Nordic Semiconductor today announces that Laird Connectivity, an Akron, Ohio-based leading wireless technology company, has selected Nordic’s nRF52840 Bluetooth® 5/Bluetooth Low Energy (Bluetooth LE) advanced multiprotocol System-on-Chip (SoC) to power its ‘Sentrius™ BT510 long-range sensor platform’. The platform is designed to provide reliable sensor data in harsh environments, for example cold chain transport, agriculture, and remote asset monitoring applications.
The Sentrius BT510 device comes in a rugged IP67-rated 19 by 80 by 51mm enclosure with an operating temperature range of –20º to 60º C, and integrates a magnetic reed switch sensor, temperature sensor, Bluetooth LE beaconing as well as a 3-axis MEMS accelerometer for motion and impact detection. It is powered by Laird Connectivity’s BL654 BLE module integrating Nordic’s nRF52840 SoC to provide full Bluetooth 5 support including 2x on-air raw data bandwidth (2Mbps); 4x range; 8x broadcasting ability with advertising extensions that increase the advertising packet payload size to 251 bytes, and an improved channel coexistence algorithm compared with Bluetooth 4.2. The nRF52840 SoC’s new radio architecture with on-chip PA provides -95dBm RX sensitivity (at 1Mbps in Bluetooth LE mode), a maximum output power of 8dBm, and a total link budget of 103dBm.
The BT510 sensor’s powerful processing capability is enabled by the Nordic SoC’s 64MHz, 32-bit Arm® Cortex® M4 processor with floating point unit (FPU), and 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. These features enable, for example, up to seven days of temperature data to be stored on the device at 15-minute read intervals. Using the SoC’s Bluetooth 5 Long Range capability, the data can be relayed to Laird Connectivity’s ‘Sentrius IG60 Wireless IoT Gateway’, where in turn it can be securely sent to the Cloud. The Nordic SoC-enabled Bluetooth LE connectivity also allows the user to easily configure all sensor and wireless settings through an iOS or Android app on a Bluetooth 4.0 (or later) smartphone.
The BT510 uses a single replaceable CR2477 coin cell battery to achieve a multi-year lifespan, thanks in part to the ultra low power operating characteristics of the Nordic nRF52840 SoC. The nRF52840 has been engineered to minimize power consumption with a fully-automatic power management system that reduces power consumption by up to 80 percent compared with the nRF51 Series.
The 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. 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.
“We selected Nordic’s nRF52840 SoC for the BT510 sensor platform due to its complete Bluetooth 5 support which enables maximum range for different IoT use cases and applications,” says Jonathan Kaye, Senior Director of Product Management at Laird Connectivity.
“Also, the SoC’s Flash and RAM allocation provides flexibility to develop the application further and ensure it is future-proofed.
“Further, Nordic has a long-standing history with Laird Connectivity and a reputation for quality and responsiveness. The existing knowledge base in Nordic’s engineering team helped speed our time to market.”