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nRF51822 now available as ultra- thin CSP variant

The award winning nRF51822 is now available as an ultra-thin Chip Scale Package) CSP variant. Measuring just 3.38mm x 3.38mm and with a height profile (including ball grid array) of just 0.35mm it is tiny, tiny enough to fulfill the requirements of the smartcard industry for example.

Size matters

As the world of Bluetooth Smart connectivity broadens ever further so do the demands placed on PCB real estate designers. Everything is getting smaller, ICs, supporting components and the overall designs are cramming more into less. For the smartcard industry there are absolute demands on size so that cards can fit reading machines etc. In wearables every square mm of PCB space it at a premium and so all savings no matter how trivial they may immediately seem are a boon.

Next generation wearables

Wearables is a pretty broad catch-all description for a surprisingly wide range of applications. When one thinks of this market the likes of FitBit and Jawbone, Polar and Pebble watches immediately spring to mind, but I can assure you that’s just one sub-segment of the wearables pie. We are seeing notification rings, jewelry and even moves into embedded electronic apparel. These applications are particularly sensitive to size, most especially the height of the electronics. At 0.35mm the classic nRF51822 can be realistically embedded into fabrics even and this is opening up very exciting new wearables territory.

It’s still the classic nRF51822

The thin CSP variant is the same SoC without compromise it has 256kB of flash and 32kB of RAM on chip. It still supports the S130 multi-role concurrent operation SoftDevice, and the nRF5 SDKs. When you know you need an nRF51822, you’ve just got to go smaller, this is your device of choice.

devzone.nordicsemi.com

BBC delivers up to one million micro:bits free to UK school children each employing a Nordic Bluetooth Smart wireless chip

At the heart of the BBC micro:bit is a single nRF51822 Bluetooth Smart wireless technology System-on-Chip (SoC) from Nordic Semiconductor. This integrates the micro:bit’s computer brain (a 32-bit ARM Cortex M0 microprocessor) where the school child-created software code runs, and that also allows the micro:bit to both wirelessly communicate with other micro:bits, and sync to or be updated from smartphones, tablets, and computers via Bluetooth – all from a single chip

Nordic Semiconductor today announces that in its official role as BBC micro:bit partner that from yesterday the BBC is delivering up to one million micro:bits free to every 11-12 year old school child in the U.K. (year 7 school child in England and Wales, year 8 in Northern Ireland, and S1 in Scotland).

At a prestigious launch event hosted at the London Stock Exchange yesterday to mark the student delivery of the BBC micro:bit, the BBC announced that following the nationwide rollout, the micro:bit hardware and much of the software will be open-sourced, and BBC micro:bits will be available to buy from a range of retailers.

At the heart of the BBC micro:bit is a single Nordic Semiconductor nRF51822 Bluetooth® Smart wireless technology SoC. This integrates the micro:bit’s computer ‘brain’ (a 32-bit ARM Cortex M0 microprocessor) where the school child-created software code runs, and that also allows the micro:bit to both wirelessly communicate with other micro:bits, and sync to or be updated from smartphones, tablets, and computers via Bluetooth – all from a single chip.

Nordic Semiconductor pioneered the development of ultra low power wireless during the early 2000s, and later became a key contributor in the creation and evolution of the ultra low power Bluetooth Smart version of Bluetooth wireless technology that can run from small batteries such as watch batteries for months to years.

Since then Nordic has worked tirelessly to continually define and re-define the leading edge of the ultra low power wireless market and in particular to make it ever more accessible, simple, and open to the widest number of people, including for the first time those from a non-professional or non-electronics engineering background.

“The BBC Microcomputer started me on my journey towards a career in technology and the BBC micro:bit will have the same effect on children receiving their devices from today,” said Simon Segars, CEO of ARM. “The ability to code is now as important as grammar and mathematics skills and it can unlock important new career options. I can easily imagine a new wave of design entrepreneurs looking back and citing today as the day their passion for technology began.”

“This is why Nordic Semiconductor is proud to be a BBC micro:bit partner and is supplying the ultra low power Bluetooth chips with embedded ARM Cortex microprocessors employed on every micro:bit,” comments Svenn-Tore Larsen, CEO of Nordic Semiconductor.