Nordic’s nRF52840 SoC combines a 64MHz, 32-bit Arm® Cortex® M4F processor with a 2.4GHz multiprotocol radio (supporting Bluetooth 5, ANT™, Thread, IEEE 802.15.4, and proprietary 2.4GHz RF protocol software) with 1MB Flash memory and 256kB RAM. The chip supports all the features of Bluetooth 5 (including 4x the range or 2x the raw data bandwidth (2Mbps) compared with Bluetooth 4.2). Designed to address the inherent security challenges that are faced in IoT, the nRF52840 SoC incorporates the Arm® CryptoCell-310 cryptographic accelerator, offering best-in-class security.
The SoC is supplied with Nordic’s S140 SoftDevice, a Bluetooth 5-certified software protocol stack for building long range and high data Bluetooth LE applications. The S140 SoftDevice offers concurrent Central, Peripheral, Broadcaster, and Observer Bluetooth LE roles, and supports high throughput and long range modes as well as advertising extensions.
The nRF52840 SoC also supports complex Bluetooth LE and other low-power wireless applications that were previously not possible with a single-chip solution. The nRF52840 is Bluetooth 5- and Thread 1.1-certified and its Dynamic Multiprotocol feature uniquely supports concurrent wireless connectivity of both protocols. Its radio architecture—featuring -96-dBm RX sensitivity and an on-chip power amplifier that boosts maximum output power of 8dBm for a total link budget of >104dBm—enables the gateway and dongle to achieve an estimated Bluetooth LE range of 2300 metres when used in environments with a clear line of sight, low RF interference, and low multiple path intereference, according to Fanstel.
“The key reasons for selecting the nRF52840 SoC were its support for multiple radio protocols, its advanced security functionality, and the fact it features all the firmware required for the Bluetooth LE portion of the gateway,” says Dr Yuan Fan, Fanstel Founder and CEO. “We also greatly appreciate Nordic’s support and fast response time throughout the development process.”