Nordic launches single chip solution for Bluetooth Smart tags, accessories

by K C Krishnadas, TechOnline India - February 23, 2012

To use the SoC in a product design demands no specialist understanding of Bluetooth low energy wireless technology or any embedded firmware development.

Nordic Semiconductor has launched its µBlue™ nRF8002 - a low cost, ultra-low power, easy to design-in single chip solution for Bluetooth Smart tags and accessories such as bracelets, pendants, keychains, small toys, and armbands. The nRF8002 extends Nordic's Bluetooth low energy offering with a cost-optimized, ultra-low power, and design-in single chip solution for Bluetooth Smart (as Bluetooth low energy will now be marketed to consumers) tags and accessories.

Nordic is to demonstrate nRF8002-based designs working with both iPhone 4S and Android-based smartphones at the upcoming Mobile World Congress in Spain from February 27 through March 1, 2012

The nRF8002 Bluetooth low energy SoC needs no specialist RF knowledge or firmware development. Using a Nordic nRFgo-compatible nRF8002 Development Kit, developers can design Bluetooth Smart tags and accessories using a graphical user interface that allows them to go no deeper than configuring the built-in application layer and mapping inputs and outputs to external components such as buttons, LEDs, and buzzers.






The development kit also has a small coin cell-powered tag design example that can be used for development, prototyping, and testing. The nRF8002 is supplied in a compact 5x5mm QFN package and includes a fully-qualified Bluetooth v4.0 low energy protocol stack, a highly configurable application layer, and built-in support for a range of Bluetooth v4.0 profiles including: Find Me, Proximity, Alert Notifications, and Battery Status.

The company is pitching the SoC for low cost, miniaturized coin cell battery-powered applications. The Find Me profile allows users to pair small - but commonly misplaced - everyday objects with their Bluetooth v4.0 smartphone in order to locate either from the other.

"One of the unique features of the nRF8002 is its ease-of-use for developers. It is the first and only Bluetooth low energy solution where developers can use a graphical PC-based tool to build their application - with no firmware development - or deep Bluetooth low energy wireless technology understanding required. This lowers time-to-market and development costs, enables companies with little or no Bluetooth wireless technology experience and know-how to start creating their own applications, which is a big step forward in promoting the adoption of the technology," said Kjartan Furset, Strategic Application Manager at Nordic Semiconductor.


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