Wireless SoCs slash power consumption, up RF performance, and free designers from proprietary software frameworks
Published: 11 July 2012 - Michelle Winny
Two ICs have been released by Nordic Semiconductor. The first in the nRF51 series is the nRF51822, a multi-protocol Bluetooth low energy/2.4GHz RF SoC, and the nRF51422, claimed to be a world first in ANT/ANT+ SoCs.
These devices share a new higher performance, lower power 2.4GHz multi-protocol radio and a 32-bit ARM Cortex-M0 based processor. These enhancements are capable of delivering up to 50 percent lower power consumption, RF link budget improvements of up to 9.5dB, and over 10 times more processing power compared to the company’s previous generation of ULP wireless ICs.
New software architecture featuring separation between protocol stack and user application code allows designers to handle integration with greater ease. Separation provides developers a clean boundary between application and protocol stack, and removes the need to struggle with integration of application code as part of a vendor-imposed application development framework.
Code development is now simplified and accelerated and at the same time risks associated with integration of application and stack code are significantly reduced.
Lower bug rates and improved robustness for applications come as a result of the technology development.
With the launch of the Series, developing applications based on devices from any of the three main ULP wireless sub-categories – Bluetooth low energy, ANT / ANT+, and 2.4GHz proprietary RF – is much more straightforward and accessible to a wider range of developers.