LG Electronics launches dual-operating Bluetooth low energy and 2.4GHz proprietary wireless mouse employing Nordic Semiconductor’s nRF51822 SoC

Dual operation, supported by Nordic’s multiprotocol System-on-Chip, allows consumer to easily switch between control of older PCs and Bluetooth 4.1 (and later) compatible PCs, tablets, smartphones without upgrading mouse

Nordic Semiconductor, a leading provider of ultra low power wireless connectivity, today announces that multinational electronics giant LG Electronics Inc. has unveiled its MEB-300 dual-operating optical mouse, simultaneously supporting Bluetooth® low energy (previously known as Bluetooth Smart) and 2.4GHz proprietary operation by employing Nordic Semiconductor’s award-winning nRF51822 multiprotocol System-on-Chip (SoC).

The use of Nordic’s multiprotocol ultra low power (ULP) wireless technology allows consumers to use the LG MEB-300 mouse with older PCs that are incompatible with Bluetooth 4.1 (and later) while ensuring interoperability with Windows PCs, tablets, and smartphones that do support the latest version of the Bluetooth standard. (Bluetooth low energy has been a hallmark element of the Bluetooth Core Specification since the introduction of Bluetooth 4.0.) When used with older PC’s the MEB-300 employs the nRF51822 SoC’s 2.4GHz proprietary RF protocol software and connects via Nordic’s nRF24LU1+ 2.4GHz USB dongle plugged into a USB port on the PC. When paired with Bluetooth 4.1 (and later) compatible equipment no additional hardware is required.

In operation, when the LG MEB-300 mouse is first paired with a Bluetooth 4.1 (and later) device, the user pushes and holds the sliding mode switch button on the bottom of the mouse to the far left position for two seconds and pairing will commence. For subsequent pairings, the sliding button is simply moved to the left position and pairing will automatically occur. To operate the mouse via USB dongle, the mode switch button is moved to the right position. This dual operation allows consumers to, for instance, seamlessly switch operation between a Bluetooth 4.1 incompatible and Bluetooth 4.1 (or later)-equipped PC. Alternatively, the consumer can use the MEB-300 with an older PC safe in the knowledge that when they upgrade to a newer model they can continue to use the mouse.

The LG MEB-300 mouse features a unique, ‘beetle-style’ sliding cover, making the mouse larger and more comfortable for operation, while retaining a slim line form factor for portability. The three-button (left, right, and scroll wheel) mouse comes in a range of two-tone colors, and is powered by two AAA batteries, providing an extended battery life thanks, in part, to the ULP operating characteristics of the nRF51822 SoC.

Nordic’s nRF51822 SoC is a powerful and flexible multiprotocol SoC ideally suited for Bluetooth low energy and 2.4GHz proprietary ultra low power wireless applications. The nRF51822 is built around a 32-bit ARM® Cortex™ M0 CPU with 256kB/128kB flash and 32kB/16kB RAM. The embedded 2.4GHz transceiver is fully compliant with Bluetooth 4.2, the latest Bluetooth low energy specification and also supports 2.4GHz proprietary RF protocol software.

The nRF24LU1+ is a single-chip solution enabling ultra compact USB dongles for wireless peripherals. By integrating an USB 2.0 compliant device controller, 8-bit application microcontroller and an nRF24L01+ compatible 2.4GHz RF transceiver it supports a wide range of application including PC peripherals, sports accessories and game peripherals.

“People are increasingly using tablets, and even smartphones, more and more like a PC and there is a need for easier control,” says Michael Park, Vice President of LG Electronics. “The LG MEB-300 supports any device, and easily switches between Bluetooth low energy and 2.4GHz USB mode so there is no need to buy additional mice for incompatible devices.”

“We wanted a dual-mode mouse and Nordic’s nRF51822 SoC is a very powerful single-chip solution that supports multiprotocol operation. Other chipset makers don’t have a single-chip multiprotocol solution that is an effective solution from both a cost and engineering overhead perspective,” continues Park. “Moreover, Nordic’s technical support team has been a great help on this project.”

“Multiprotocol operation gives end users the best of both worlds,” comments Ståle “Steel” Ytterdal, Nordic Semiconductor’s Director of Sales, Asia Pacific. “Consumers benefit from long battery life and can use the same mouse with desktop and portable products, even smartphones. Better yet, a user doesn’t have to upgrade legacy computer equipment to enjoy the benefits of the MEB-300’s form factor and wireless performance as they can use proven, class-leading proprietary 2.4GHz wireless technology from Nordic until they are ready to buy a new computer with the latest built-in Bluetooth technology.”

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