The AS_NRF51 FleX-BLE IC from American Semiconductor employs Nordic’s nRF51822 SoC to deliver a flexible connectivity solution for wearable, IoT, and logistics applications
Nordic Semiconductor today announces that Boise, ID-based American Semiconductor, has selected Nordic’s nRF51822 Bluetooth® Low Energy (Bluetooth LE) System-on-Chip (SoC) for its ‘AS_NRF51 FleX™-BLE’, a flexible integrated circuit (IC) that supports Bluetooth LE wireless connectivity in what American Semiconductor claims is the world’s thinnest and smallest Chip Scale Package (CSP).
The AS_NRF51 Flex-BLE is an ultra-thin version of Nordic’s nRF51822 SoC wafer-level CSP (WL-CSP), employing American Semiconductor’s ‘FleX™ Semiconductor-on-Polymer™’ (FleX SoP) process to reduce package size to approximately 35µm—roughly half the thickness of a human hair—while the addition of front- and back-side polymides from HD MicroSystems provides mechanical strength to allow the IC to bend without breaking. The result is an IC with a robust, thin, and physically flexible form factor designed for solutions that demand ultra thinness, physical flexibility, and high reliability in applications ranging from wearables and logistics, to the Internet of Things (IoT).
Nordic’s nRF51822 SoC is ideally suited for Bluetooth LE and 2.4GHz ultra low power wireless applications. The nRF51822 is built around a 32-bit Arm® Cortex™ M0 CPU, 2.4GHz multiprotocol radio, and 256kB/128kB Flash and 32kB/16kB RAM. The SoC is supplied with Nordic’s S130 SoftDevice, a Bluetooth 4.2 qualified concurrent multi-link protocol stack. Nordic’s software architecture includes a clear separation between the RF protocol software and the application code, simplifying development and ensuring the SoftDevice doesn’t become corrupted when developing, compiling, testing, and verifying application code.
“We were looking for an advanced Bluetooth Low Energy solution that was rich in features and available in wafer format for conversion through our FleX SoP process,” says Richard Ellinger, VP Sales and Marketing, American Semiconductor. “The nRF51822 SoC’s Arm CPU, large Flash memory, low power consumption, and excellent 2.4 GHz radio performance made it the ideal choice.
“In addition, the availability of an established suite of support software and protocol stacks was essential, as we want our end customers to be able to quickly deploy ultra-thin, physically flexible Bluetooth LE systems into their markets. Many people are using the Nordic nRF51822 SoCs in their products today, and this will allow them to expand into new markets that may also require an ultra-thin, conformable, and/or physically flexible solution.”