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An Introduction to the Nordic nRF52 Series

Thursday, June 18, 2015

The Nordic nRF52 Series redefines the world of possibilities for Bluetooth® Smart sensors and devices for the IoT era.

Running at 64MHz, it boasts an EEMBC Coremark® score of 215, 90 Coremark®/mA, 39µA/MHz (flash) and 30µA/MHz (RAM). With built-in cutting-edge 55nm process technology, the nRF52 Series is designed to carry out increasingly complex tasks in the shortest possible time and return to sleep, conserving precious battery power. Introducing a Cortex-M4F processor at its heart, it is the most capable Bluetooth Smart SoC on the market today. 

With a brand new multiprotocol radio architecture, the limits of Bluetooth Smart are pushed even further. It is built to exist reliably and effectively in a busy 2.4GHz band, with a total link budget of 100dBm, -96dBm sensitivity, +4dBm output power and -42dBm selectivity. Couple this RF resilience with outstanding power consumption, 5.5mA at 0dBm TX output power and 5.5mA RX, it uses an automatic and adaptive power management system to pull impressively little power when getting things done on-air.

nRF52 Series brings NFC for the first time to a Bluetooth Smart SoC. The on-chip NFC-A tag allows developers to take advantage of NFC ‘touch-to-pair’ functionality in their designs. It is a flash device, which helps maintain the total flexibility philosophy of the nRF51 Series. With 512kB flash + 64kB RAM on chip, developers keep all the software stack flexibility and Over-The-Air Device Firmware Upgrade (OTA-DFU) features they enjoyed with the nRF51 Series.

In the world of wearables, size everything. Nordic has built the smallest Bluetooth Smart SoC to date, measuring as small as 3.0 x 3.2mm (QFN). With an on-chip balun and a minimum of external components, it has the smallest design footprint available.


Tomorrow’s Bluetooth Smart Solutions are going to ask a lot. The nRF52 Series delivers.



nRF52832 System on Chip (SoC)

The nRF52832 System on Chip (SoC) is a powerful, highly flexible ultra-low power multiprotocol SoC ideally suited for Bluetooth® Smart ANT and 2.4GHz ultra low-power wireless applications. The nRF52832 SoC is built around a 32-bit ARM® Cortex™-M4F CPU with 512kB + 64kB RAM. The embedded 2.4GHz transceiver supports Bluetooth Smart, ANT and proprietary 2.4 GHz protocol stack. It is on air compatible with the nRF51 Series, nRF24L and nRF24AP Series products from Nordic Semiconductor.   


Processing power

The nRF52832 incorporates a powerful Cortex-M4F processor enabling the most demanding applications with complex arithmetic requirements to be realized in a single chip solution. The IC supports DSP instructions, a Floating Point Unit (FPU), single-cycle multiply and accumulate, and hardware divide for energy-efficient process of computationally complex operations.


Multiprotocol radio

The 2.4GHz radio supports multiple protocols including Bluetooth Smart, ANT and 2.4GHz proprietary. The radio has high definition RSSI and highly automated functionality, including EasyDMA for direct memory access during packet send and retrieve. Nordic provides protocol stacks for Bluetooth Smart, ANT and Gazel (2.4GHz) as software downloads.


Power Efficiency

The nRF52832 SoC is an extremely power efficient device that can run from a supply between 1.7V and 3.6V. All individual peripherals and clocks offer complete flexibility of power down when not required for task operation thus minimizing power consumption to a minimum. The IC has a comprehensive system of automated and adaptive power management features. These features range across the entire IC’s operation from power supply switching to peripheral bus/EasyDMA memory management, to automated shut down of all but the absolute essential peripherals required to perform a task.


On-chip NFC tag

NFC™-A tag support is included on chip for NFC-A Out-of-Band (OOB) pairing is possible with this on chip hardware.


Package options

The nRF52832 is available as a 6x6mm QFN48 package


Features of the nRF52832 SoC:

  • Single chip, highly flexible, 2.4 GHz multi-protocol SoC
  • 32-bit ARM Cortex-M4F Processor
  • 1.7v to 3.6v operation
  • 512kB flash + 64kB RAM
  • Supports concurrent Bluetooth Smart/ANT protocol operation
  • On-chip NFC tag for Out-of-Band (OOB) pairing
  • Up to +4dBm output power
  • -96dBm sensitivity, Bluetooth Smart
  • Thread safe and run-time protected
  • Event driven API
  • On air compatible with nRF24L and nRF24AP series
  • 2 data rates (2Mbps/1Mbps)
  • PPI - maximum flexibility for power-efficient applications and code simplification
  • Automated power management system with automatic power management of each peripheral
  • Configurable I/O mapping for analog and digital I/O
  • 3 x Master/Slave SPI
  • 2 x Two-wire interface (I²C)
  • 3 x PWM
  • AES HW encryption
  • Real Time Counter (RTC)
  • Digital microphone interface (PDM)
  • On-chip balun


nRF52 Preview Development Kit (DK)

The nRF52 Preview Development Kit (DK) is a versatile single board development kit for Bluetooth® Smart, ANT and 2.4GHz proprietary applications using the nRF52832 SoC. This kit supports development for the nRF52832 SoC.

The kit is hardware compatible with the Arduino Uno Revision 3 standard, making it possible to use 3rd-party shields that are compatible to this standard. An NFC antenna can be connected the kit to enable NFC tag functionality. The kit gives access to all I/O and interfaces via connectors and has 4 LEDs and 4 buttons which are user-programmable.

It supports the standard Nordic Software Development Tool-chain using Keil, IAR and GCC. Program/Debug options on the kit is Segger J-Link OB.


Features of the nRF52 Preview DK:

  • Low cost single board development kit supporting Bluetooth Smart, ANT and 2.4GHz
  • Arduino Uno shield compatible
  • ARM mbed enabled
  • All GPIO and interfaces available at edge connectors
  • Segger J-Link OB Program/Debug supported


Call Symmetry at (310) 536-6190 or contact us online for more information about Nordic and the nRF52 Series. 



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