Nordic Bluetooth LE-powered scalable design platform for wearables supports AirFuel-compliant wireless charging

Oslo, Norway
On Semi

AZ-based ON Semiconductor

The WDK1.0 DK from ON Semiconductor employs Nordic’s nRF52832 SoC to provide a complete hardware and software solution for Bluetooth Low Energy wearable applications

Nordic Semiconductor today announces that Phoenix, AZ-based ON Semiconductor has selected Nordic’s nRF52832 Bluetooth® Low Energy System-on-Chip (SoC) for its Wearable Development Kit (WDK1.0). The WDK1.0 provides a complete hardware and software solution to help OEMs accelerate design cycles and reduce production costs for a broad range of wireless wearables, at the same time incorporating a 10W-rated wireless charging front-end controller that supports AirFuelTM compatible magnetic resonance charging of, for example, activity wristbands and smartwatches.

In addition, the WDK1.0 includes a programmable Power Management IC, as well as a battery charger and a fuel gauge. The development kit integrates a range of sensors including a MEMS-based inertial measurement unit (IMU), a three-axis gyroscope and a three-axis accelerometer for multidimensional motion tracking, a temperature sensor, as well as a driver for haptic control applications. The WDK1.0 solution also features a 1.44-in format, 128 by 128 pixel TFT display into which a capacitive touch screen is integrated, as well as a 26-pin expansion port.

The development kit is complemented by an iOS- and Android-compatible app that provides a range of data including steps taken, calories burnt, distance covered, and activity length, as well as the ability to adjust and control the screen brightness, alarm settings, and clock face of a wearable or smartwatch. An Eclipse-based Integrated Development Environment (IDE) provides OEMs with all the resources they need to rapidly create and subsequently debug code necessary for designs.

A member of Nordic’s sixth generation of ultra low power (ULP) wireless connectivity solutions, the nRF52832 SoC combines a 64MHz, 32-bit ARM® Cortex® M4F processor with a 2.4GHz multiprotocol radio (fully compatible with Bluetooth 4.2, ANT™ and proprietary 2.4GHz RF software) featuring -96dB RX sensitivity, with 512kB Flash memory and 64kB RAM. When launched, the SoC was the world’s highest performance single-chip Bluetooth LE solution, delivering up to 60 percent more generic processing power, offering 10 times the Floating Point performance and twice the DSP performance compared to competing solutions. The nRF52832 SoC adds Bluetooth LE (previously known as Bluetooth Smart) wireless functionality to the WDK1.0.

Despite the growing interest in wearable electronics, to date there is simply not a solution on the market that provides the scope needed by OEMs to help them develop feature rich designs that will attract strong consumer uptake
AJ ElJallad, ON Semiconductor

“Despite the growing interest in wearable electronics, to date there is simply not a solution on the market that provides the scope needed by OEMs to help them develop feature rich designs that will attract strong consumer uptake,” says AJ ElJallad, senior manager, corporate strategy and business development at ON Semiconductor. “The WDK1.0 is a multifaceted design asset that will allow wearable technology projects to be expedited - shortening time-to-market and curbing the associated investment in engineering.” 

“ON Semiconductor’s WDK1.0 is an excellent wearables development platform that notably incorporates wireless charging,” says Pär Håkansson, product marketing manager with Nordic Semiconductor. “While Bluetooth LE connectivity for wearables is essential because of its interoperability with the world’s mobile devices, few companies have considered including wireless charging in their development kits. But with the WDK1.0 ON Semiconductor has understood its potential, particularly in light of AirFuel resonant wireless charging technology rapidly shrinking - leading to it becoming a key new function of the next generation of wearables.”

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