Nordic Semiconductor's (www.nordicsemi.com) new multi-protocol 2.4GHz radio provides an unprecedented combination of high-performance, ultra low power and flexibility. Key features and benefits of the radio include:
-92.5dB RX sensitivity and up to +4dBm output power in Bluetooth low energy mode;
Up to 9.5dBm improvement in link budget compared to Nordic’s previous generation radio;
Sub-10mA peak currents running off a 3V coin cell battery;
Bluetooth low energy (Bluetooth v4.0) compliant;
100% on air compatibility with Nordic's existing nRF24L series ICs;
Support for non-concurrent and concurrent operation of a range of protocols including Bluetooth low energy, ANT, and proprietary 2.4GHz RF;
Full range received signal strength indication (RSSI).
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. Key features and benefits of the architecture include:
Powerful, low power consumption 32-bit ARM Cortex-M0 processor with 2µs start-up time minimizes active time and improves code density compared to 8/16-bit processor;
Advanced and fine-grained power management scheme. Individual system blocks can be powered on or off independently and control their clock autonomously based on activity level;
Programmable Peripheral Interconnect (PPI) system. Enables peripherals such as radio, timers’ and I/O to interact autonomously with each other without involving the processor. Saves power by minimizing processor active time and at the same time relaxes real time requirements for the processor;
Highly efficient EasyDMA radio interface with flexible RAM mapped FIFOs;
Flexible GPIO mapping eases PCB design and helps minimize the number of routing layers;
Custom 2-region Memory Protection Unit (MPU) enabling program memory and run-time protection of pre-compiled protocol stacks such as Bluetooth low energy and ANT.
The nRF51 series software architecture features a unique and powerful separation between protocol stack and user application code providing application developers maximum flexibility, ease-of-development, and code safety.
Protocol stacks, for example Bluetooth low energy or ANT, are delivered as a pre-compiled binary or pre-programmed on devices;
Stacks are 100% asynchronous and event driven and provide thread-safe Supervisor Call (SVC) based application program interfaces (API) to the application layer;
Very simple programming model, no proprietary application framework or scheduler/RTOS dependencies, ease and accelerate code development;
Protocol stack and application code have no link time dependencies and can be compiled and updated/programmed separately;
Stacks are fully run-time protected ensuring interoperability and reducing the risk of application bugs affecting stack operation;
Stacks are delivered as verified and qualified binary objects.
All nRF51 Series ICs are code-compatible and groups of ICs will be pin-compatible enabling developers to keep and maintain a single code base that can be used and re-used across a range of different projects. Pin compatible ICs enable developers to both re-use hardware designs for different projects and migrate easily from one IC to another during development, prototyping, and production.
About the nRF51822
The Nordic Semiconductor nRF51822 is a multi-protocol Bluetooth low energy / 2.4GHz proprietary RF Flash-based SoC that is designed specifically to be used as a single-chip solution for a range of Bluetooth low energy and 2.4GHz proprietary designs in cost, power, and size constrained applications including PC peripherals, connected TV remote controls, sports/fitness/healthcare sensors, toys, and automation.
Key IC features include:
256kB on-chip flash and 16kB RAM;
Wide range of digital and mixed signal peripherals including SPI, 2-wire, ADC and a quadrature decoder;
16 PPI channels;
1.8-to-3.6V supply range with on-chip LDO,1.75-to-1.95V supply range for LDO bypass mode;
On-chip drop down DC/DC converter for 3V batteries such as coin cells;
+/- 250 ppm 32kHZ RC oscillator enabling the implementation of Bluetooth low energy applications without an external 32kHz crystal, saving cost and board space;
6x6mm 48-pin QFN package with up to 32 GPIOs;
Complete Bluetooth protocol stack solution (Link layer to Profiles).
The S110 Bluetooth low energy stack for the nRF51822 is provided as a downloadable, royalty-free, pre-compiled binary that can be programmed and updated separately. Key features of the stack include:
Asynchronous and event driven SVC-based API;
GATT, GAP and L2CAP level APIs;
Peripheral and Broadcaster Roles;
GATT client and server;
Non-concurrent multi-protocol operation with 2.4GHz RF proprietary protocols;
Requires less than 128kB code space and 6kB of RAM, leaving more that 128kB flash and 10kB RAM for application code;
Compared to two-chip implementations using Nordic’s previous generation nRF8001 the nRF51822 running the S110 stack slashes power consumption by up to 50%.
The S110 stack and the nRF51822 are complemented by the nRF518 SDK that includes a comprehensive set of Bluetooth low energy profiles, services, and example applications.
For proprietary applications the nRF51822 is complemented by a new and improved Gazell™ 2.4GHz RF protocol stack providing interoperability with nRF24L Series Gazell-based applications. The combination of the nRF51822 and the new Gazell protocol stack slashes power consumption by up to 30% compared to Nordic’s previous generation nRF24LE1.