Courtesy of Nordic Semiconductor
The blockchain-enabled temperature and acceleration logger from modum.io employs Nordic’s nRF52832 SoC to provide data integrity for pharmaceutical supply chains using Blockchain technology
Nordic Semiconductor today announces that Zurich, Switzerland-based technology start-up, modum.io AG, has selected Nordic’s award-winning nRF52832 Bluetooth® Low Energy (Bluetooth LE) System-on-Chip (SoC) for its temperature logger. The device offers logistics companies an end-to-end cold chain monitoring and tracking solution for pharmaceutical supply chain applications.
During transport, the temperature logger autonomously monitors the package’s temperature, and, via a built-in accelerometer, mechanical shock, orientation changes, and free fall events. The data is stored in the nRF52832 SoC’s large Flash memory. The logger’s data can be queried at any time for shipment, temperature, and movement data without opening the package, using the Nordic SoC’s Bluetooth LE wireless connectivity.
Upon receipt of the package, the receiver can download the data from the temperature logger via the Modum app on their Bluetooth 4.2 (and later) smartphone or tablet using either Near Field Communication (NFC) or Bluetooth LE wireless connectivity. The cryptographically signed data is then checked on the ‘Ethereum Blockchain’—a decentralized digital ledger used to record the measured data and verify its compliance and authenticity—against a shipment-specific ‘smart contract’ to check the product remained compliant to the conditions previously agreed by the sender and receiver. Depending on the outcome, both parties are notified immediately, allowing them to release the product or arrange corrective or further preventative actions.
The tamper-proof data logger weighs only 60g, and is powered by a 290mAh Li-ion battery, providing up to six weeks of continuous operation, thanks in part to the ultra low power characteristics of the Nordic SoC. The nRF52832 SoC has been engineered to minimize power consumption with features such as the 2.4GHz radio’s 5.5mA peak RX/TX currents and a fully-automatic power management system that reduces power consumption by up to 80 percent compared with Nordic’s nRF51 Series SoCs. The result is a Bluetooth LE solution which offers 58 CoreMark/mA, up to twice as power efficient as competing devices.
Nordic’s nRF52832 Bluetooth LE SoC, a member of Nordic’s sixth generation of ultra low power (ULP) wireless connectivity solutions, combines an 64MHz, 32-bit ARM® Cortex® M4F processor ARM M4F processor with a 2.4GHz multiprotocol radio (supporting Bluetooth 5, ANT™, and proprietary 2.4GHz RF software) featuring -96dB RX sensitivity, with 512kB Flash memory and 64kB RAM. When launched, the SoC was the world’s highest performance single-chip Bluetooth LE solution.
The SoC is supplied with Nordic’s S132 SoftDevice, a Bluetooth 5-certifed RF software protocol stack for building advanced Bluetooth low energy applications. The S132 SoftDevice Central, Peripheral, Broadcaster and Observer Bluetooth low energy roles, supports up to twenty connections, and enables concurrent role operation.
“We evaluated different platforms from various vendors before selecting Nordic’s nRF52832 SoC,” says Stefan Weber, modum.io’s COO, overseeing product development. “On one hand, the Nordic SoC meets our technical requirements in terms of performance, energy consumption, and interfaces. On the other, the easy-to-use and professionally documented Software Development Kit allows us to bring our product to the market faster than with any other platform. For us, using the SoC and associated Software Development Kit was a ‘no-brainer’.”
The temperature logger will be commercially available from Q1 2018.