nRF Connect SDK is where you begin building your cellular IoT and short-range wireless applications. It supports LTE-M/NB-IoT/GPS application software development on the nRF9160 SiP, using the nRF9160 DK. For short-range software development, the nRF5340 SoC is supported, using the nRF5340 DK, as well as all nRF52 Series SoCs.
nRF Connect SDK offers developers an extensible framework for building very small applications in highly constrained circumstances, but also the ability to develop powerful, richly featured software for advanced applications. It integrates the the Zephyr RTOS and a wide range of samples, application protocols, protocol stacks, libraries and hardware drivers. The Zephyr project is governed by the Linux Foundation where Nordic collaborates with industry leaders to deliver the best-in-class RTOS for connected, resource constrained, devices.
The single code base for short range and cellular IoT simplifies porting modules, libraries and drivers from one application to another application, thus reducing development time. By enabling developers to pick and choose the essential components for their application, high memory efficiency is guaranteed.
For the nRF5340 and nRF52 Series, the nRF Connect SDK contains all needed software, including protocol stacks. For the nRF9160 it contains everything needed on the application side, working seamlessly together with the LTE modem firmware. For more information about the modem firmware see its feature brief here.
nRF Connect SDK is installed via nRFConnect for Desktop. It is also publicly hosted on GitHub, offers source code management with Git and has free SEGGER Embedded Studio IDE support. Nordic runs continuous integration tests on the nRF Connect SDK code to ensure robust and secure production quality code.