Thread

Low power mesh

IP-based wireless networking protocol

Thread was developed to have a reliable, secure, and scalable way to connect low-power devices. Thread is an IPv6 standards-based mesh networking protocol with no single point of failure. Like the Internet, Thread runs on the Internet Protocol (IP). As a result, Thread devices seamlessly integrate with larger IP networks. They don’t need proprietary gateways or translators. This streamlines connectivity to the cloud or to consumers mobile end devices. 

Low power wireless connectivity is a core competence of Nordic. We support OpenThread and are one of its main contributors.  Our hardware products in combination with our software are Thread Certified Components.  With Nordic's portfolio, you can build a single chip device or use one of our smaller devices as a network coprocessor to build a Thread Border Router.  The SoCs have different memory sizes and capabilities, for you to select the perfect match for your product. Thread protocol is application layer agnostic and does not define an application layer. As a result, it can support many IP-enabled application protocols. Nordic’s Thread solution is a perfect baseline for Thread-based application layers: Matter, HomeKit, DALI+, KNX IoT, OCF, and others.

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Nordic is one of the leading companies in Thread/Bluetooth Low Energy multiprotocol. This is a requirement for Matter and for Thread HomeKit accessories, where Bluetooth LE is used for commissioning and Thread for data. It is also possible to build a Thread-capable device now and include Matter support later with an update. An Apple HomeKit  accessory can for example be converted into a Matter device with a small development effort.

 

We offer excellent documentation and technical support to anyone developing a Thread product with our SoCs. We guide you through the product development process. 

 

Advanced Thread SoCs

The nRF5340 SoC is our Thread flagship SoC. It is the first SoC in the nRF53 Series and is the world’s first wireless SoC with two Arm® Cortex®-M33 processors.
The nRF5340 is an all-in-one SoC. It includes a superset of the most prominent nRF52® Series features. The two processors and advanced security features are a great starting point for your application. With the capabilities for Thread, Zigbee and Bluetooth LE the nRF5340 is a multiprotocol powerhouse. With high-speed SPI, QSPI, USB, and even Arm Cryptocell 312 it enables ambitious Thread products.

Four of the seven SoCs in the nRF52 Series also support Thread. All four integrate a powerful yet efficient 64 MHz Arm Cortex-M4 CPU. Flash memory size ranges from 192KB to 1024 KB while RAM size ranges from 24KB to 256 KB. Our nRF52 Series offers simple cost-effective options. It has advanced options and enables your products with top features and ultra-low power.  The nRF52 Series is the ideal platform for basing a product portfolio upon. Similar hardware and software architecture across the series results in excellent software portability. Software reusability gets increased reducing your time-to-market and development cost.

All SoCs can run both Bluetooth Low Energy and a mesh protocol like Thread/Zigbee/Bluetooth mesh concurrently. The radio time is time-sliced and shared between the protocols. The scheduling is autonomous and maintains connections

 

 

The nRF52 and nRF53 Series are all-flash based SoCs. Flash memory brings complete flexibility and upgradability to your products. They can be re-programmed in the factory or in the field with over-the-air device firmware upgrades (OTA DFU). This enables product updates and feature additions any time, anywhere.

Thread SoCs comparison


 nRF5340   nRF52840
nRF52833  nRF52820   nRF52811
 CPU  128 MHz Arm Cortex-M33
 +
 64 MHz Arm Cortex-M33
 64 MHz Arm Cortex-M4 with FPU  64 MHz Arm Cortex-M4 with FPU  64 MHz Arm Cortex-M4  64 MHz Arm Cortex-M4
Flash  1 MB
 +
 256 KB
 1 MB  512 KB  256 KB  192 KB
 RAM  512 KB
 +
 64 KB
 256 KB  128 KB  32 KB  24 KB
 Arm TrustZone  Yes
     
 Arm CryptoCell   312  310      
 Root-of-Trust  Yes  Yes      
 Secure key storage  Yes        
 High-Speed SPI  Yes  Yes yes    
 TWI/SPI/UART  4xTWI/SPI/UART +TWI/SPI/UART  2xTWI/SPI, SPI, 2xUART  2xTWI/SPI, SPI, 2xUART  2xTWI/SPI, UART  TWI/SPI, SPI,UART
 QSPI  Yes  Yes      
 USB  Yes  Yes  yes  Yes  
 PWM, PDM, I2S  Yes  Yes  Yes    PWM, PDM
 ADC, Comparator  Yes  Yes  Yes  COMP  yes
 Operating temperature  -40 to 105 °C  -40 to 85 °C  -40 to 105 °C  -40 to 105 °C

-40 to 85 °C

 Supply voltage range  1.7 to 5.5 V  1.7 to 5.5 V  1.7 to 5.5 V  1.7 to 5.5 V 1.7 to 3,6 V
 Packages

 7x7 mm aQFN94
 (48 GPIOs)

 4.4x4.0 mm WLCSP95
 (48 GPIOs)

 7x7 mm aQFN73
 (48 GPIOs)

 3.5x3.6 mm WLCSP94
 (48 GPIOs)

 7x7 mm aQFN73
 (42 GPIOs)

5x5 mm QFN40 (18 GPIOs)

 3.0x3.2 mm WLCSP75
 (42 GPIOs)

 5x5 mm QFN40 (18 GPIOs)

6x6 mm QFN48 (32 GPIOs)

5x5 mm QFN32 (17 GPIOs)

2.48x2.46 mm WLCSP33 (15 GPIOs


Our Thread flagship SoC

nRF5340 SoC

Dual-core Bluetooth 5.2 SoC supporting Bluetooth Low Energy, Bluetooth mesh, 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

Thread SoCs

nRF52 Series