WaveNet Solutions’ Wi. asset tracking solution employs Nordic’s nRF52840 SoC and nRF52832 SoC to deliver mesh-based asset location
To provide low latency Bluetooth mesh connectivity throughout the Wi. ecosystem, Nordic’s nRF52840 SoC is deployed in the Bluetooth mesh-networked nodes and gateways, while Nordic’s nRF52832 SoC is deployed in the tracking tags/beacons. In operation, the Wi. system tracks the tagged assets by broadcasting their location to the mesh-networked nodes. Multiple nodes are placed throughout the facility enabling them to receive the data from the Bluetooth LE tags, and transmit the Received Signal Strength Indication (RSSI) data along with the node ID to a central gateway or gateways via the Nordic nRF52840 SoC-enabled Bluetooth mesh network. RSSI can be used to estimate the distance of the tagged asset from the node. The gateways send the location of the assets to a Cloud-based server, allowing the user to remotely monitor asset movement and access analytics and reports from an Internet-based dashboard. One gateway can accommodate data from up to a maximum of 256 nodes. Up to 65,535 devices can be connected in the Bluetooth mesh network.
Nordic’s nRF52840 multiprotocol SoC is Nordic’s most advanced ultra low power wireless solution. The SoC supports complex Bluetooth LE and other low-power wireless applications that were previously not possible with a single-chip solution. The SoC combines a 64MHz, 32-bit Arm® Cortex® M4F processor with a 2.4GHz multiprotocol radio (supporting Bluetooth 5, ANT™, Thread, Zigbee, IEEE 802.15.4, and proprietary 2.4GHz RF protocol software) with 1MB Flash memory and 256kB RAM. A new radio architecture with on-chip PA provides features -95-dBm RX sensitivity (at 1Mbps Bluetooth LE), a maximum output power of 8dBm, and a total link budget of 103dBm. The chip supports all the features of Bluetooth 5 (including 4x the range or 2x the raw data bandwidth (2Mbps)) compared with Bluetooth 4.2. Designed to address the inherent security challenges that are faced in IoT, the nRF52840 SoC incorporates the Arm® CryptoCell-310 cryptographic accelerator, offering best-in-class security.
The SoC is supplied with Nordic’s S140 SoftDevice, a Bluetooth 5-certified software protocol stack for building long range and high data Bluetooth LE applications. The S140 SoftDevice offers concurrent Central, Peripheral, Broadcaster, and Observer Bluetooth LE roles, and supports high throughput and long range modes as well as advertising extensions.
Nordic’s nRF52832 multiprotocol SoC combines an 64MHz, 32-bit Arm® Cortex® M4F processor with a 2.4GHz multiprotocol radio (supporting Bluetooth 5, ANT™, and proprietary 2.4GHz RF protocol software) featuring -96-dB RX sensitivity, with 512kB Flash memory and 64kB RAM. The SoC is supplied with Nordic’s S132 SoftDevice, a Bluetooth 5-certifed RF software protocol stack for building advanced Bluetooth LE applications. The S132 SoftDevice features Central, Peripheral, Broadcaster and Observer Bluetooth LE roles, supports up to twenty connections, and enables concurrent role operation.
The Wi. beacon/tag achieves approximately 18 months of battery life before replacement, thanks in part to the ultra low power characteristics of the Nordic SoC. The nRF52832 has been engineered to minimize power consumption with features such as the 2.4GHz radio’s 5.5mA 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.
“We selected both the nRF52840 and nRF52832 SoCs for their Bluetooth 5 support, high data rate, low power consumption, and large memory capacity,” says Sanjay Bisen, CEO and Co-founder of WaveNet Solutions. “From a software perspective, Nordic’s Bluetooth mesh stack and software architecture greatly eased the development process.
“We also appreciated Nordic’s user-friendly and interactive DevZone forum.”