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Nordic Semiconductor, partners demo BLE modules

Posted: 01 Mar 2013     Print Version  Bookmark and Share

Keywords:BLE  Bluetooth  protocol stack 

Nordic Semiconductor ASA collaborates with Japanese partners to demonstrate 'blank' Bluetooth low energy modules based on Nordic's nRF51822 multi-protocol SoC.

The 'blank' Bluetooth low energy modules showcased at the Mobile World Congress 2013, boast fully-compliant Bluetooth low energy protocol software cleanly separated from a blank application stack area ready for rapid development of the customer's own code.

The modules being demonstrated come from leading Japanese ODMs Braveridge Co. Ltd, Fujitsu Component Ltd, and Hosiden Corp. Braveridge is exhibiting the "BVMCN5101_BK", Fujitsu Component the "MBH7BLZ02-100057", and Hosiden the "HRM1017". Other manufacturers are expected to release similar modules during 2013.

These vendors selected the nRF51822 SoC for the modules because of its ultra low power consumption and RF performance, but also because, uniquely, the RF protocol software is separated from the developer's own application code.

This separation brings three advantages: first the modules are supplied complete with Nordic's verified and qualified Bluetooth low energy stack; second, the clean boundary between application and protocol stack simplifies development, and third, the application code can be developed on the nRF51822 chip's integrated 32bit ARM Cortex-M0 based processor.

Because the modules from each supplier will be shipped as Bluetooth v4.0- and RF-approved, development project timescales are shortened and costs reduced. Code development is accelerated by removing the need to struggle with integration of application code as part of a vendor-imposed application development framework.

In addition, the nRF51822-based modules' processors allow for flexible application customisation using the highly popular and familiar ARM Cortex programming environment without recourse to an external processor and associated development kit.

"The Bluetooth low energy protocol stack in the nRF51822-based modules from our Japanese partners will be shipped as tested and qualified so the developer can focus solely on the application code," explains Mitsuo Yamazaki, Nordic's Regional Sales Manager for Japan. "This is impossible with competing devices and makes it much easier for designers to develop Bluetooth Smart-powered applications for the lucrative market for 'appcessories'—an accessory wirelessly paired with an 'app' on a smartphone or tablet computer. This market is in its infancy, but is forecast to become huge."

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