Bluetooth Smart protocol stack for wearable hub networks with wireless sensors

July 03, 2014 // By Jean-Pierre Joosting
Nordic Semiconductor has launched its most advanced, feature-rich Bluetooth® Smart protocol stack to date - the S130 SoftDevice - that allows the development of Nordic nRF51 series SoC-based advanced wearable Bluetooth Smart hub network topologies such as smart watches with peripheral wireless sensors that don't always need a smartphone present to operate.

The S130 SoftDevice is a Bluetooth v4.1 compliant protocol stack and includes all Bluetooth Smart protocol layers up to and including GATT/GAP. It supports multi-link central, peripheral, observer and broadcaster roles, GATT server and client, and event-driven, asynchronous and thread safe GATT/GAP and L2CAP APIs. The S130's ability to support concurrent multi-link central and peripheral roles makes it an ideal choice for Bluetooth Smarthubs that are not smartphones or tablets.

Other S130 SoftDevice features include an Over-The-Air Device Firmware Upgrade (OTA-DFU) capability that leverages the Nordic nRF51 Series SoCs' flash architecture for in-the-field product firmware updates.

A SoftDevice is the company's self-contained software stack for nRF51 series SoCs that incorporates a unique separation of RF protocol and application code.

Employing an architecture that cleanly separates the Bluetooth Smart, ANT or 2.4 GHz proprietary SoftDevice from the developer's application code removes the need for the engineer to struggle with integration of their code as part of a vendor-imposed application development framework. This separation ensures the stack and application software operate independently, but communicate when necessary via event-driven APIs.

S130 alpha release is available now, with full production release scheduled for Q4 this year.