Smart home ecosystem uses Nordic solutions for wireless control of appliances

Wonderlabs

Wonderlabs Limited’s SwitchBot uses nRF52840 and nRF51822 SoCs enabling devices to be controlled from smartphone app

Nordic Semiconductor today announces that technology company, Wonderlabs Limited, has specified Nordic’s nRF52 and nRF51 Series Bluetooth® Low Energy (Bluetooth LE) Systems-on-Chip (SoCs) to power its ‘SwitchBot’ smart home ecosystem. 

The smart home ecosystem comprises the SwitchBot Curtain integrating the nRF52840 Bluetooth 5.2/Bluetooth LE advanced multiprotocol SoC and the SwitchBot Bot integrating the nRF51822 SoC, as well as other Nordic-powered, sensor-based smart home devices and peripherals that can be used independently or in conjunction with each other using a proprietary Bluetooth-based mesh networking solution.  

Multiprotocol support

The Nordic SoC-enabled Bluetooth LE connectivity ensures SwitchBot products can be wirelessly configured and controlled from the associated iOS/Android ‘SwitchBot’ app on the user’s Bluetooth 4.0 (and later) smartphone. The multiprotocol support provided by the Nordic solutions supports the proprietary Bluetooth-based mesh network where multiple SwitchBot devices can communicate seamlessly. 

Quote
We selected Nordic solutions for SwitchBot because of the chipsets’ reliability, low power consumption, support for advanced features such as Bluetooth 5 and Long Range, and multiprotocol support for our own Bluetooth-based mesh protocol which uses demand routing rather than advertisement flooding
Connery Li, Wonderlabs Limited

SwitchBot Curtain is a 135g, 42 by 51 by 110mm easy-to-install motorized device that can transform an existing curtain rod and rail curtain into an automated smart curtain system controlled by the companion app, a remote controller device also integrating the nRF52840 SoC, or a compatible smart home ecosystem such as Amazon Alexa, Apple Siri and HomePod, or Google Home. Using the functionality of its built-in sensors, the device can be scheduled to close curtains at night and open curtains when it senses daylight. SwitchBot Curtain employs a rechargeable 3350mAh Li-ion battery. Nordic’s nRF52840 provides full Bluetooth 5 support for SwitchBot Curtain and the curtain remote controller, including 2x on-air raw data bandwidth (2Mbps); 4x range; 8x broadcasting ability with advertising extensions that increase the advertising packet payload size to 251 bytes, and an improved channel coexistence algorithm. 

SwitchBot Bot is a 42g, 42.5 by 36.5 by 24mm automated device that mechanically turns on/off appliances in a home or office that employ a button or rocker switch, for example a coffee machine. The device can be controlled using the companion app or via voice control through a smart home ecosystem. SwitchBot Bot employs a CR2 battery to achieve around 20 months of battery life before replacement, thanks in part to the ultra low power characteristics of the Nordic SoC. 

Nordic’s nRF52840 advanced multiprotocol 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, Long Range, Bluetooth mesh, ANT™, Thread, Zigbee, IEEE 802.15.4, NFC, and proprietary 2.4GHz RF protocol software), featuring 8dBm output power -95dBm RX sensitivity for a link budget of 103 dBm, with 1MB Flash memory and 256kB RAM. The Dynamic Multiprotocol feature uniquely supports concurrent wireless connectivity of the protocols. The SoC features 12Mbps Full Speed USB.The nRF52840 SoC incorporates the ARM® CryptoCell-310 cryptographic accelerator offering best-in-class security for Cortex-M based SoCs.

The nRF Connect SDK [Software Development Kit] is recommended for nRF52840 software development. The nRF Connect SDK integrates the Zephyr RTOS, supports applications using Bluetooth LE, Bluetooth mesh and Thread, and includes examples, Bluetooth LE profiles and driver support for all peripherals. The SDK also includes a migration of Nordic’s Bluetooth SoftDevice Controller from the company’s proven SoftDevices used with the nRF52 Series. The nRF5 SDK can also be used for development with Nordic’s S113, S132 and S140 SoftDevices Nordic’s Bluetooth RF protocol stacks.

Reliability and low power consumption

“We selected Nordic solutions for SwitchBot because of the chipsets’ reliability, low power consumption, support for advanced features such as Bluetooth 5 and Long Range, and multiprotocol support for our own Bluetooth-based mesh protocol which uses demand routing rather than advertisement flooding,” says Connery Li, Founder and CEO of Wonderlabs Limited. 

“Nordic’s sales and support team has a strong technical background compared with other semiconductor vendors. They are highly professional and offer fast, useful responses to queries.”

 

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