Nordic launches low-cost USB dongle for its nRF Connect for Desktop PC tool that is compatible with all nRF-supported, short-range wireless standards

Courtesy of Nordic Semiconductor : USB Dongle based on nRF52840

Nordic Semiconductor today announces that it has launched a low-cost, ($10 suggested-retail) USB Dongle for its nRF Connect for Desktop PC tool that allows developers to immediately connect their PCs to a wireless device with only one end of the wireless link available.

This further simplifies the application design and program development process because the developer can see exactly what the wireless device is doing from the get-go on their PC desktop and without having to invest in a full development kit.

The ‘nRF52840 Dongle’ supports all major wireless standards including Bluetooth® Low Energy, Bluetooth mesh, Thread, ZigBee, 802.15.4, ANT and 2.4GHz proprietary applications running on the Nordic nRF52840 multi-protocol System-on-Chip (SoC). It also has a user-programmable RGB LED plus physical push-button, a green LED, as well as 15 GPIO accessible solder points along the edge. To give users a flying-start, example applications have been made available in the Nordic nRF5 SDK under the board name ‘PCA10059’.

“The nRF52840 Dongle is a very clever little piece of hardware that is designed to be the ideal front-end, physical gateway for our nRF Connect for Desktop PC tool,” comments Pål Kastnes, Technical Marketing Manager at Nordic Semiconductor.

“It supports all the major short-range wireless standards that can run on the multi-protocol Nordic nRF52840 SoC and can even function as a basic development kit. That’s a lot of value packed into something that will retail for around $10 and will often save customers having to buy two separate development kits when developing, for example, a product that involves a smartphone app that communicates with a separate piece of hardware such as an activity tracker.”

The nRF52840 Dongle can also be programmed through the Nordic Semiconductor nRFutil utility. (The nRFutil is a Python package and command-line utility that supports Device Firmware Updates (DFUs) and cryptographic functionality.)

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The nRF52840 Dongle is a small, low-cost USB dongle for Bluetooth® low energy, Bluetooth mesh, Thread, ZigBee, 802.15.4, ANT and 2.4GHz proprietary applications using the nRF52840 SoC. The Dongle is the perfect target hardware for use with nRF Connect for Desktop as it is low-cost but still support all the short range wireless standards used with Nordic devices. The dongle has been designed to be used as a wireless HW device together with nRF Connect for Desktop. For other use cases please do note that there is no debug support on the Dongle, only support for programming the device and communicating through USB.

It is supported by most of the nRF Connect for Desktop apps and will automatically be programmed if needed. In addition custom applications can be made and downloaded to the Dongle. It has a user programable RGB LED, a green LED, a user programmable button as well as 15 GPIO accessible from castellated solder points along the edge. Example applications are available in the nRF5 SDK under the board name PCA10059.

The nRF52840 Dongle is supported by nRF Connect for Desktop as well as programming through nRFUtil.

nRF52840 Dongle
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  • Low cost USB dongle supporting Bluetooth low energy, Thread, Zigbee, 802.15.4, ANT and 2.4GHz
  • 15 GPIO and interfaces available on castellated edge soldering points
  • 1 Programmable RGB LED
  • 1 Programmable green LED
  • 1 Programmable Button
  • Updatable through USB DFU


  • 1 x nRF52840 Dongle


Part # Description
nRF52840 Multi-protocol Bluetooth 5/Bluetooth Low Energy/ANT/802.15.4/2.4GHz RF SoC
nRF5 SDK Software Development Kit for nRF51 and nRF52 Series
nRF5 SDK for Thread and Zigbee Software Development Kit for the Thread and Zigbee solutions on the nRF52840
SEGGER Embedded Studio IDE A powerful and easy to use toolbox for developers
S140 Bluetooth 5 20-link protocol stack


Part # Description
nRF52840-Dongle USB Dongle based on nRF52840
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