nRF DesktopReference design

The ideal starting point for Bluetooth LE keyboard, mouse, and dongle applications

The nRF Desktop reference design is a complete hardware and software reference design.  The nRF Desktop is well documented and allows for keyboard, mouse, and dongle designs that can operate using Bluetooth LE, providing enhanced security features, radio performance, and lower power consumption. This reference design is highly configurable. It is based on the nRF52 Series and our nRF Connect SDK. The mouse, as well as the keyboard, can operate either as Bluetooth-only devices (single mode) or in combination with the dongle (dual-mode). The gaming mouse in particular showcases an example of triple mode operation, communicating over Bluetooth LE, either via the dongle or USB. Moreover, it features the new Nordic proprietary feature Low Latency Packet Mode (LLPM), which is available out of the box in the SoftDevice Controller in Nordic nRF Connect SDK. LLPM can reduce the connection interval down to 1 ms (1000 Hz report rate) to give hardcore gamers the best gaming experience.

Highlights

  • Mouse and keyboard hardware and firmware reference for nRF52840, nRF52832, and nRF52810
  • Dongle hardware reference (nRF52840-Dongle) and related firmware
    • Alternative dongle reference designs available for nRF52833 and nRF52820 SoCs
  • Bluetooth LE, HID, LESC, Privacy, DLE, BAS, DIS
  • Swift pairing (Windows)
  • Multi-host association model
  • Device Firmware Update (DFU)
  • Gaming enhancements
    • Live configurations
    • Low latency packet mode (LLPM)
      • Allows up to 1000 packets/second
      • 1 ms connection interval (2 ms with two peripherals connected)
  • AES 128 and all Bluetooth 5 security features
  • Detailed debug and logging
  • Visual profiling of events
 

Laptop mouse

The Laptop mouse reference design is based on a nRF52810. The nRF52810 is a low-cost device of our nRF52 Series. This makes basic nRF52 Series features available and enables you to choose a cost-optimized design. The hardware and firmware layout is made for our nRF52810, the nRF52811, or the nRF52832 SoC in a QFN package. The laptop mouse features three buttons and a wheel.

Key featuresLaptop Mouse

  • Supports Bluetooth LE to the dongle and to the PC
  • PixArt PMW3212 sensor
  • Powered by a single AA battery
  • Bluetooth LE, HID, LESC, privacy, DLE, BAS, DIS
  • Microsoft Swift pair™
  • Multi-host association model
  • DFU
  • AES 128 and all Bluetooth 5 security features
  • Hardware debug interface
  • Low-cost design

Keyboard

Keyboard

The gaming mouse reference design is based on an nRF52832. The hardware and firmware layout is made for our nRF52832 SoC in a QFN48 package.

Key features

  • Supports Bluetooth LE to the dongle and to the PC
  • USB
  • 8 column 18 lines matrix
  • Powered by two AAA batteries
  • 1 LED
  • Bluetooth LE, HID, LESC, Privacy, DLE, BAS, DIS
  • Microsoft Swift pair™
  • Multi-host association model
  • Silent DFU
  • AES 128 and all Bluetooth 5 security features
  • Hardware debug interface
  • Low-cost design

Gaming mouse

The gaming mouse reference design is based on a nRF52840. The nRF52840 is a superset of our nRF52 Series in most aspects. This makes most of the nRF52 Series features available and enables you to choose the SoC you need. The hardware and firmware layout is made for our nRF52840 or the nRF52833 SoC in an aQFN73 package. The gaming mouse features eight buttons and a mechanical wheel.

Key featuresGaming mouse picture

  • Supports Bluetooth LE,  LLPM (when connected to USB dongle), and USB
  • 1 ms report rate thanks to LLPM (Low Latency Packet Mode, embedded in Nordic SoftDevice Controller)
  • 8 dBm TX power 
  • 8 buttons, mechanical wheel
  • 3 RGB LEDs
  • PixArt PMW3360 sensor. High-end gaming
  • Rechargeable battery (over USB)
  • Bluetooth LE, HID, LESC, Privacy, DLE, BAS, DIS, 
  • Microsoft Swift pair™
  • Multi-host association model
  • Silent DFU
  • AES 128 and all Bluetooth 5 security features
  • Hardware debug interface
  • High-performance design

Dongle

Key featuresDongle

The dongle included in the reference design is based on our nRF52840 Dongle. It comes preloaded with corresponding firmware. We offer alternative reference layouts and firmware for dongle variants based on our nRF52833 and nRF52820 SoCs. It uses Bluetooth 5 to connect to the other HID devices. This results in enhanced security, radio performance, and better power consumption. The dongle embeds Bluetooth 5 to HID USB, so the user can plug in the dongle and start using the keyboard and mouse without setup. The devices are paired out of the box on first use. The software is preinstalled on the dongle for out of the box plug and play experience. For the development of a dongle, we recommend using the nRF52833 DK. This allows you to use the debug interface on the DK.

  • Bluetooth LE (used for connection to the keyboard, laptop mouse, and gaming mouse)
  • Supports LLPM for 1-4 concurrent connections with LLPM-capable devices (for example the Gaming Mouse) to deliver down to 1 ms report rate. (LLPM is only available on nRF52833 and nRF52840)
  • 8 dBm TX power
  • Application controlled RGB LED
  • Application controlled button used for pairing
  • Button dedicated for programming
  • USB HID
  • DFU
  • AES 128 and all Bluetooth 5 security features
  • No debug support, only USB interface