Bluetooth LE module allows ease of development for long range Industrial IoT applications

a circuit board

Panasonic Industry’s PAN1781 module employs Nordic nRF52820 SoC to support Bluetooth Direction Finding and Long Range for battery-powered devices

Nordic Semiconductor today announces that Panasonic Industry, one of the world’s leading multinational industrial solutions companies, has selected Nordic’s nRF52820 Bluetooth® 5.2/Bluetooth Low Energy (Bluetooth LE) multiprotocol System-on-Chip (SoC) to power its ‘PAN1781’ module. The Nordic SoC’s powerful 64MHz, 32-bit Arm® Cortex® M4 processor and 256kB Flash and 32kB RAM memory allocation ensures the module can support a wide variety of Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) applications. The PAN1781 comes fully certified for CE RED, FCC, and ISED, and the module is qualified over the full industrial –40º to 85º C operating temperature range.  

High throughput and Long Range 

The nRF52820’s functionality enables OEMs selecting the PAN1781 module to take advantage of Bluetooth 5’s high throughput (2Mbps) and Long Range, and Bluetooth 5.1’s Direction Finding (including support for Angle-of-Arrival (AoA) and Angle-of-Departure (AoD) technology) across IoT applications including smart cities, smart buildings, smart lighting, and healthcare. The module also supports Bluetooth mesh, Thread, and Zigbee protocols. PAN1781 is particularly suited for developing battery powered applications thanks to its low idle sleep current of 1.5µA. The module also integrates an external 32kHz crystal oscillator to achieve temperature stability over time as well as the higher precision required for optimizing power consumption.  

We selected Nordic’s nRF52820 SoC for our PAN1781 module because of the chip’s compact memory size without sacrificing performance
Tomislav Tipura, Panasonic

In addition to the Arm Cortex M4 processor, Nordic’s nRF52820 SoC features a 2.4GHz multiprotocol radio with on-chip PA providing -95dBm RX sensitivity (at 1Mbps in Bluetooth LE mode) and a maximum output power of 8dBm, for a total link budget of 103dBm – making the PAN1781 module suitable for applications requiring long range wireless connectivity. The SoC’s Arm Cortex M4 processor and, Flash and RAM memory allocation makes the PAN1781 module an ideal single-chip option, eliminating the need for an external processor, saving complexity, space, and cost for developers. The 15.6 by 8.7 by 2mm module is a lightweight, lower-cost version of the product’s previous iteration, the PAN1780, which features Nordic’s nRF52840 SoC for a more generous memory allocation (1MB Flash and 256kB RAM). 

Together with the module, Panasonic provides developers with the PAN1781 evaluation board with Arduino form factor which enables rapid prototyping and accelerates time-to-market, as well as the PAN1781 ‘Module Integration Guide’ to support easy integration of the module into a product and ensure compliance with regulatory requirements. Furthermore, the company offers a cable replacement demo with its ‘Connected by Panasonic’ app in interplay with the Nordic UART service on the PAN1781 to showcase an exemplary use case.  

Easy-to-use Nordic SDK 

“We selected Nordic’s nRF52820 SoC for our PAN1781 module because of the chip’s compact memory size without sacrificing performance,” says Tomislav Tipura, Product Manager, Wireless Devices at Panasonic. “The excellent and easy-to-use Nordic SDK [Software Development Kit] with many example codes also played a major role in our decision, while the different Nordic SoftDevice operations (peripheral, central, or both) gives our customers the flexibility to develop memory-optimized applications. 

“We value our growing partnership with Nordic so it was a logical decision to equip our next Bluetooth 5 module with a Nordic chip. The fast technical support provided by Nordic complements our fast design-in customer support, while the highly-skilled community offers a starting point for development.”