In addition to Bluetooth 5, nRF52810 SoC brings over-the-air (OTA) application updating, previously a feature of Nordic’s high-end nRF52 Series SoCs; an optimized Nordic S112 SoftDevice (RF protocol stack); and the latest Nordic nRF5 SDK that allows designers to get lower-cost, mass-market products to consumers with all the key benefits of the latest Bluetooth specification
Nordic Semiconductor today announces that its ‘nRF52810 Bluetooth#174; Low Energy (Bluetooth LE) System-on-Chip (SoC)’—a memory-optimized addition to Nordic’s nRF52 Series of class-leading, high-performance Bluetooth 5-certified SoCs—is now available in high volume for customers across the world. The nRF52810 rounds-out the Nordic Semiconductor nRF52 Series which includes the proven nRF52832 (with which the nRF52810 is pin-compatible) and high-end nRF52840 SoCs.
The full production volume launch of the nRF52810 SoC is accompanied by the introduction of Nordic’s S112 SoftDevice (Nordic’s latest RF Bluetooth 5 (Bluetooth LE) protocol software or ‘stack’), and a new version of Nordic’s nRF5 Software Development Kit (SDK), a production-ready development tool with full peripheral driver support for the nRF52810 SoC.
The nRF52810 SoC, based on Nordic’s proven nRF52 Series architecture, has the lowest power consumption in the nRF52 Series and brings the 2Mbps higher throughput, improved coexistence, and increased broadcast capacity with advertising extensions benefits of Bluetooth 5 to the most cost-sensitive, high-volume applications. The nRF52810 SoC retains the 64MHz, 32-bit ARM#174; Cortex#174; M4 MCU of other nRF52 Series SoCs maintaining the performance demanded when employing functionality such as LE secure connections and 2Mbps data processing. In addition, the nRF52810 SoC’s Flash-based software architecture brings over-the-air (OTA) application upgrades to products previously excluded by cost constraints.
Example target applications include network-connected sensors and beacon building blocks for the IoT, low-cost wearables, low-cost wireless mice and keyboards for computers and tablets, toys, disposable medical monitoring devices, and connectivity controllers as companions to much larger MCUs.
The S112 SoftDevice is an extensively-tested, optimized, lightweight stack designed to complement the nRF52810 SoC’s 196kB Flash/24kB RAM allocation. The S112 SoftDevice occupies just 100kB, ensuring ample spare memory for a wide range of mass-market Bluetooth LE applications and robust support for OTA application software upgrades.
To optimize the performance of the nRF52810 SoC, the S112 SoftDevice is a dual peripheral/broadcaster only stack but retains the Bluetooth 5/Bluetooth LE features of: 2Mbps throughput; Privacy 1.2; LE secure connections; LE Ping; Long ATT MTU; Timeslot API enabling use with Bluetooth mesh or other proprietary protocols; and PA/LNA control function.
In line with Nordic’s strategy of ensuring development tools are available on the same day as volume SoC launch, engineers can immediately commence developing designs with the nRF52840 SoC and S112 SoftDevice using the latest version of Nordic’s nRF5 SDK. The nRF5 SDK v14.1 is a production-ready development tool with full peripheral driver support for the nRF52810 SoC. In addition, 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. This capability brings native IPv6 support to nRF52810 SoC Bluetooth LE applications, enabling them to talk directly to connected ‘things’ over IP-based networks. The nRF5 SDK also includes SEGGER Microcontroller’s ‘Embedded Studio’, a complete all-in-one solution for managing, building, testing, and deploying embedded applications.
The nRF52810 is a baseline Bluetooth 5 SoC, which gains its price/performance advantage from a smaller memory allocation and slightly reduced peripheral set. The peripheral set includes ADC and analog comparator; PDM digital mic input (x1); 4-channel PWM (x1); SPI (x1); I2C (x1); UART (x1); and Quadrature Decoder (x1). The SoC integrates an ARM M4 MCU providing similar computational performance and DSP functionality to the embedded processors used in the other nRF52 Series SoCs. The nRF52810 SoC features the same 100dBm link budget 2.4GHz multiprotocol radio (Bluetooth 5/ANT/2.4 GHz proprietary) as the nRF52832 SoC, providing similar RF performance but with reduced radio energy consumption of 4.6mA respectively for Tx at 0dBm, and Rx at 1Mbps. Radio output can be boosted to a maximum of +4dBm. The SoC is available in two package variants: 6x6mm QFN32 and 5x5mm QFN16. A 2.5×2.5mm WLCSP will be available later.
The key advantages of Bluetooth 5 compared with previous versions of the standard include: 2x the on-air data bandwidth (2Mbps) compared with the Bluetooth LE implementation of Bluetooth 4.2; and 8x the broadcasting ability with advertising extensions that increase the advertising packet payload size to 251 bytes for more efficient data transfer, particularly in beacon applications.
“The nRF52810 SoC and S112 SoftDevice complement the rest of the nRF52 Series line-up and are notable for bringing Bluetooth 5 wireless connectivity to any product, no matter how modest the application,” says John Leonard, a Product Marketing Manager with Nordic Semiconductor.
“Together with the simultaneous availability of the production-grade SDK, a huge new cohort of developers will now be able to design even the simplest applications with wireless performance and features that were previously impractical,” continues Leonard. “Before the nRF52810, this cohort would have been limited to non-Bluetooth 5 devices with, at best, very limited Flash, and more likely just a small amount of ROM, restricting the complexity of the application, compromising throughput and coexistence performance, and preventing OTA application upgrades that would otherwise improve security and user-friendliness.”
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