Miniaturized Bluetooth LE modules support wide range of space-constrained IoT applications

LG Innotek modules

LG Innotek’s ETWBCLU03 and ETWBCLU01 modules employ Nordic’s nRF52833 and nRF52810 SoCs to deliver extended temperature range multiprotocol connectivity for compact devices

Nordic Semiconductor today announces that Seoul, Korea-based electronics components giant, LG Innotek, has selected Nordic’s nRF52833 Bluetooth® Low Energy (Bluetooth LE) advanced multiprotocol System-on-Chip (SoC) and nRF52810 Bluetooth LE SoC to provide the core processing power and wireless connectivity for its ‘ETWBCLU03’ and ‘ETWBCLU01’ modules.

Tiny form factor

The ETWBCLU03 module with integrated antenna comes in a miniaturized 7 by 5 by 1.6mm form factor and is qualified over an extended –40º to 105º C operating temperature range. The nRF52833 SoC’s extended temperature range, large memory capacity (512kB Flash and 128kB RAM), as well as dynamic multiprotocol support enabling concurrent wireless protocol connectivity, ensures the ETWBCLU03 module is suitable for a wide range of IoT applications including those subject to elevated temperatures, for example enterprise lighting or industrial applications. In addition, the nRF52833 offers Full Speed USB operation allowing the module to be used for USB-compatible wired peripheral applications. USB is a popular connectivity interface that enables low-latency and high-bandwidth communication with a range of host devices, such as PCs, smartphones, and gateways. The connectivity also makes device firmware updates (DFU)-over-USB practical.

Apart from being the number one Bluetooth LE chip company, we selected Nordic for the SoCs’ stable performance
Jeonghun Chang, LG Innotek

IoT applications

The ETWBCLU01 module with integrated antenna is supplied in a tiny 6 by 4 by 1.6mm form factor and is also designed for a wide range of space-constrained IoT applications, for example glucose monitoring patches, wireless earphones, hearing aids, as well as other applications with a limited power supply. The nRF52810 SoC powering the module has been engineered to minimize power consumption with a fully-automatic power management system that reduces power consumption by up to 80 percent compared with the nRF51 Series.

Nordic’s nRF52833 advanced multiprotocol SoC combines a 64MHz, 32-bit Arm® Cortex® M4 processor with floating point unit (FPU), with a 2.4GHz multiprotocol radio (supporting Bluetooth 5.2, Bluetooth mesh, Direction Finding, 2Mbps throughput, and Long Range plus Thread, Zigbee, IEEE 802.15.4, and proprietary 2.4GHz RF protocol software). The 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 radio is capable of Direction Finding functionality and with its large memory can support both receiver and transmitter roles for Angle-of-Arrival (AoA) and Angle-of-Departure (AoD) applications. 

The nRF52833 is supplied with S113 or S140 SoftDevices, Nordic’s Bluetooth RF protocol stacks. The S140 is a qualified Bluetooth 5.1 stack and includes support for 2 Mbps throughput, Long Range, and improved coexistence through CSA #2.

Nordic’s nRF52810 multiprotocol SoC, combines a 64MHz, 32-bit Arm Cortex M4 processor with a 2.4GHz multiprotocol radio (supporting Bluetooth 5.2, ANT™, and proprietary 2.4GHz RF software) featuring reduced radio energy consumption of Tx 4.6mA (at 0dBm) and Rx 4.6mA (at 1Mbps), with 196kB Flash memory and 24kB RAM. The nRF52810 SoC is supplied with the latest version of Nordic’s S112 SoftDevice, a Bluetooth 5-compliant RF protocol software ‘stack’ offering 2Mbps raw data rate and concurrent Peripheral and Broadcaster Bluetooth LE roles.

“Apart from being the number one Bluetooth LE chip company, we selected Nordic for the SoCs’ stable performance, multiprotocol support, and the company’s range of development tools,” says Jeonghun Chang, Hardware R&D, LG Innotek.

“By separating the RF protocol software from the developer’s application code, Nordic’s software architecture also simplifies development and speeds time to market.”