Bluetooth 5 ready SoC for smart home, IoT and wearables

07-12-2016 | Nordic | Semiconductors

Nordic Semiconductor has launched the Bluetooth 5 ready nRF52840 SoC with features and capabilities that redefine the performance envelope of single-chip Bluetooth low energy applications. The SoC is especially suited to smart home and advanced wearables applications, including wearables for payments and medical, as well as industrial sensor and other IoT devices. In addition to Bluetooth 5 support, the SoC includes IEEE 802.15.4 capability. 802.15.4 wireless technology forms the basis of smart home technologies such as ZigBee and Thread (with additional upper layers not defined by the standard). IEEE 802.15.4 can also be employed as a Network Adaptation Layer with 6LoWPAN and standard Internet Protocols. The SoC's support for 802.15.4 significantly extends the product's capability as an interoperable foundation technology for IoT, smart home, or industrial sensor wireless networks using several different wireless technologies. The device has been engineered to build on the mature architecture of the company’s existing nRF52 series of SoCs to support complex Bluetooth low energy and other low-power wireless applications that were previously not possible with a single-chip solution. The SoC employs the proven 64MHz, 32-bit ARM Cortex M4F processor employed on their nRF52832 SoC, plus a CPU with ample generic processing power, Floating Point, and DSP performance, to meet the demands of even the most demanding wireless applications. Designed to address the inherent security challenges that are faced in IoT, the SoC incorporates the ARM CryptoCell-310 cryptographic accelerator offering best-in-class security for Cortex-M based SoCs. Extensive crypto ciphers and key generation and storage options are also available. "The nRF52840 SoC builds on the success of the nRF52 Series but will enable wireless product developers to embark on even more ambitious single-chip smart home, wearables, and IoT applications," says Thomas Bonnerud, director, product management at Nordic Semiconductor. "The scope of these application areas is developing quickly; wearables are moving towards payment and identification devices. The new Bluetooth 5 long range feature makes Bluetooth a genuine contender for smart home device communication and the nRF52840 is designed to meet and exceed developer expectations. Security cannot be an afterthought in today's connected products, the consequences can prove disastrous." Bonnerud concludes: "With ARM CryptoCell hardware on-chip we are equipping developers with the very best-in-class hardware and software security options to build secure products. The nRF52840 SoC with its hardware enhancements, Bluetooth 5 range and bandwidth improvements, and 802.15.4 support, is the latest embodiment of that intention."

By Craig Dyball