMark score the nRF52832 delivers up to 60% more generic processing power - plus thanks to its on-chip ARM Cortex-M4F an additional 10X the Floating Point and 2X the DSP performance - compared to competing ARM Cortex-M0/M3 based Bluetooth Smart SoC solutions. And at 90 CoreMark/mA the SoC is up to 2X as power efficient as competing solutions.
The nRF52832 also includes a full range of on-chip analog and digital peripherals for glueless interfacing to external components such as sensors, displays, touch controllers, LEDs, keypads, motors, digital microphones, and audio Codecs. This makes it an ideal single-chip solution for wearables, human interface devices such as remote controllers, toys, smart home devices and appliances, and wireless charging.
The nRF52832's higher processor performance enables developers to make their products more attractive to consumers, including adding new features and improving the user experience. The single-chip integration supports smaller products and a lower BOM. The increased power efficiency supports greater battery life and/or the use of smaller, lighter batteries, and makes the nRF52832 an ideal solution for applications powered by energy-harvesting. And the best-in-class radio performance supports up to 2X the connection reliability, robustness to interference, range, and data throughput--all minimizing packet loss and tech support issues--plus greater network topology and protocol complexity, and advanced security features.
"With the launch of the nRF52832, the first member of our nRF52 Series, we are completely pushing the envelope for what's possible with single-chip Bluetooth Smart," continued Bonnerud. "Applications that require the sort of processing power and performance that we now pack into this chip have until now had to use a two-chip solution as there was previously no Bluetooth Smart single-chip alternative. The Nordic Semiconductor nRF52832 is the single chip the Bluetooth Smart market is crying out for and we hope it will free developers to be even more creative when developing Bluetooth Smart products and applications."