Dual Arm Cortex-M33 multiprotocol module powers advanced wireless designs

Laird Connectivity

Laird Connectivity’s BL5340 module employs Nordic’s nRF5340 SoC to enable highly secure, demanding IoT applications. Option with nRF21540 FEM offers greater link budget for increased range

Nordic Semiconductor today announces that Laird Connectivity, an Akron, Ohio-based wireless technology company, has selected Nordic’s nRF5340 high-end multiprotocol System-on-Chip (SoC) to provide the core processing and wireless connectivity for its ‘BL5340’ module. The module is targeted at wireless product designers requiring the highest possible performance and security, with ultra low power consumption.

Adjustable power boost

The module comes in four variants offering an integrated or external antenna and/or an integrated nRF21540 RF Front End Module (FEM), Nordic’s power amplifier/low noise amplifier (PA/LNA) solution for developers requiring support for high TX power applications. The BL5340 module comes in a 15 by 10 by 2.2mm form factor, or 21 by 10 by 2.2mm for the PA version and is qualified over an extended –40º to 105º C industrial operating temperature range.

Laird sees Nordic as the premier Bluetooth LE SoC vendor globally and the nRF5340 is pushing that envelope even further
Jonathan Kaye, Laird Connectivity

The nRF5340 is the world’s first wireless SoC to integrate dual Arm® Cortex®-M33 processors providing a high performance application processor alongside a fully programmable, ultra low power network processor and supporting major RF protocols including Bluetooth® Low Energy (Bluetooth LE), Bluetooth mesh, Thread, and Zigbee. The SoC also incorporates Arm CryptoCell-312, Arm TrustZone® technology, and Secure Key Storage for the highest level of security. The nRF5340 operates over a 1.7 to 5.5 V supply voltage range and incorporates a new, power-optimized multiprotocol 2.4 GHz radio with a TX current of 3.4 mA (0 dBm TX power, 3 V, DC/DC) and RX current of 2.7 mA (3 V, DC/DC). Sleep current is as low as 0.9 µA. The SoC features a wide range of interface peripherals including NFC, USB, QSPI, and High Speed SPI. 

The integration of Nordic’s nRF21540 RF FEM offers a highly adjustable TX power boost up to +21dBm, with the LNA providing +13dB RX gain, and is ideally suited to applications that may require increased range or robust coverage. The nRF21540’s TX power is dynamically adjustable and output power can be set up to 21dBm in small increments.

Flexible programming options

The BL653 module supports both Zephyr real-time operating system (RTOS) and Nordic nRF Connect SDK (Software Development Kit) programming options. Laird Connectivity’s fully-featured BL5340 Development Kit (DK) includes additional hardware for Ethernet, Bosch BME680 sensors, accelerometers and displays with touch/TFT controllers. Every device on the DK has supporting sample applications written for ‘out-of-the-box’ application testing for users to quickly prototype with and develop from. In addition, Laird Connectivity provides a range of support and engineering services to assist developers get to market faster including RF design and integration, Cloud architecture development and implementation, firmware development, as well as EMC testing and certification.

“The partnership and support received from Nordic for over 8 years has made Laird Connectivity fully aligned with Nordic as a company, its hardware, software and support capabilities,” says Jonathan Kaye, Senior Director – Product Management, Laird Connectivity. “Laird sees Nordic as the premier Bluetooth LE SoC vendor globally and the nRF5340 is pushing that envelope even further with its dual core architecture, excellent multiprotocol radio capabilities, and next generation security capabilities.”

“Developers are already working on tomorrow’s commercial products based on highly-complex applications and are demanding connectivity solutions that can support advanced applications while also reducing time-to-market and development risk,” says Geir Langeland, Director of Sales and Marketing, Nordic Semiconductor. “With the release of the BL5340 module Laird Connectivity has delivered a successful fully-operational implementation based on the nRF5340 SoC that will allow its customers to design the next generation of multiprotocol wireless solutions with confidence.”