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About nRF24L01™


The nRF24L01 is a unique wireless solution for compact, battery-operated applications with stringent requirements on battery lifetime and cost. The transceiver operates in the license free worldwide 2.4GHz ISM band and provides a 2 Mbps (Mega bits per second) air data rate.


Provided in a compact 4x4mm QFN package, the nRF24L01 integrates a complete 2.4GHz RF transceiver, an RF synthesizer, full baseband logic including the unique Enhanced ShockBurst™ hardware link layer, advanced power management and a high-speed SPI for the host controller interface. No external loop filters, resonators or VCO varactor diodes are required, only a low cost ±60ppm 16MHz crystal, matching circuitry and the antenna.


The nRF24L01 has a unique combination of four features that enable the implementation of ultra-low power wireless connectivity:

  • A sub 13mA TX and RX active current that permits coin-cell battery operation
  • An advanced power management with power saving idle mode plus rapid active mode startup
  • A high 2 Mbps air data rate that minimizes the amount of time the transceiver has spend in the relatively more power consuming active on-air mode in order to achieve a given effective data rate
  • An Enhanced ShockBurst™ link layer that minimizes processing load on the host microcontroller reducing average current consumption

As a comparison, for a transceiver with the exact same specification, except lower air data rate, the approximate power penalty is as follows (kbps = kilo bits per second):

  • 1 Mbps transceiver 2x greater power consumption
  • 500 kbps transceiver 4x greater power consumption
  • 250 kbps 8x greater power consumption

The nRF24L01 includes Nordic’s Enhanced ShockBurst™ hardware link layer. This features both automatic packet handling and automatic packet transaction handling.

Automatic packet handling key features include:

  • Packet assembly
  • Packet detection and validation
  • Dynamic payload length
  • MultiCeiver™ support for up to 6 bi-directional logical links for 1:6 star network topologies

Automatic packet transaction handling key features include:

  • Acknowledgment of received packages
  • Payload in acknowledgment packet
  • Retransmission of lost packages

Main benefits include:

  • Ability to implement robust, high performance bi-directional and uni-directional data links
  • On chip hardware implementation maximizes data throughput while minimizing on-air time saving power and improving co-existence performance
  • Relaxed requirements on the host controller enables a lower cost total solution
  • A lower processing load for the host controller saves power consumption for the total solution

Prime applications include wireless mouse, keyboards and joysticks, wireless headsets, intelligent sports equipment (e.g. wrist watches and associated sensors), remote control devices and Personal Area Networks (PANs).