The nRF Connect platform now adds support for Nordic’s popular nRF52 Series SoCs to complement existing support for the nRF5340 short-range and nRF9160 cellular IoT products. It’s now possible for product makers to use the same software development environment and tools for short- and long-range applications
Nordic Semiconductor today announces nRF Connect Software Development Kit (SDK) for short-range and cellular IoT products will support the market leading nRF52 Series Systems-on-Chip (SoCs) from v1.3 with code and documentation already available in the latest Master branch of development. This makes it possible to develop with nRF52 Series devices on the same platform as the recently launched flagship nRF5340 SoC and its award-winning nRF9160 System-In-Package (SiP) for cellular IoT applications.
To complement this latest nRF Connect SDK release the nRF Connect suite of tools has added features to bring even greater simplicity to the development process. The new Toolchain Manager in nRF Connect for Desktop makes setting up an advanced configuration and build environment for nRF Connect SDK straight forward for Windows users, with Linux and Mac OS to come.
The nRF Connect SDK has been available for more than a year offering the toolbox to support Cellular IoT development with the nRF9160 SiP. Developers seeking a feature-rich and scalable RTOS, or a powerful enterprise build system, can now look at what is possible for their future short-range application development. As an open source software solution, nRF Connect SDK brings a step change in flexibility and scalability for developing on Nordic products today and in the future. The SDK incorporates the Zephyr RTOS for constrained, energy-conscious and secure IoT products. Development with nRF Connect SDK will allow developers to build highly reliable, efficient, multi-threaded applications that can scale better than ever before.
The Zephyr RTOS is integral to developing with nRF Connect SDK and is designed to enable very simple applications with one or two threads in a very compact build, occupying a small memory footprint, right up to applications running hundreds of threads safely and securely. The Zephyr RTOS is a true open source RTOS that is under governance by the Linux Foundation. It has a rapidly expanding developer community and is the most active FLOSS IoT project, eclipsing other RTOS projects, with more than 600 contributors from the community of organizations and individuals over the past 12 months.
The nRF Connect SDK has a broad range of support for short-range applications including Bluetooth® Low Energy (Bluetooth LE) and Bluetooth mesh. Cellular support for the nRF9160 SiP is also included for applications wanting to take advantage of the burgeoning market using LTE-M, NB-IoT, and GPS.
It includes: MCUBoot, for secure boot and firmware updates and integrated support for Segger Embedded Studio Nordic Edition, which is available as a free download for Nordic developers. The nRF Connect SDK is hosted on GitHub and available under permissive licensing terms including Nordic 3 and 5-clause BSD and Apache 2.0.
The true scalability of nRF Connect SDK is beyond multi-chip support. To make an LTE-M solution targeting an asset tracking application, as well as a Bluetooth LE medical application using the same driver, library, and RTOS interfaces means product makers can minimize investments to deploy a diverse product range or a multi-node, connected, IoT system with a mix of protocols and device types. The advanced build and configuration systems used in nRF Connect SDK make it possible to build for test and production, or even build for different hardware platforms, without code changes.
The nRF Connect suite is a comprehensive set of tools to enable set up, evaluation and development using Nordic connectivity products. The suite consists of nRF Connect for Desktop, nRF Connect for Mobile, nRF Connect SDK, and nRF Connect for Cloud. nRF Connect for Desktop complements Segger Embedded Studio in the development and test phases. nRF Connect for Mobile offers a range of connectivity evaluation and test features on mobile apps. nRF Connect for Cloud supports testing and evaluation across cellular networks with rich user interface features and Cloud service integration options.
“The nRF Connect SDK has been used by our cellular IoT customers for more than a year now,” says Kjetil Holstad, Director of Product Management, Nordic Semiconductor. “There is inevitably a transition period when taking a strategy to offer true open-source software solutions to developers with the features they want to use. It takes some time to arrive at a point where it begins to offer the same levels of functionality as our existing SDKs and SoftDevice Bluetooth LE stacks, but now we are approaching that inflection point.
“Nordic SoftDevices and supporting SDKs have been integral to our market-leading position today. They will remain available and supported and are the right choice for building many future feature-packed applications. In fact, the DNA of this best-in-class software has made it into the nRF Connect SDK and it is now ready to offer a level of performance, flexibility, and scalability that wasn’t possible previously.
“nRF Connect will be a one-stop shop for developing any kind of connectivity product using Nordic technology. This makes things much simpler for developers in the long run and offers many fantastic benefits with code reuse across platforms being only one,” continues Holstad.
nRF Connect SDK v1.2 and associated documentation is available now for download from GitHub and www.nordicsemi.com.