Press Backgrounders

Technical article archive

Nordic Semiconductor's engineering staff regularly produce in-depth technical articles to inform and educate customers, editors, and other interested parties on developments in ultra-low power wireless connectivity. This archive contains a selection of those articles


Please note this is an historical archive and content of articles, although technically accurate and informative of developments in ultra-low power wireless, may not reflect Nordic Semiconductor's latest products. Please visit the Product section of the website for the current product range. In addition, technical backgrounders, FAQs, and white papers can be found at the Press Center.


nRF51 Series


Software innovation frees designers from wireless design complexity

New nRF51 Series SoCs from Nordic Semiconductor integrate silicon radios, powerful microprocessors and flash memory onto a single silicon die. And a novel software architecture makes it much easier to develop winning applications.
Download the PDF here. (September 2012/ 2000 words.)


Multiprotocol SoCs solve proprietary vs. standard dilemma

Choosing between a proprietary or standard RF protocol is not without risk - unless a single transceiver can handle both.
Download the PDF here. (June 2013/ 1600 words.)


Proprietary/2.4GHz RF


RF remotes vie for IR's crown

The IR remote control is a simple, cost effective method of controlling electronic appliances, but it is also a 30-year-old technology that’s showing its age. RF is a better alternative for modern consumers and the competitors are lining up for the designer’s attention.
Download the PDF here. (March 2010 / 3,250 words.)


IR remote control contemplates graceful retirement

While the venerable IR remote control is a simple-to-design, cost effective method of controlling electronic appliances, at 25 years old, it’s a pensioner in consumer electronics terms - and it shows. With the emergence of consumer electronics products such as “media centers”, interactive TV and video-on-demand, navigating complex menus is commonplace - and difficult with ageing IR technology. RF remote control is a better alternative for meeting the demands of the digital age.
Download the PDF here. (March 2008 / 4,100 words.)


Avoiding interference on the 2.4GHz wireless desktop

Avoiding interference on the 2.4GHz wireless desktopThe 2.4GHz band is home to so many competing RF sources that an effective interference avoidance scheme is mandatory. But in battery-powered applications where power is at a premium, synchronized schemes, although popular, aren’t necessarily a good choice. There is an alternative designed to maximize the battery life of ultra-low power transceivers without sacrificing performance.
Download the PDF here. (February 2008 / 3,500 words.)


High quality portable audio without wires

While Bluetooth wireless technology is well suited to periodic short-range wireless links, it’s not the best technology for preserving sound quality in audio streaming applications. Fortunately, there are proven 2.4GHz alternatives that can deliver CD-quality audio across a wireless link with the added bonus of long battery life.
Download the PDF here. (May 2007 / 3,650 words.)


Low-power RF beyond Bluetooth

A proprietary alternative to Bluetooth wireless technology extends sports watch battery life.
Download the PDF here. (March 2007 / 1,375 words.)


Bringing the power of wireless to medical applications

A proprietary RF alternative based on a custom ASIC design adds wireless capability to medical devices with none of the IEEE standards-based design overhead that burdens Bluetooth wireless technology and ZigBee.
Download the PDF here. (March 2007 / 2,650 words.)


Not a standard wireless solution

Some would claim low-cost wireless is wrapped-up by Bluetooth wireless technology and ZigBee, but look deeper and you’ll find proprietary RF alternatives that could be better suited for Japanese manufacturers’ products.
Download the PDF here. (April 2006 / 3,150 words.)




Building on the promise of Wireless Sensor Networks

There are some budding candidates vying for market share in the WSN sector but none has reached a dominant position. That’s perhaps not surprising when considering the technical challenges that need to be overcome.
Download the PDF here. (November 2010 / 2,600 words.)


Managing interference in the crowded 2.4GHz radio band

While spread spectrum techniques such as adaptive frequency hopping work well, there are other time domain-based interference avoidance methods that can be more efficient in congested radio environments such as the increasingly popular 2.4GHz ISM band.
Download the PDF here. (April 2007 / 1,300 words.)


Bluetooth low energy


Inside Bluetooth low energy

What's behind the technology that Bluetooth low energy wireless technology employs to minimize its power consumption?
Download the PDF here. (April 2011 / 2,144 words.)


Will Bluetooth low energy wireless technology finally push IR into retirement?

The IR remote control is a senior citizen. The 50-year-old technology is struggling in the multimedia age, but in the absence of a worthy successor, the CE industry won’t let IR fade away. However, with the Bluetooth SIG’s recent announcement of remote control support in the upcoming Bluetooth low energy specification, that’s about to change.
Download the PDF here. (August 2009 / 4,000 words.)


Reducing healthcare costs with wireless technology

The Bluetooth low energy specification promises to meet the health authorities stringent demands for wireless monitoring of patients in the home, but there are some challenges to overcome.
Download the PDF here. (August 2009 / 2,650 words.)


The (peripheral) value of Bluetooth low energy wireless technology

What’s behind the Bluetooth low energy initiative and what does it offer that other wireless technologies don’t? This article describes the developments so far and maps out the technology’s future.
Download the PDF here. (February 2009 / 3,400 words.)