nRF21540 DB Development Bundle

Development bundle for Bluetooth® Low Energy, Bluetooth mesh, Thread, Zigbee and 2.4 GHz proprietary range extension

The nRF21540 Development Bundle (DB) consists of the nRF21540 development kit (DK) and the nRF21540 evaluation kit (EK).

The nRF21540 DK is the perfect tool to develop products that require the range extension capabilities and/or link budget improvements provided by the nRF21540 RF front-end module (FEM). The nRF21540 DK includes both the nRF21540 RF FEM and the nRF52840 SoC. TX gain adjustments of the onboard nRF21540 RF FEM can either be done via GPIO or SPI. The combination of the Bluetooth® 5.3 nRF52840 SoC together with the nRF21540 RF FEM is perfect for multiprotocol range extension of Bluetooth® LE together with one of our supported mesh protocols (i.e. Bluetooth® mesh, Thread or Zigbee). The two antenna ports on the nRF21540 DK are useful for antenna diversity scenarios in 802.15.4 based protocols (i.e. Thread or Zigbee) to reduce multipath propagation effects.

The nRF21540 EK is an Arduino Uno Rev3 compatible shield that can be used together with Nordic nRF52 or nRF53 Series DKs or other devices. It can connect to lab equipment via SMA connectors to monitor the nRF21540 RF FEM's performance.

The nRF Connect SDK is the software development kit for the nRF21540 RF FEM, and it has board support for the nRF21540 DK and nRF21540 EK. It supports software development of Bluetooth® LE, Bluetooth® mesh, Thread, Zigbee and other protocols. It integrates the Zephyr RTOS, protocol stacks, samples, hardware drivers and much more.

Hardware layout and schematics are available under the Downloads tab.

The box contains an nRF21540 DK and an nRF21540 EK. The nRF21540 DK connects to a computer via a micro USB cable (not included). An SMA female to SWF male cable (not included, e.g. SMA gender adapter plus Murata part no. MXHS83QE3000 or similar) is required to use the nRF21540 EK. More information can be found in our documentation.

Ordering code: nRF21540-DB

PDF IconDownload nRF21540 DB product brief (PDF)

The recording of the Introduction to the nRF21540 RF FEM for range extension webinar is now available on-demand:

Key Features

nRF21540 DK

Versatile development kit for the nRF21540 RF FEM

Includes the nRF21540 RF FEM and nRF52840 SoC

2 x 2.4 GHz antennas for antenna diversity

Segger J-Link OB programmer/debugger

Arduino Uno Rev3 comptabile

1.7-5.5 V supply from USB, external or Li-Po battery

nRF21540 EK

Versatile evaluation kit for the nRF21540 RF FEM

Can be used with nRF52 and nRF53 Series DKs, as well as other devices

ANT1 and ANT2 ports (SMA) for antennas or lab equipment

TRX port (SMA) for connecting radio or lab equipment

Arduino Uno Rev3 compatible

Current measurement pins

Connect and test

your nRF21540 DK

  1. Included in the box: the nRF21540 EK, the nRF21540 DK and a flexible NFC antenna.
  2. If you plan to use NFC, connect the NFC antenna to the board. The connector is marked "NFC" and is located by the edge of the board near the 4 buttons.
  3. Use a micro USB 2.0 cable to connect the nRF21540 DK to one of your PC's USB host ports. This provides power to the board and supports target programming.
  4. Flip the power switch to "on". Find it near the micro USB connector. If a popup appears, ignore it for now.
  5. Confirm that LED 1 starts pulsing.
  6. Use buttons 1 to 4 to control which respective LED pulses.

Next steps

After completion, feel free to go to our RF front-end modules software guide and see how you can get started with development using our nRF Connect SDK.


Watch and learn

Introducing the nRF21540 DB