RF front end module for 2.4 GHz wireless range extension

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The nRF21540 is a ‘plug and play’ range extender offering enhanced link robustness with an integrated power amplifier (PA)/low noise amplifier (LNA) for use in our low power short-range wireless solutions. It is a complementary device optimized to boost the link budget of the nRF52 and nRF53 Series advanced multiprotocol wireless SoCs. When combined with an nRF52 Series SoC, the nRF21540 RF FEM’s +21 dBm TX output power and 13 dB RX gain ensure a superior link budget for up to 16x range extension.

The nRF21540’s TX power is dynamically adjustable and output power can be set up to +21 dBm in small increments. This ensures that designs can run with output power within 1 dBm of the allowable range across all regions and operating conditions. The LNA has a low noise figure of 2.5 dB that ensures improved RX sensitivity.

The nRF21540 complementary device connects to an SoC’s antenna output. It includes two additional antenna ports for antenna diversity support. The TX output power, TX gain control and antenna switching can be controlled via SPI, GPIO pins or a combination of both.

The nRF21540 offers competitive numbers of 115 mA at +20 dBm TX output power, 4.1 mA in RX and 30 nA in power down mode. The operating temperature range is qualified from -40 °C to 105 °C, making it an ideal choice for professional lighting along with an nRF52833 or nRF5340 SoC.

Some of the main applications tailored to the nRF21540 include smart home, asset tracking, audio, as well as industrial applications.

The chip is supplied in a 4x4 QFN16 package and complementing the release of the nRF21540 IC, Nordic offers development boards that enable evaluation of the RF FEM performance using lab equipment, as well as real application performance combined with an nRF52 SoC.


  • Supports
    • Bluetooth Low Energy (incl. Bluetooth mesh)
    • Thread and Zigbee (802.15.4)
    • Proprietary 2.4 GHz
  • Adjustable output power in small increments up to +21 dBm
  • +13 dB RX gain, with 2.5 dB noise figure
  • Two antenna ports for antenna diversity
  • Control interface via I/Os, SPI, or a combination
  • -40°C to +105°C operating temperature range
  • 1.7 V to 3.6 V input supply range
  • 4 x 4 mm QFN16 package
  • When combined with an nRF53 or nRF52 Series SoC:
    • Up to 16x range extension
    • -100 dBm RX sensitivity (Bluetooth LE, 1 Mbps)


  • Professional lighting
  • Industrial
  • Asset tracking and RTLS
  • Smart home
  • Toys
  • Audio


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