Bluetooth 5.1/Bluetooth LE Enables Secure Data Transfer in Industrial IoT

Wurth Elektronik

Würth Elektronik’s Proteus-III and Thyone-I modules employ Nordic’s nRF52840 SoC for long range and high throughput in Industrial IoT applications

Nordic Semiconductor today announces that Würth Elektronik, a Waldenburg, Germany-based developer of electronic and electromechanical components, has selected Nordic’s nRF52840 Bluetooth® 5.1/Bluetooth Low Energy (Bluetooth LE) advanced multiprotocol System-on-Chip (SoC) to power its ‘Proteus-III’ and ‘Thyone-I’ modules. The Nordic SoC’s 64MHz, 32-bit Arm® Cortex® M4 processor with floating point unit (FPU) ensures the two radio modules can support a range of complex Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) applications. 

The Proteus-III module can be integrated into any embedded application to enable Bluetooth 5.1/Bluetooth LE capabilities. Würth Elektronik’s powerful, pre-certified ready-to-use firmware is installed onto the radio module, allowing configurations to fit the user’s application and enabling bidirectional secure data transmission over Bluetooth LE connectivity between several Proteus-III modules and/or to other Bluetooth LE devices. Any module in the network can initiate and accept a connection. 

Thyone-I is a proprietary radio module designed for wireless communication between devices such as control systems, remote controls, and sensor nodes. Operating in the globally available 2.4 GHz license free band, Thyone-I offers a robust and secure data transmission in point-to-point as well as mesh configurations. 
We took advantage of Nordic’s good technical documentation and support in case of difficulties, as well as the company’s development flexibility through tools including the S140 SoftDevice and Nordic SDK
Matthias Hauser, Würth Elektronik
In addition to the Arm M4 processor the modules’ integrated nRF52840 SoC has 1MB Flash memory and 256kB RAM. The SoC provides full Bluetooth 5.1 support, including 2x on-air raw data bandwidth (2Mbps); 4x range; and 8x broadcasting ability with advertising extensions that increase the advertising packet payload size to 251 bytes. 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 nRF52840 SoC is supplied with Nordic’s S140 SoftDevice, a Bluetooth 5.1-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. OpenThread and Zigbee stacks are available through Nordic’s nRF5 SDK (software development kit) for Thread and Zigbee.
The Proteus-III module takes advantage of Bluetooth Long Range to boost range and features a proprietary high throughput mode to send up to four data packets per connection interval for a throughput to up to 344kbps. The module also incorporates a special feature which replaces the Bluetooth Serial Port Profile (SPP) mode for serial data transmission, a capability which is no longer included in the standard but is extremely useful for industrial applications. For Thyone-I, the Nordic SoC’s the Bluetooth Long Range enables a radio link of up to 750 meters with an effective end-to-end throughput of 94kbps. In high throughput mode, Thyone-I offers a radio data rate of 2Mbps leading to an effective end-to-end throughput of around 414kbps.
The Proteus-III and Thyone-I modules are supplied in an 8 by 12 by 2mm form factor (Nano SIM card size) including the on-board PCB antenna, ensuring the modules can be easily designed-in to compact end devices. The modules can be configured to use either the on-board PCB antenna or an external antenna. Both modules also provide extremely low current consumption (with a < 0.4µA sleep mode), making them suitable for battery driven applications. 
“We selected Nordic’s nRF52840 for our Proteus-III and Thyone-I modules because of the chip’s size, radio sensitivity and power consumption,” says Matthias Hauser, Software Engineer at Würth Elektronik.  
“In addition, we took advantage of Nordic’s good technical documentation and support in case of difficulties, as well as the company’s development flexibility through tools including the S140 SoftDevice and Nordic SDK.”