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About Nordic 2.4GHz ULP wireless connectivity

Nordic's range of proprietary 2.4GHz ultra-low power transceivers wirelessly connect millions of battery-powered devices around the world


Nordic Semiconductor designs, develops, and manufactures 2.4GHz ultra-low power (ULP), short-range transceivers in System-on-Chip (SoC) or Single-Chip-Connectivity platforms. The SoC transceivers integrate an 8-bit microprocessor, while the Single-Chip-Connectivity devices allow the designer to select their own choice of external application microprocessor.


In addition, the company supplies supporting resources including sophisticated and flexible design tools, application specific communication software, and complete reference designs. Together with the highly integrated RF silicon, these supporting resources provide the design engineer with comprehensive RF silicon solutions.


Runner using wireless sports monitoring

Runner using wireless sports monitoring

The devices operate in the unlicensed part of the electromagnetic (EM) spectrum that was originally reserved internationally for non-commercial use for industrial, scientific and medical purposes and are often referred to as the “ISM” band. The spectrum allocation for the 2.4GHz band ranges from 2.4 to 2.5GHz.


Nordic’s proprietary ULP wireless technology is characterized by its ultra-low power consumption compared to competing technologies. By ensuring the transceiver can locate the target receiver rapidly, maximizing the packet data payload, extending bandwidth, reducing peak transmit and receive currents, and facilitating a graceful and rapid disconnection, a Nordic 2.4GHz transceiver can operate for months or even years on low capacity coin cell batteries of the type used to power a wristwatch. (Battery lifetime is dependent on the application.)


Nordic Semiconductor’s family of 2.4GHz RF transceivers are aimed at applications powered by small batteries requiring low duty cycle wireless connectivity (i.e. sending small quantities of data (typically a few bits) infrequently (i.e. once every few seconds to a few times per second at most).


The company’s 2.4GHz proprietary transceivers are able reliable form peer-to-peer or star networks with up to six bi-directional links using Nordic’s MultiCeiver™ technology. (For more complex networks Nordic offers nRF24AP2 ANT chips.) These links are reliable and immune to interference from other sources of 2.4GHz transmissions such as Bluetooth® wireless technology, Wi-Fi™, and cordless phones


Target applications include as PC peripherals (wireless keyboards/mice, game controllers, remote controls) and wireless audio (portable music player headphones and PC speakers). The latest nRF24LE1 family (equipped with Gazell RF protocol software), for instance, is targeted at ultra-low cost and power applications such as wireless desktops and intelligent (for example, wristwatch-based) sports equipment.