Nordic-powered Bluetooth Smart development board offers complete hardware solution for wearable and IoT prototypes

Developed by Finnish design house iProtoXi, the Aistin Blue BTL3X2 development board comes in a small form factor complete with nRF51822 Bluetooth Smart solution, accelerometers, and gyroscope

Nordic Semiconductor today announces that Oulu, Finland-based Internet of Things (IoT) and wearables design company, iProtoXi, has selected Nordic’s nRF51822 Bluetooth® Smart System-on-Chip (SoC) for its Aistin Blue BTL3X2 development board.

The Aistin Blue development board provides a complete hardware solution for designers of wearable prototypes such as activity wristbands. It is also suitable for other wireless applications such as Internet of Things (IoT) sensors. The development board comes in a 32 by 4.2mm form factor and is designed for low power consumption, battery-operated applications.

Aistin Blue is based on the Nordic’s nRF51822 System-on-Chip (SoC) Bluetooth Smart solution which is compliant with the latest (v4.2) version of the specification. The nRF51822 SoC is a powerful and flexible multiprotocol single-chip solution built around a 32-bit ARM® Cortex®- M0 CPU with 256kB/128kB flash and 32kB/16kB RAM. In the development board configuration, the nRF51822 SoC uses an integrated crystal antenna to minimize the number of external components and reduce space. The nRF51822 supports over-the-air application software and Bluetooth Smart firmware upgrades.

The development board integrates a range of sensors including a three-axis accelerometer with a large capacity buffer, allowing the nRF51822 to ‘sleep’ while data is stored (reducing power consumption), a six-axis accelerometer-magnetometer which can measure audio frequencies, and a six-axis accelerometer-gyroscope combination with a peak power consumption of just 2mA. Temperature, humidity and air pressure sensors are also included on the board.

Aistin Blue is also equipped with two host connectors based on the Aistin Bus24 open standard, a micro USB connector, a battery connector with power and charge control, a ‘smart’ switch, as well as programmable red, green, and blue LEDs. A 2Mb EEPROM memory is also provided for sensor data storage. Covers are available for the battery and complete product.

The board comes with application firmware that makes it possible to use the product as a wearable data logger ‘out-of-the-box’ with data stored in internal memory when a Bluetooth Smart connection is unavailable. Sensor values are displayed graphically using an Android application. Customized sensor logic can be coded by designers using Nordic’s development tools.

“Aistin Blue’s compact modular design makes it possible to develop wearable prototypes without the need to do any custom hardware design. This makes significant time and money savings for the customer,” says Janne Kallio, CEO of iProtoXi. “And thanks to the AistinBus24 connectors and interface it’s simple to add different extension modules while still keeping the hardware profile small enough for wearable applications.

“As a design house we have used Nordic’s nRF51822 in two earlier customer projects and found the SoC great for our purposes,” continues Kallio. “We made comparisons between three vendor solutions and found Flash and RAM sizes, the software environment, and chip interfaces made Nordic’s solution the best for us.”

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