nRF51822Bluetooth Smart and 2.4GHz proprietary SoC
NEW ENHANCEMENTS include variants with 32kB RAM for improved application performance, and 128kB flash wafer level chip scale package (WLCSP) options for smaller wearable designs.
The nRF51822 is a powerful, highly flexible multiprotocol SoC ideally suited for Bluetooth® Smart (previously called Bluetooth low energy) and 2.4GHz ultra low-power wireless applications. The nRF51822 is built around a 32-bit ARM® Cortex™ M0 CPU with 256kB/128kB flash + 32kB/16kB RAM. The embedded 2.4GHz transceiver supports both Bluetooth Smart and the Nordic Gazell 2.4 GHz protocol stack which is on air compatible with the nRF24L series products from Nordic Semiconductor.
nRF51822 incorporates a rich selection of analog and digital peripherals that can interact without CPU intervention through the Programmable Peripheral Interconnect (PPI) system. A flexible 31-pin GPIO mapping scheme allows I/O like serial interfaces, PWM and quadrature demodulator to be mapped to any device pin as dictated by PCB requirements. This enables complete design flexibility associated with pin-out location and function.
nRF51822 supports Bluetooth® Smart protocol stacks as well as 2.4GHz protocol stacks, including Gazell, both available as downloads. nRF51822 requires a single power supply and gives the user the option of using on chip linear regulators giving a supply range of 1.8-3.6V, a direct 1.8V mode and a on chip DC-DC buck converter giving a supply range of 2.1-3.6V. The use of the DC-DC converter can be dynamically controlled during run time and enables nRF51822 to operate at radio peak currents below 10 mA @ 3V supply (TX @ 0 dBm & RX).
nRF51 SDK provides extensive software support for both Bluetooth Smart and 2.4GHz proprietary applications.
nRF51822 is available in 6x6mm 48-pin QFN packages and 3 ultra compact wafer-level chip-scale packages (WLCSP).
nRF51822 is available in either 256kB or 128kB Flash + 32kB or 16kB RAM variants.
Nordic Semiconductor protocol stacks are known as SoftDevices. SoftDevices are pre-compiled, pre-linked binary files. SoftDevices can be programmed in nRF51 series SoCs and are downloadable from the Nordic website.
The nRF51822 supports the SoftDevices below (click on the icons for details).
- Single chip, highly flexible, 2.4 GHz multi-protocol device
- 32-bit ARM Cortex M0 CPU core
- 256kB/128kB flash + 32kB/16kB RAM
- Supports Bluetooth Smart protocol stacks
- Thread safe and run-time protected
- Event driven API
- On air compatible with nRF24L series
- 3 data rates (2Mbps/1Mbps/250kbps)
- +4dBm output power
- -93dBm sensitivity, Bluetooth Smart
- PPI system for maximum power-efficient applications and code simplification
- Flexible power management system with automatic power management of each peripheral
- Configurable I/O mapping for analog and digital I/O
- Mobile phone accessories
- Rezence wireless charging monitoring
- PC peripherals
- Consumer Electronics (CE) remote controls
- Proximity/Alert sensors
- Smart Home
- Sports, fitness and healthcare sensors
- Smart RF tags
- Toys and electronic games
- Intelligent domestic appliances
- Industrial and commercial sensors
|nRF51 DK||Development kit for Bluetooth Smart, ANT and 2.4GHz applications|
|nRF51 Dongle||Bluetooth Smart/ANT/2.4GHz Development dongle|
|nRF51 SDK||Software Development Kit for the nRF51 Series|
|nRF51 IoT SDK||IoT Software Development Kit (SDK) for applications using IPv6 over Bluetooth Smart|
|nRF51422||Multiprotocol ANT/Bluetooth Smart SoC|
|nRF Sniffer||Low cost Bluetooth Smart packet sniffer|
- Ultra low power consumption
- 6.3mA - TX at -4dBm (3V using on-chip DC-DC)
- 8.0mA - TX at 0dBm (3V using on-chip DC-DC)
- 11.8mA – TX at +4dBm (3V using on-chip DC-DC)
- 9.7mA – RX (3V using on-chip DC-DC)
- 13mA – RX at 1Mbps (No DC-DC)
- 10.5mA – TX at 0dBm (No DC-DC)
- 0.6µA – SYSTEM-OFF, no RAM retention
- 1.2µA - SYSTEM-OFF, 8KB RAM retention
- 2.6µA - SYSTEM-ON, All peripherals in idle mode
2.4GHz Multi-protocol Radio
- +4dBm to -20dBm output power in 4dBm steps
- -30dBm output power in whisper mode
- -96dBm RX sensitivity at 250kbs
- -90dBm RX sensitivity at 1Mbps
- -85dBm RX sensitivity at 2Mbps
- 2 Mbps, 1 Mbps and 250kbs supported data rates
- Excellent co-existence performance
- 32-bit ARM® Cortex™ M0 32-bit CPU
- 256/128KB embedded flash
- 32KB/16KB RAM
- 3 x 16/24-bit timers with counter mode
- 16 channel CPU independent Programmable Peripheral Interconnect (PPI)
- Encryption -128-bit AES ECB/CCM/AAR co-processor
- Temperature sensor
- Flexible GPIO pin configuration
- 31 GPIO
- Up to 4 PWM
- Digital interfaces -SPI Master/Slave, 2-wire, UART
- Quadrature decoder
- 8/9/10 bit ADC - 8 configurable channels
- Low power comparator
- 16MHz XO
- 16MHz RCOSC
- 32MHx XO
- 32kHz XO
- 32kHz RCOSC
- Wide supply voltage range (1.8v to 3.6V)
- Flexible power management scheme
- On-chip DC/DC converter
- 600nA @ 3V OFF mode
- 2.6µA @ 3V ON mode, all blocks in idle mode
- 1.2µA @ 3V OFF mode + 1 region RAM retention
nRF51822 is supported by the following reference designs
|Part #||Brief description|
|nRF51822-Beacon||nRF51822 Bluetooth Smart Beacon Kit|
|nRFready Smart Remote 2||Multi-Protocol Advanced Navigation Remote Control Reference Design|
|nRFready Desktop 2||Combined Bluetooth low energy (including Bluetooth Smart) and proprietary 2.4GHz wireless mouse and keyboard combo reference design|
Nordic offers a range of HW and SW tools you can leverage to get you started evaluating and developing applications on your chosen nRF51 Series device. Please use the links below to learn more about the development tools and software that are available from Nordic and 3rd parties.
- Nordic development Hardware
- 3rd party supporting or complementary Hardware
- nRF51 Software Development kit and tool chains
- Mobile Apps
The nRF51 Series development hardware is provided by the nRF51 DK development kit and the nRF51 Dongle. The nRF51 DK and nRF51 Dongle covers the nRF51822 and nRF51422 SoCs and supports Bluetooth Smart, ANT and 2.4GHz proprietary SW development. In addition you may download the recommended nRF51 reference layouts from the download tab on this page.
|The nRF51 DK is a versatile single-board development kit offering access to all nRF51 Series IO through an Arduino UNO compatible socket or standard pin headers. nRF51 DK supports programming and debugging through both Jlink (Segger OB) and Mbed.||
For more information and relevant downloads, check out the nRF51 DK product page.
|The nRF51 Dongle is a small USB dongle that have the same program and debug capabilities as the nRF51 DK. It's prime purpose is to interact with PC based development tools and utilities from Nordic that enables it to be used as a peer device for your prototype, a sniffer to monitor on air traffic or indeed as an ultra small development board in itself.||
For more information and relevant downloads, check out the nRF51 Dongle product page
Since the nRF51 Series devices all are SoCs for wireless communication, the quality of the PCB layout is of outmost importance to ensure good radio performance. Official nRF51 reference layouts can be found on the download tab of this page, and please do follow them closely to avoid dissapointments when testing or qualifying your product.
A number of 3rd party companies have made both complementary components as well as HW solutions based on nRF51 Series devices. Utilising these products may simplify your nRF51 development as well as production.
If you don't want to take on the job of making and tuning an antenna match with discrete passive components, please find nRF51 compatible integrated antenna baluns from the following vendors here:
|BLE WT51822-ABS||BLE WT51822-ABS Bluetooth Smart shield for Arduino|
|BAL-NRF02D3||BAL-NRF02D3, 50 ohm integrated balun (for WLCSP devices)|
|TBL-1411-245-LR||2.45GHz Thin film Balun for nRF51822 & nRF51422 (WLCSP devices)|
|2450BM14E0003||Impedance Matched Balun Filter for nRF51822 & nRF51422|
3rd Party Modules
You may find a wide range of pre-qualified modules based on nRF51 Series devices on our 3rd Party Module page if you don't want to spend time on the Radio design work and NRE costs to qualify a design for Bluetooth Smart and teleregulatory authorities (FCC, ETESI, MIC, TELEC).
By using nRF51 Series devices you get free access to pre-qualified Bluetooth Smart as well as ANT protocol stacks for use in your applications along with extensive libraries and application examples.
The software are split in two major parts: SoftDevices containing wireless protocol stacks; and the nRF51 Software Development Kit (SDK) forming a common application code base for all nRF51 devices.
A SoftDevice is precompiled and linked binary software, implementing a wireless protocol. While it is software, you as an application developer have minimal compile-time dependence on its features. The unique hardware and software support framework, in which it executes, provides run-time isolation and determinism in its behavior. These characteristics make the interface comparable to a hardware peripheral abstraction with a functional, programmatic interface.
The SoftDevice Application Program Interface (API) is available to applications as a high-level programming language interface, for example, a C header file.
Please find documentation as well as all available Softdevices, for free download, on the download tab of this page.
The nRF51 Software Development Kit (SDK) is your starting point for software development on the nRF51 Series. It contains source code libraries and example applications covering :
- Wireless as well as application examples
- Bluetooth Smart and ANT+ profiles
- Nordic’s 2.4GHz proprietary stack Gazell
- Libraries for all nRF51 peripherals
- Wired as well as Over the Air (OTA) FW upgrades
- Selected RTOS examples
- Serialization libraries of Nordic SoftDevices
The nRF51 SDK is built on the ARM® CMSIS standard and supports the following SW development tool chains:
nRF51 SDK is available on the download tab of this page.
In order to aid your product development with programming and test/debug, Nordic also offers a range of tools enabling you to interact with and monitor prototype/product:
|nRFgo Studio||PC tool allowing device programming and Radio performance tests on nRF51.|
|nRF Master Control Panel||
An peer device emulator that allows you to connect to, monitor and interact directly with the bluetooth services in your product. This is a great tool to check if your product identifies itself and its capabilities the correct way as well as testing how it responds to correct as well as incorrect actions in the peer device.
MCP is available as application on Android as well as windows PC’s (then using the nRF51-Dongle)
|ANTware||A peer device emulator for the ANT protocol running on PC’s with the nRF51-Dongle. This is a great tool to check if your product identifies itself and its capabilities the correct way as well as how it responds to correct as well as incorrect actions in the peer device.|
If the communication with a 3 party Bluetooth Smart Ready peer doesn’t work as intended, the nRF Sniffer enables you to monitor all the on air traffic between you and the peer through link establishment, security negotiations to exchange of data.
Often the only way to find where communication breaks down, and logs from this tool will often be the first thing our support engineers will ask for if you enter a support case/request on MyPage regarding communication problems.
|nRF51-BLE-Driver||Windows dll linking the MCP with the nRF51 Dongle. Presents an API similar to our SoftDevices for a PC application, making it ideal to make your own PC based test and demo tools.|
|nRFjprog (part of nRF51 toolset installer)||Command line utility enabling programming of nRF51 devices through Jlink programmers/debuggers.|
|Mergehex (part of nRF51 toolset installer)||Since the Nordic SoftDevices comes as precompiled hex files, when adding your own application, you will have (at least) 2 hex files to program into an nRF51 in your production line. Some industrial programmers can’t handle this and mergehex is a command line utility enabling you to combine multiple hex files into one for these programmers.|
|JlinkARM (part of nRF51 toolset installer)||Driver for jlink debuggers|
|JlinkCDC (part of nRF51 toolset installer)||TBC|
Please find these tools on the download tab of this page.
Your products are of course likely to communicate with a mobile device or computer, indeed that may be the sole purpose of it. To enable this you will need to interact with the wireless stacks and features in the installed OS’s themselves or an APP installed on top of these OS’s.
To facilitate this part of the development, Nordic has a range of application examples and tools for all the main mobile operating systems. Please visit our Mobile Apps page to get started with your mobile device SW development.
Legacy nRF51 development tools:
Not recommended for new designs.
|nRF51822-mKIT||ARM mbed Evaluation Kit using nRF51822 SoC (not recommended for new designs)|
|nRF51822 DK||nRFgo Development Kit for nRF51822 (not recommended for new designs)|
|nRF51822 EK||nRFgo Evaluation Kit for nRF51822 (not recommended for new designs)|
|nRF51 Series Compatibility Matrix||2.1|
|nRF51822 Product Specification||3.1|
|nRF51822 Product Specification Addendum for industrial temperature range||1.3|
|nRF51822 Product Specification Addendum for industrial temperature range - specific for product variant QFAC and CFAC||1.0|
|Product Anomaly Notification (PAN) for the nRF51822||3.0|
|This PCN describes the changes in build codes QFAAG0, QFABB0, and CEAAD0.||1.0|
|Calibration of Radio Deviation||1.1|
|nRF51822 alternate assembly site notice||1.0|
|Change in Seven Inch Plastic Reel||1.0|
|Second source assembly process for QFN variants||1.0|
|Second source wafer fabrication||1.0|
|Second source wafer bump process for CSP variants||1.0|
|This PCN describes the changes in build codes nRF51822-QFAAH0, -QFABC0, and -CEAAE0.||1.2|
|Change on outer box container for trays and 7” reels||1.0|
|nRF51822 S110 SoftDevice Specification||2.0|
|nRF51 S120 SoftDevice Specification||2.1|
|S130 nRF51822 SoftDevice Specification||0.5|
|nRF51 Series Reference Manual||3.0|
|S110 nRF51822 SoftDevice (Production ready)||5.2.1|
|S110 nRF51822 SoftDevice (Production ready)||6.2.1|
|S110 nRF51822 SoftDevice (Production ready)||7.3.0|
|S110 nRF51 SoftDevice (Production ready)||8.0.0|
|S120 nRF51822 SoftDevice v1.0.1 (Production ready)||1.0.1|
|S120 nRF51 SoftDevice (Production ready)||2.1.0|
|S130 nRF51 Series SoftDevice (production ready)||1.0.0|
|Master Control Panel with Master Emulator API (64-bit)||3.9.0|
|Master Control Panel with Master Emulator API (32-bit)||3.9.0|
|nRF Sniffer (First Production release) - PC Software and Device Firmware that allow you to see all Bluetooth low energy packets on the air between two devices.||1.0.1|
|nRF51 Bluetooth Smart GATT/GAP Driver for Linux. Used to set up and interact with BLE on an nRF51 device with connectivity firmware and SoftDevice||0.5.0|
|nRF51 Bluetooth Smart GATT/GAP Driver for OSX. Used to set up and interact with BLE on an nRF51 device with connectivity firmware and SoftDevice.||0.5.0|
|nRF51 Bluetooth Smart GATT/GAP Driver for Windows. Used to set up and interact with BLE on an nRF51 device with connectivity firmware and SoftDevice.||0.5.0|
|nRF51 IoT SDK Zip File||0.8.0|
|nRF5x MDK for Gcc.||8.0.3|
|nRF5x MDK for IAR Embedded Workbench.||8.0.3|
|nRF5x MDK for Keil4 and Keil5 compatibility version.||8.0.3|
|nRF5x MDK pack.||8.0.3|
|Python binding for nrfjprog.dll. Only usable in Python 2.7 32bits in Windows.||7.5.2|
|nRF5x toolset installer (JLinkARM, JLink CDC, nRFjprog, and mergehex)||7.5.2|
|Software tool for nRFgo Starter Kit and Development Kits for 32-bit (x86) Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7, and Windows 8||1.20.0|
|Software tool for nRFgo Starter Kit and Development Kits for 64-bit (x64) Windows Vista, Windows 7, and Windows 8||1.20.0|
|Raspbian kernel for Raspberry Pi||3.17.4|
|nRF51x22 Reference Layout files for the CSP Package variants||1.3|
|nRF51x22 Reference Layout files for the QFN48 packet variants||2.4|
|nRF Sniffer User Guide||1.1|
|Setting up production test using DTM||1.01|
|Creating Bluetooth Low Energy Applications Using nRF51822||1.1|
|WLCSP Handling Guidelines||1.0|
|Benefits of Total Integration of Large RF Circuits|
|Quarterwave printed monopole antenna for 2.4GHz|
|Regulatory and Compliance Standards for RF Devices|
|Crystal Oscillator Design Considerations|
|Migrating from the 1st to the 2nd revision of nRF51822||2.0|
|Migrating from the 2nd to the 3rd revision of nRF51822||2.0|
|nRF51822 Product Brief||2.3|
|nRF51x22-CxAx Hazardous Substance Report, bumped in ASE using Fab 3 wafer||2015_02|
|nRF51x22-CxAx Hazardous Substance Report, bumped in ASE using Fab 10 wafer||2015_03|
|nRF51x22-QFAx Hazardous Substance Report, manufactured in ASE using Fab 3 wafer||2014_10|
|nRF51x22-QFAx Hazardous Substance Report, manufactured in ASE using Fab 10 wafer||2014_11|
|nRF51x22-QFAx Hazardous Substance Report, manufactured in ATP using Fab 10 wafer||2014_10|
|nRF51x22-QFAx Hazardous Substance Report, manufactured in ATP using Fab 3 wafer||2014_11|
|nRF51x22-CxAx Hazardous Substance Report, bumped in DECA using Fab 3 wafer||2015_02|
|nRF51x22-CxAx Hazardous Substance Report, bumped in DECA using Fab 10 wafer||2015_03|
|nRF51822-CEAA Material Composition Report bumped in ASE||2014_02|
|nRF51822-QFAC Material Composition Report manufactured in ASE using Cu wire bond||2014_08|
|nRF51822-QFAA Material Composition Report manufactured in ASE using Cu wire bond||2013_08|
|nRF51822-QFAB Material Composition Report manufactured in ASE using Cu wire bond||2013_08|
|nRF51822-QFAB Material Composition Report, manufactured in ATP using Cu wire bond and AMK-06 DA Material||2013_02|
|nRF51822-QFAC Material Composition Report manufactured in ATP using Cu wire bond and AMK-06 DA Material||2014_10|
|nRF51x22-QFAA Material Composition Report, manufactured in ATP using Cu wire bond and AMK-06 DA Material||2012_11|
|nRF51422-CDAB Material Composition Report bumped in DECA||2014_08|
|nRF51822-CEAA Material Composition Report bumped in DECA||2013_01|
|nRF51822-CFAC Material Composition Report bumped in DECA||2014_08|
Events & Activities
|NTT Europe 2014||Nordic Tech Tour Presentations, Europe 2014|
|NTT Oceania||Nordic Tech Tour Presentations, Oceania 2014|
|NTT-P||Nordic Tech Tour Presentations, Europe 2013|
|NTT-Pres||Nordic Tech Tour Presentations - China and Taiwan, March 2014|