Bluetooth LE and Ultra-Wideband modules support precision positioning and location-awareness applications


Tsingoal’s TSG5162 SiP module employs Nordic’s nRF52833 SoC to enable Bluetooth Direction Finding and smartphone connectivity

Nordic Semiconductor today announces that Tsingoal (Beijing) Technology Co., Ltd., a China-based Ultra-Wideband (UWB) precision ranging and positioning solutions provider, has selected Nordic’s nRF52833 Bluetooth® Low Energy (Bluetooth LE) advanced multiprotocol System-on-Chip (SoC) to provide the processing power and wireless connectivity for its TSG5162 System-in-Package (SiP) modules. 

Integrating the nRF52833 SoC alongside an Ultra-Wideband (UWB) RF unit, a four-channel switching device, and crystal oscillators, the TSG5162 is designed to meet the multi-antenna and small package requirements for Bluetooth LE and UWB interaction and ranging in compliance with FiRa protocol, while achieving Bluetooth LE Angle-of Arrival (AOA) functionality. The module comes in 7 by 7mm QFN packaging and is designed for use in a range of consumer IoT and smart home ranging, direction measuring, positioning, and location awareness applications. By combining Bluetooth LE and UWB technologies, the precision of position and distance measurement is considerably enhanced compared with either technology alone.

Nordic has a great vision for new products and the capability to quickly respond, critical for the development of new technologies
Rayson Zhao, Tsingoal (Beijing) Technology

Bluetooth Direction Finding

The integrated Nordic SoC’s radio is capable of all Bluetooth Direction Finding functionality and its large memory—512kB Flash and 128kB RAM—can support both receiver and transmitter roles for AoA and Angle-of-Departure (AoD) applications. The nRF52833 SoC is a Bluetooth 5.2 solution and in addition to Direction Finding includes 2Mbps, Long Range, 8x broadcasting ability, advertising extensions and Channel Selection Algorithm #2 (CSA #2). The nRF52833 SoC’s 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.

Full Speed (12Mbps) USB operation allows the TSG5162 module to be used for USB-compatible wired peripheral applications, enabling 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. The nRF52833 SoC’s extended temperature qualification of –40º to 105º C makes it suitable for IoT applications in harsh operating environments.

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, Thread, Zigbee, IEEE 802.15.4, and proprietary 2.4GHz RF protocol software). The SoC’s generous memory allocation supports the dynamic multiprotocol capability which uniquely enables concurrent wireless protocol connectivity. 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, Long Range, and CSA #2.

Precision positioning

“By integrating Nordic’s nRF52833 SoC in the module it enables the convergence of two high precision positioning technologies, and is able to fully meet the requirements of Bluetooth LE and UWB collaboration as defined by FiRa,” says Rayson Zhao, CEO, Tsingoal (Beijing) Technology. “The SoC’s powerful Arm processor handles all the UWB complex time sequencing and edge processing of the positioning and measurement data.

“Nordic has a great vision for new products and the capability to quickly respond, critical for the development of new technologies.”

The TSG5162 module has already been deployed in Tsingoal’s Covid-19 social distancing wearable to perform ‘real time’ ranging between devices, enabling users to maintain an appropriate distance from one another at all times. The bracelet has already been shipped in volume to Europe, North America, SE Asia, and the Middle East.

“With the consumerization of indoor positioning technology, adopters will demand both precise positioning data and low power consumption,” says Bjørn Åge (Bob) Brandal, Director of Sales & Marketing – APAC at Nordic Semiconductor. “By combining Nordic’s Bluetooth LE technology and UWB into a single SIP module, Tsingoal’s module can deliver precision real time location service [RTLS] and long term use in a wide range of end products.

“We are delighted to see Tsingoal has successfully applied this technology in social distancing and contact tracing solutions in the ongoing fight against Covid-19.”