Nordic Semiconductor today announces that U.S.-based pet wearables startup, Huan, has selected Nordic’s nRF52840 Bluetooth® 5.2/Bluetooth Low Energy (Bluetooth LE) advanced multiprotocol System-on-Chip (SoC), and its nRF52810 Bluetooth LE SoC to provide the wireless connectivity for its ‘Huan Sensor’- and ‘Huan Tag’-based smart pet tracking system.
Huan Tags are small IP67-rated beacons, available in two different form factors, designed to attach to a dog or cat’s collar. Once paired to a Bluetooth 4.0 (and later) smartphone using Bluetooth LE wireless connectivity provided by the nR52810 SoC, owners can track their pet’s whereabouts from the iOS- and Android-compatible ‘Huan’ app.
For occasions when the pet wanders beyond Bluetooth range of its owner’s smartphone, the company has developed nRF52840 SoC-powered Huan Sensors that can, for example, be deployed in public locations or other Huan users’ vehicles. In the event the pet passes within Bluetooth range of any of those sensors, the sensor will detect the presence of the missing pet’s collar-worn tag. The sensors act as a Bluetooth LE to Wi-Fi or LTE-M gateway, relaying the data of a missing pet’s whereabouts to the owner and Huan’s ‘Pet Protection Network’ community via the Huan app.
From the app, the owner can set automatic missing pet alerts to notify them if their pet wanders outside of Bluetooth range of their smartphone; perform ‘pet detection’ to be notified if any missing pets are nearby; mark pets as ‘missing’ to send a notification alarm to others in their network or start a search party; as well as activate a ‘home alone’ mode that will automatically alert a user’s emergency contacts if their pet is left in the home alone for more than 24 hours.
The larger Huan tags employ a single CR2032 coin cell battery that provides a battery life of approximately 12 months before replacement, while the smaller form factor tags use a CR1632 battery and have a 3-month battery life before replacement, thanks in part to the ultra-low power characteristics of the Nordic SoC. The nRF52810 is engineered to minimize power consumption, with features such as the 2.4GHz radio’s 4.6mA peak RX/TX currents, and a fully-automatic power management system that reduces power consumption by up to 80 percent compared with Nordic’s nRF51 Series SoCs.
Nordic’s nRF52840 is Nordic’s most advanced ultra low power nRF52 Series SoC. The nRF52840 is Bluetooth 5.2-, Thread 1.1-, and Zigbee PRO (R21) and Green Power proxy specification-certified and its Dynamic Multiprotocol feature uniquely supports concurrent wireless connectivity of the protocols. The SoC combines a 64MHz, 32-bit Arm® Cortex® M4 processor with floating point unit (FPU) with a 2.4GHz multiprotocol radio (supporting Bluetooth 5.2, ANT™, Thread, Zigbee, IEEE 802.15.4, and proprietary 2.4GHz RF protocol software) with 1MB Flash memory and 256kB RAM. A new radio architecture with on-chip PA provides features -95dBm RX sensitivity (at 1Mbps Bluetooth LE), a maximum output power of 8dBm, and a total link budget of 103dBm. 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.
The SoC is supplied with Nordic’s S140 SoftDevice, a Bluetooth 5.2-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. OpenThread and Zigbee stacks are available through Nordic’s nRF5 SDK for Thread and Zigbee.
Nordic’s nRF52810 multiprotocol SoC combines a 64MHz, 32-bit Arm® Cortex® M4 processor, with a 2.4GHz multiprotocol radio (supporting Bluetooth 5, ANT™, and proprietary 2.4GHz RF protocol software) featuring reduced radio energy consumption, with 192kB Flash memory and 24kB RAM. The nRF52810 SoC is supplied with the latest version of Nordic’s S112 SoftDevice, Bluetooth 5-compliant RF protocol software.
“We selected the nRF52810 SoC for the tags because we had one major constraint – battery life,” says Huan founder, Gilad Rom. “We wanted to make an extremely small form-factor Bluetooth LE wearable that could be powered for several months by a single coin cell battery, and Nordic’s nRF52810 SoC fit our requirements perfectly.
“The overall reliability of Nordic’s SoCs was also critical. Huan Tags are being worn by pets in every environment and climate and they need to work.
“Also, the nRF52810 and nRF52840 SoCs provide a clear upgrade path for Bluetooth Direction Finding and Bluetooth Long Range, both of which are on our roadmap.”