Bluetooth LE card reader enables building access for authorized users via smartphone as well as RFID and payment cards

SIGUR MR1 Reader

Sigur MR1 Reader employs Nordic’s nRF52832 SoC to grant access to authorized personnel using Bluetooth LE wireless connectivity

Nordic Semiconductor today announces that Sigur, a Nizhny Novgorod, Russia-based technology company, has selected Nordic’s nRF52832 Bluetooth® Low Energy (Bluetooth LE) System-on-Chip (SoC) to provide the wireless connectivity for its ‘Sigur MR1 Reader’.

The Sigur MR1 Reader is a card reading device that provides authorized personnel with convenient Bluetooth LE wireless access to a building or secured site using their smartphone. The device can also be configured to support traditional RFID proximity cards, as well as contactless payment-enabled bank cards.

In Bluetooth LE operation, encrypted building access credentials are sent from a partner app on the authorized user’s Bluetooth 4.0 (and later) smartphone to the reader, enabling the user to gain access simply by holding their mobile device to the reader. The MR1 Reader also supports hands-free operation, granting access to an authorized smartphone up to 20 meters away, thanks to the Nordic nRF52832 SoC’s high link budget 2.4GHz radio which offers a maximum receive (RX) sensitivity of -96-dBm and a maximum transmit (TX) output of +4-dBm, for a total link budget of >100dBm. This enables users to gain access even if their hands are full, for example in warehousing applications.
the Nordic SoC perfectly complied with our requirements for quality, sufficient storage space, and radio sensitivity
Sergey Leshchev, Sigur

The Sigur MR1 Reader is designed for indoor and outdoor operation, hot and cold environments (operating temperature range from -25° to +55° C), and is protected against dust and moisture with an enclosure rated to IP65.

Sigur has developed two iOS- and Android-compatible smartphone apps that integrate with the card reader. The first partner app enables building management to configure the settings for each connected Sigur MR1 Reader, as well as perform firmware updates using the Nordic SoC’s over-the-air device firmware update (OTA-DFU) capability. The second app, for authorized users, enables building access.

Nordic’s nRF52832 multiprotocol SoC combines an 64MHz, 32-bit Arm® Cortex™ M4F processor with a 2.4GHz multiprotocol radio (supporting Bluetooth 5, ANT™, and proprietary 2.4GHz RF protocol software), 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.

“When developing the MR1 Reader, we reviewed several suppliers before selecting the Nordic SoC as it perfectly complied with our requirements for quality, sufficient storage space, and radio sensitivity,” says Sergey Leshchev, Development Project Manager at Sigur. “We communicated with Nordic’s technical support experts on issues related to the chip operation and they always helped us achieve a timely resolution.”