Multiprotocol

Wireless solutions with flexible connectivity options

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Get the best of both worlds

Combine and leverage

The benefits of wireless connectivity with multiprotocol are many and varied: It delivers a better user experience, different protocols offer complementary strengths when used together and developers can design once and use in multiple regions, and field upgrades can be supported.

All Nordic software and hardware supports multiple wireless connectivity protocols to allow for the ultimate flexibility in your design. Create one device that can connect to multiple protocols, or a device that can be configured to different protocols.

Multiprotocol

Our solution offers the option to run multiple protocols on one SoC, either one at the time (switched multiprotocol) or concurrently (dynamic multiprotocol).

Switched multiprotocol is useful in for example smart home applications where the mesh protocol is unknown, it could be Bluetooth mesh, Thread or Zigbee. With switched multiprotocol you can develop a generic application and then adapt to the mesh protocol where the device is used. Another possibility is to leverage Bluetooth Low Energy interoperability and ubiquity. The device is configured and commissioned with Bluetooth LE, with for example a smartphone, and then switches to the appropriate mesh protocol, it being Bluetooth mesh, Thread or Zigbee. Device firmware updates (DFU) can be carried out over Bluetooth LE, while the device typically operates with another protocol.

With dynamic protocol multiple protocols are active at the same time. The radio time is time sliced and shared between the protocols. The scheduling is autonomous and connections are maintained. Leverage Bluetooth LE interoperabilty and ubiquity and bridge into a Bluetooth mesh, Thread or Zigbee mesh with a Bluetooth LE device, such as a smartphone. Use it for commissioning or to simply interact with the mesh network.



 

Multiprotocol video

Thread and Bluetooth LE

nRF5 SDK for Thread: Thread/Bluetooth Low Energy multiprotocol demo

Multiprotocol support

Compatability table

While Nordic SoCs support multiprotocol, there are limitations of the individual
technologies. Take a look at the table below to check your compatibility options.
 

  Bluetooth Low Energy ZigBee Thread 802.15.4 Proprietary
Bluetooth Low Energy YES * YES YES YES YES
ZigBee YES N/A YES YES YES
Thread YES YES N/A YES YES
802.15.4 YES YES YES N/A YES
Proprietary YES YES YES YES YES 

 
* Multirole, 20 concurrent roles / connections (19 links and a scanner or broadcaster).

The complete multiprotocol solution

Fast switching radio and complementary software

Nordic provides the complete multiprotocol solution. The nRF52 Series and nRF53 Series are all-flash based SoCs with extensive processing power and a fast switching radio that are capable of running multiple protocols effortlessly. The SoCs are complemented by a broad suite of software that supports a wide selection of protocols.

Our solution enables you to run Bluetooth Low Energy concurrently with 2.4 GHz proprietary, ANT, Bluetooth mesh, Thread or Zigbee.

Examples to get you going can be found in the respective SDKs.

Read more about our software solutions here.

nRF52 and nRF53 Series protocol support

Overview

  nRF52810   nRF52811 nRF52832  nRF52833
nRF52840 nRF5340
Bluetooth Low Energy  x  x  x  x  x  x
Bluetooth Direction Finding
   (x)    (x)    (x)
Bluetooth mesh  (x)  (x)  (x)  x  x  (x)
Thread    x    x  x  (x)
Zigbee  
   x  x  (x)
802.15.4    (x)    (x)  x  (x)
ANT  x  (x)  x  (x)  x  (x)
2.4 GHz proprietary  x  x  x  x  x  x

(x) Software support planned

Meet our new flagship SoC

nRF5340 SoC

Bluetooth 5.2 SoC supporting Bluetooth Low Energy, Bluetooth mesh, Bluetooth Direction Finding, NFC, Thread and Zigbee

128 MHz Arm Cortex-M33 CPU with
1 MB Flash + 512 KB RAM
64 MHz Arm Cortex-M33 CPU with
256 KB Flash + 64 KB RAM
Bluetooth Low Energy
Bluetooth Direction Finding
Bluetooth mesh
Thread, Zigbee
NFC
Advanced security
USB, QSPI, HS-SPI
105 °C extended operating temperature
1.7-5.5 V supply voltage range

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