Scottsdale, Arizona-based hardware and firmware engineering specialist, Fanstel, has launched a series of combined Bluetooth® LE and Wi-Fi modules, aimed at easing the development process for new Matter smart home product designs. The ‘WT02E40E Series’ modules integrate both Nordic Semiconductor’s nRF5340 high-end multiprotocol SoC, and nRF7002 Wi-Fi 6 Companion IC. Matter is the result of the Connectivity Standards Alliance’s efforts to create a unified application layer for smart home applications.
As most Matter applications require two antennas, the Fanstel series of modules offer multiple antenna options to flexibly meet the developer’s application requirements. Options include the WT0E40E with u.FL connectors for Bluetooth LE and Wi-Fi 6 antennas, the ‘WT02C40C’ with on-chip Bluetooth LE and Wi-Fi 6 antennas, the ‘WT02V40V’ with vertically-mounted chip antennas for Bluetooth LE and Wi-Fi 6, the ‘WT02E40C’ with a u.FL connector for a Wi-Fi 6 antenna and an on-chip Bluetooth LE antenna, and the ‘WT02E40F’ with a u.FL connector for a Wi-Fi 6 antenna and a high performance Bluetooth LE PCB antenna.
All other required hardware—including three crystals, inductors for DC-DC converters, and a power switch—is embedded, delivering an easy-to-use, highly integrated, and compact solution to the developer. Depending on the antenna configuration, the modules range in size from 16 by 28.2 mm to 16 by 35.5 mm.
“These modules resolve the challenge of integrating two high performance antennas in a small area,” says Dr Yuan Fan, Fanstel founder and CEO. “And because the modules are all pre-certified, developers can save many thousands of dollars by not having to certify [their own] seven different transmitters required for Matter applications. The cost can be too much for small- and medium-sized businesses.”
Nordic’s nRF5340 integrates dual Arm® Cortex®-M33 processors providing a high performance application processor alongside a fully programmable, ultra low power network processor. The SoC also incorporates Arm CryptoCell-312, Arm TrustZone® technology, and Secure Key Storage for the highest level of security. It incorporates a power-optimized multiprotocol 2.4 GHz radio with a TX current of 3.4 mA (0 dBm TX power, 3 V, DC/DC) and RX current of 2.7 mA (3 V, DC/DC). Sleep current is as low as 0.9 µA.
The nRF7002 Wi-Fi 6 Companion IC brings low power and secure Wi-Fi to the IoT, providing dual band (2.4 and 5 GHz) connectivity, and a seamless interface to the nRF5340 SoC’s host processor on the Fanstel modules. The nRF7002 also supports Target Wake Time (TWT) a key Wi-Fi 6 power saving feature that extends the life of battery-powered Matter Wi-Fi devices.
“Fanstel selected Nordic’s nRF5340 SoC for its powerful dual processors, and the nRF7002 for its extreme low power consumption,” says Dr Fan. “But Nordic Semiconductor also offers the easiest to use firmware development environment, and its tech support team is the best in the industry.”