Wireless SoCs cut consumption free designers from proprietary software frameworks: Page 2 of 3

July 02, 2012 // By Jean-Pierre Joosting
Oslo, Norway — Nordic Semiconductor have launched the nRF51 Series ULP wireless SoCs, which cut power consumption, increase RF performance, and free designers from proprietary software frameworks
operations and goes to sleep while the peripherals execute thier operations. The SoC has no predefined power modes with only those blocks doing something requiring power.

All about software

The nRF51 offers a different approach to single chip software development. By offering a clean separation of application and stack code, all the application designer sees is a standard Cortex M0. There is no proprietary application framework, no scheduler, no RTOS dependencies. The engineer has full control over the choice of operating environment. The application code and stack code are compiled separately and there are no link-time dependencies. The stack is transparent and run-time protected. Key advantages include independent develoment, testing and verification as well as code portability, migration and reuse.

Better radio performance

The multi-protocol 2.4 GHz radio provides high-performance, ultra low power consumption, and flexibility. The radio features -92.5dB receive sensitivity in Bluetooth low energy mode and up to +4 dBm output power in all modes.

The radio delivers a 9.5 dBm improvement in link budget compared to the company’s previous generation radio. It is Bluetooth low energy (Bluetooth v4.0) compliant and offers100% on air compatibility with Nordic’s existing nRF24L series ICs

The radio supports non-concurrent and concurrent operation of a range of protocols including Bluetooth Low Energy, ANT, and proprietary 2.4 GHz RF. Keeping the low-power theme, the radio draws sub-10-mA peak currents running off a 3-V coin cell battery.

Bluetooth Low Energy

The nRF51822 multi-protocol Bluetooth low energy SoC includes 256 kB on-chip Flash and 16kB RAM, a wide range of digital and mixed signal peripherals including SPI, 2-wire, ADC, and a quadrature decoder, as well as 16 PPI channels. The SoC features a complete Bluetooth protocol stack from Link layer to Profiles.

The S110 Bluetooth low energy stack for the nRF51822 is provided as a downloadable, royalty-free, pre-compiled binary that can be programmed and updated separately. It requires less than 128 kB code space and 6

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