Multiprotocol

Wireless solutions with flexible connectivity options

Get the best of both worlds

Combine and leverage

The benefits of wireless connectivity with multiprotocol are many and varied: It delivers a
better user experience, different protocols offer complementary strengths when used
together and developers can design once and use in multiple regions, and field upgrades can
be supported.

All Nordic software and hardware supports multiple wireless connectivity protocols to allow
for the ultimate flexibility in your design. Create one device that can connect to multiple
protocols, or a device that can be configured to different protocols.

Multiprotocol demo video

Thread and Bluetooth LE

nRF5 SDK for Thread: Thread/Bluetooth Low Energy multiprotocol demo

Switched multiprotocol

Reconfigure in the field

Switched multiprotocol means that only one protocol is active at the time. This is in many use cases perfectly adequate. For example for smart home applications where the network type is unknown, it could be Bluetooth mesh, Thread or Zigbee. With switched multiprotocol you can develop a generic application and then the user can select the appropriate protocol to use, adapting to the network that already exists.

Another possibility is to leverage Bluetooth Low Energy interoperability. The user can configure and even commission in devices with Bluetooth LE, and then switch to the appropriate protocol, it being Bluetooth mesh, Thread or Zigbee. Or you can do device firmware updates with Bluetooth LE, while the device typically uses another protocol.

Dynamic multiprotocol

Multiple active protocols

Dynamic multiprotocol means that multiple protocols are active at the same time. It is possible with a fast switching radio that time slices and shares the time between the protocols. The link scheduling is autonomous and connections are maintained.

Leverage Bluetooth Low Energy interoperability and bridge into a Bluetooth mesh, Thread or Zigbee network. Use it for commissioning or to simply interact with the network. 

dynamic multiprotocl support

Multiprotocol support

Compatability table

While Nordic SoCs support multiprotocol, there are limitations of the individual
technologies. Take a look at the table below to check your compatibility options.
 

  Bluetooth Low Energy ZigBee Thread 802.15.4 Proprietary
Bluetooth Low Energy YES * YES YES YES YES
ZigBee YES N/A YES YES YES
Thread YES YES N/A YES YES
802.15.4 YES YES YES N/A YES
Proprietary YES YES YES YES YES 

 
* Multirole, 20 concurrent roles / connections (19 links and a scanner or broadcaster).

The complete multiprotocol solution

Fast switching radio and complementary software

Nordic provides the complete multiprotocol solution. The nRF52 Series are all-flash based SoCs with extensive processing power and a fast switching radio that are capable of running multiple protocols effortlessly. The SoCs are complemented by a broad suite of software that supports a wide selection of protocols.

Our solution enables you to run Bluetooth Low Energy concurrently with a 2.4 GHz proprietary, ANT, Bluetooth mesh, Thread or Zigbee.
Examples to get you going can be found in the respective SDKs.

Read more about our software solutions here.

nRF52 series protocol support

Overview

  nRF52810   nRF52811 nRF52832  nRF52840
Bluetooth 5  x  x  x  x
Bluetooth mesh      x  x
Thread    (x)    x
Zigbee    (x)    x
802.15.4    (x)    x
ANT  x  (x)  x  x
2.4 GHz proprietary  x  x  x  x

(x) Software support planned

 

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