Alibaba Cloud Link IoT reduces development and system integration costs

Alibaba subsidiary

The ‘Alibaba Cloud Link’ and ‘Ali_SDK’ from Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba subsidiary, employs Nordic nRF52832 SoC and nRF5 SDK to simplify development of home automation, smart city, and industrial IoT applications

Nordic Semiconductor today announces that Hangzhou, China-based, Alibaba Cloud IoT, a business unit of e-commerce giant Alibaba’s subsidiary company Alibaba Cloud, has selected Nordic’s award-winning nRF52832 Bluetooth® Low Energy (Bluetooth LE) System-on-Chip (SoC) and nRF5 Software Development Kit (SDK) for its ‘Alibaba Cloud Link’. The nRF5 SDK is the first SDK to have received formal Ali Cloud Link Certification, and forms the basis for the company’s Ali_SDK, the development tool for the Alibaba Cloud Link.

The Alibaba Cloud Link provides developers a secure Internet of Things (IoT) platform for Cloud computing, artificial intelligence, content delivery, and Cloud integration processes across home automation, smart city, and industrial applications. By using the platform, developers are able to efficiently connect devices, manage device data, and develop IoT applications and scenarios at low cost.

To date the company has launched three distinct Alibaba Cloud Links; the ‘Alibaba Cloud Home Link’, ‘Alibaba Cloud City Link’, and ‘Alibaba Cloud Industry Link’. The Alibaba Cloud Home Link is intended for smart home applications, providing device interoperability, Cloud computing, and a complete service integration solution. The Alibaba Cloud City Link enables independent software vendors and system integrators to build a range of secure, linked smart city applications for managing and controlling a city’s IoT assets. The Alibaba Cloud Industry Link allows manufacturing enterprises to achieve interoperability and coordination of their digital equipment assets online, helping reduce costs, and improve process efficiencies.
The nRF52 Series are among Nordic’s most popular SoCs, so we decided to base the Ali Cloud Link on them to help other companies enjoy all the benefits of the platform conveniently, and with less design effort.
Mark Yang, Ali Cloud IoT Group

The Alibaba Cloud Link aims to reduce the cost of developing Bluetooth LE-based smart applications via the nRF5 SDK-based Ali_SDK. The Ali_SDK provides a complete and secure end-to-end solution for developing and commissioning Bluetooth LE solutions, including broadcast customization, connection management, device authentication, large scale data transmission, and Over-The-Air Device Firmware Upgrades (OTA-DFU). The SDK’s universal interfaces enable developers to easily connect their products to the Ali Cloud Link, without the need for specialist Bluetooth RF protocol software or RF design expertise. The Ali_SDK has also been optimized to ensure compatibility with all mainstream Bluetooth 4.0 (and later) smartphones and tablets.

Nordic’s nRF52832 Bluetooth LE SoC, a member of Nordic’s sixth generation of ultra low power (ULP) wireless connectivity solutions, combines an 64MHz, 32-bit ARM® Cortex® M4F processor ARM M4F processor with a 2.4GHz multiprotocol radio (supporting Bluetooth 5, ANT™, and proprietary 2.4GHz RF software) featuring -96dB RX sensitivity, with 512kB Flash memory and 64kB RAM. When launched, the SoC was the world’s highest performance single-chip Bluetooth LE solution.

The nRF5 SDK provides a feature-rich software development environment for nRF51 and nRF52 Series SoCs. The nRF5 SDK is intended be used as a foundation for any generic Bluetooth LE, ANT, or proprietary 2.4GHz product development, and includes a broad selection of drivers, libraries, examples for peripherals, SoftDevices (Nordic’s RF protocol software stacks), and proprietary RF software protocols for the nRF51 and nRF52 Series.

“The nRF52 Series are among Nordic’s most popular SoCs, so we decided to base the Ali Cloud Link on them to help other companies enjoy all the benefits of the platform conveniently, and with less design effort,” says Mark Yang, Senior Specialist, Ali Cloud IoT Group.