Nordic Semiconductor today announces that Guangdong, China-based point-of-sale (POS) hardware developer, Telepower, has selected Nordic’s nRF52810 Bluetooth® Low Energy (Bluetooth LE) System-on-Chip (SoC) to provide the wireless connectivity for its ‘Handy Elf’ smart card. The smart card is primarily designed for student and senior payment and access control applications. The smart card supports Alipay, a China-based mobile payment platform developed by e-commerce giant Alibaba.
The Handy Elf smart card features both Bluetooth LE and 2.4GHz proprietary wireless connectivity. The Bluetooth LE connectivity provided by the Nordic SoC enables the student to pair the smartcard to their Bluetooth 4.0 (and later) smartphone to configure the smartcard for Alipay’s dynamic offline payment platform via the Telepower app. Once the smartcard is linked to the user’s Alipay account, retailers can scan the QR code or barcode on the card to automatically deduct funds from the student’s account. The multiprotocol nRF52810 SoC also supports concurrent 2.4GHz proprietary wireless connectivity, that alongside Telepower’s control system enables the smartcard to be used as a building access card on school and university campuses where 2.4GHz proprietary access control technology has already been widely adopted.
The smartcard employs a CR2032 coin cell battery, providing extended battery life between replacement, thanks in part to the low power characteristics of the Nordic SoC. The nRF52810 SoC has been engineered to minimize power consumption with features such as the 2.4GHz radio’s 4.6mA peak RX/TX currents and a fully-automatic power management system that reduces power consumption by up to 80 percent compared with Nordic’s nRF51 Series SoCs.
Nordic’s nRF52810 multiprotocol SoC combines an 64MHz, 32-bit Arm® Cortex® M4 processor with a 2.4GHz multiprotocol radio (supporting Bluetooth 5, ANT™, and proprietary 2.4GHz RF protocol software), with 192kB Flash memory and 24kB RAM, as well as advanced 128-bit AES encryption. The nRF52810 SoC is supplied with the latest version of Nordic’s S112 SoftDevice, Bluetooth 5-compliant RF protocol software.
“We selected the nRF52810 SoC, for its security features, the stability of Nordic’s Bluetooth LE stack, and the concurrent Bluetooth LE and 2.4GHz proprietary support which was essential for the card to work both as a payment solution and as an access control card,” says Bingo Yan, Project Director, TelpoEdu, a subsidiary of Telepower. “We have worked with Nordic chips previously, and alongside the Nordic Software Development Kit [SDK], this helped us cut down our development costs.”