Nordic Semiconductor Unveils nRF51822 SoC RF Modules from Five Leading Japanese ODMs Which Simplify and Accelerate Bluetooth Smart Development
May 29, 2013
Tokyo, Japan 2013/05/29 - Ultra low power (ULP) RF specialist Nordic Semiconductor ASA (OSE: NOD) today announces details of the Bluetooth® low energy and ANT+™ wireless connectivity solutions the company and its manufacturing partners are exhibiting at Wireless Japan, in Tokyo, from May 29 to 31, 2013. The exhibition is held in Tokyo International Exhibition Center (Tokyo Big Sight), Nordic is on booth L11.
A highlight of the Nordic booth are the demonstrations of RF modules developed by leading Japanese ODMs Braveridge, Fujitsu Component, Hosiden Corporation, SMK, and Taiyo Yuden. The modules are based on Nordic’s nRF51822 Bluetooth low energy and 2.4GHz proprietary System-on-Chip (SoC) (see “About nRF51822” below) and are supplied complete with Nordic’s verified and qualified Bluetooth low energy Soft Device. The Soft Device is separated from the application code allowing the developer to rapidly create novel applications safe in the knowledge that the RF protocol software can’t be corrupted and is already Bluetooth v4.0- and RF-approved.
“At the exhibition Nordic is keen to demonstrate how Bluetooth low energy and ANT devices, such as the nRF51 Series-based RF module, provide companies with the flexibility to adopt an ‘app/service’-driven business model,” explains Mitsuo Yamazaki, Nordic Semiconductor’s Regional Sales Manager for Japan. “Companies can take the RF module - manufactured by third parties and supplied complete with a tested and qualified Bluetooth low energy ‘Soft Device’ stack - and then add their own software profile and application code to develop appcessories which will link seamlessly to iOS and Android smartphones. The release of the RF modules allows many new and lightly-resourced companies to enter this market without needing any previous RF and electronics hardware experience.”
Nordic’s silicon solutions, reference designs, and sample applications provide designers with an ideal starting point and ready-built design framework to accelerate development of Bluetooth Smart and ANT+ applications teamed with accessories (‘appcessories’). These appcessories––which take advantage of assured wireless connectivity to a wide range of smartphones and tablet computers - will also form a major theme of the booth.
The booth will also feature a range of Bluetooth low energy- and ANT-based applications such as heart rate monitors, proximity sensors, smartphone remote controlled toys, fitness monitors, and a remote DSLR camera shutter, demonstrating how small vendors can enter the appcessories market without needing RF experience or having to worry about RF qualification.
The RF modules and manufacturing partner products are based on Nordic's nRF51 Series multiprotocol Bluetooth low energy and ANT SoCs. The nRF51 series SoC architecture is designed specifically to minimize average current consumption and enable single-chip implementations of a wide range of wireless applications (see “About nRF51 Series” below).
“Tough international competition is changing the nature of the Japanese electronics sector,” says Mitsuo Yamazaki. “But a sector that has been so successful in the past is not about to give up without a fight, and Japanese companies plan to secure their futures by focusing on engineering know-how and innovative thinking.
“Wireless Japan represents the perfect opportunity for Nordic Semiconductor to support this ambitious strategy by showcasing our range of class-leading 2.4GHz interoperable wireless connectivity solutions. The RF modules developed by our Japanese partners are particularly noteworthy examples of this support as they will be RF-tested and -qualified before shipping so the developer can focus solely on the application code – the key differentiator between wireless-equipped products. This approach is impossible with competing devices and makes it much easier for non-expert RF designers to develop Bluetooth Smart-powered applications for the lucrative and rapidly expanding ULP wireless market.”
Nordic has collaborated with ANT Wireless of Cochrane, Canada––the company behind ANT RF protocol software and ANT+ Managed Networks (see “About Nordic ANT wireless connectivity” below)––for over a decade. ANT chips are used in over 60 million wireless nodes worldwide.
The latest smartphones from major manufacturers incorporate chips and software supporting Bluetooth v4.0 (which includes Bluetooth low energy as a hallmark element) or ANT+ that can communicate with Bluetooth Smart devices or ANT+ peripherals. This functionality promises many new opportunities for compact wirelessly-connected products, powered by coin cell batteries, such as handset accessories, sports & fitness monitors, and toys.