Nordic announces its entry into the Bluetooth audio market with a platform supporting the forthcoming LE Audio specification for high-quality wireless audio
The LE Audio Evaluation Platform is designed to operate in either source (for example, audio source, voice call headset source, and peer-to-peer call) or sink (audio playback, headset playback, and peer-to-peer call). A pair of devices (source and sink) is required to complete an LE Audio link. Nordic’s LE Audio solution also features Cirrus Logic’s SoundClear® for uplink noise reduction and echo cancellation, playback enhancement, voice control, and hearing augmentation. The evaluation platform incorporates an acoustic connector that can accommodate up to six microphones or two speakers, a 3.5-mm headset jack, a 3.5-mm source jack, and a USB connector for charging, debug (using Nordic development tools), and acoustic tuning (using the Cirrus Logic WISCE® platform). When wirelessly streaming audio from a source device to wireless (sink) earbuds, the LE Audio Evaluation Platform extends battery life by around 40 percent compared to contemporary off-the-shelf classic Bluetooth solutions.
Nordic is the market leader in Bluetooth LE solutions and the release of the LE Audio Evaluation Platform represents the company’s entry into the new LE Audio segment. The solution enables engineers to take advantage of the superior quality, power and use-case enhancements of LE Audio using Nordic’s mature hardware, software, and development tools.
“Classic Bluetooth audio provides a satisfactory wireless sound solution, but LE Audio offers significant enhancements. It is destined to be an exciting new sector and Nordic plans to play a key role through the supply of leading LE Audio solutions,” says Kjetil Holstad, Director of Product Management at Nordic Semiconductor. “The launch of the LE Audio evaluation platform is the first step in this journey.”
“Nordic’s class-leading nRF52 Series SoC is an ideal wireless foundation for an LE Audio solution. By featuring Cirrus Logic’s CS47L35 smart codec we are ensuring the platform also meets the highest possible audio performance criteria.”
"The Bluetooth community continues to drive the technology forward to meet evolving market needs and create new opportunities," says Mark Powell, CEO of Bluetooth SIG. “LE Audio is a prime example. Not only will it enhance the performance of existing Bluetooth audio products, it introduces Audio Sharing, a new audio use case poised to transform the way we experience audio and connect with the world around us.”
“We are excited to partner with Nordic Semiconductor on its innovative LE Audio Evaluation Platform. The platform has enabled Packetcraft to develop one of the world's first demonstrations of audio sharing via LE Audio broadcast,” says John Yi, founder and CEO of Packetcraft. “Packetcraft is dedicated to providing leading-edge Bluetooth technology and delivering new specification features like LE Audio early to our customers.”
Nordic is a pioneer of ultra low power wireless technology and was a key contributor to the Bluetooth LE specification, and the market leader in the supply of Bluetooth LE solutions. Nordic’s development tools abstract away the complexities of RF engineering allowing non-expert RF developers to quickly prototype wireless innovations. The nRF52832 SoC combines an 64MHz, 32-bit Arm® Cortex® M4F processor with a 2.4GHz multiprotocol radio, and 512kB Flash memory with 64kB RAM. The SoC is supplied with Nordic’s S132 SoftDevice, a Bluetooth 5-certified RF software protocol stack.
Packetcraft’s mission is to create faster, better, and easier embedded stacks for all. As a leader in Bluetooth LE technology the company delivers software and services that are leading-edge, open, commercially-proven, and qualified. Packetcraft’s Bluetooth LE software comprises multiprotocol controller with Bluetooth Link Layer and IEEE 802.15.4 MAC, Bluetooth Host stack and GATT profiles, and Bluetooth mesh profile and models.