Nordic Semiconductor today announces that Malmö, Sweden-based Kronaby, has launched a ‘hybrid smartwatch’ collection, employing Nordic’s nRF52832 System-on-Chip (SoC). The SoC functions as the main microcontroller for the watches, as well as providing it with Bluetooth® Low Energy (Bluetooth LE) wireless connectivity.
Consisting of four models—APEX, CARAT, SEKEL, and NORD—with as many as 50 variations, each watch is water resistant to 100 meters (10 bar) and features a fashionable design and analog display manufactured from scratch-resistant double-domed sapphire crystal, while also offering connected smartwatch functionality and a host of customizable features. The smartwatches integrate an accelerometer—to measure steps taken and provide other user activity insights—as well as provide subtle vibration alerts filtered to the notifications that have been prioritized by the user, such as phone calls, social media updates, or text messages from nominated contacts. The user can also use the watches’ buttons to control certain smartphone or tablet functionality using Bluetooth LE wireless connectivity provided by the Nordic SoC, for example, remotely controlling a device’s camera, or music playback.
The nRF52832 SoC’s powerful 64MHz, 32-bit Arm® Cortex® M4F processor has ample computational capacity to act as the main controller for the smartwatches in addition to providing Bluetooth LE wireless connectivity to Bluetooth 4.0 (and later) smartphones and tablets. The iOS- and Android-compatible partner app allows the user to select and configure their preferred watch features from their paired device, as well as monitor more in-depth activity data gathered by the accelerometer and synced to the smartphone. The Nordic Bluetooth LE SoC also enables automatic time calibration and quick time zone adjustments.
The Kronaby hybrid smartwatches employ a CR3032 coin cell battery, providing up to two years of operation (depending on usage) between replacement, thanks in part to the ultra low power consumption of the nRF52832 SoC. The nRF52832 SoC 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. The result is a Bluetooth LE solution which offers 58 CoreMark/mA, up to twice as power efficient as competing devices.
Nordic’s nRF52832 multiprotocol SoC combines the Arm 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.
“One of the key features we were looking for was an SoC that offered both a powerful Arm processor to act as the main MCU for the smartwatches, as well as provide Bluetooth Low Energy wireless connectivity, and that is why we selected Nordic’s nRF52832 SoC,” says Henrik Telander, Head of Development at Kronaby. “The other factor was battery life. The Nordic SoC provided superior power consumption than alternatives which was especially important when the design has a non-rechargeable battery.
“Furthermore, we had always received great technical support when working with Nordic previously.”