Nordic and Qorvo Expand their Collaboration to Include Ultra-Wideband Technology

Nordic Semiconductor and Qorvo announced that they are expanding their partnership to include dual Ultra-Wideband (UWB) and Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) connectivity solutions, complementing the companies’ low power cellular IoT portfolios. The announcement was made following Qorvo’s acquisition of UWB pioneer Decawave.

Nordic and Qorvo have built a solid partnership developing next generation cellular IoT solutions with combined expertise from both companies. They expect the collaboration on Bluetooth LE and UWB to complement their partnership and accelerate the adoption of location-based technologies and services for a new generation of products.

Nordic and Qorvo have collaborated for years on Nordic’s nRF9160 System-in-Package (SiP) with integrated LTE-M/NB-IoT modem and GPS. Nordic’s award-winning nRF9160 leverages Qorvo’s state-of-the-art RF Front End (RFFE), advanced packaging, and MicroShield™ technology to deliver a unique, ultra-compact solution that combines high performance with low power consumption.

Nordic and Decawave collaborated previously, and Nordic’s nRF52832 System-on-Chip (SoC) that is integrated in Decawave’s DWM1001C UWB and Bluetooth LE module. Future UWB/Bluetooth LE products jointly designed by Nordic and Qorvo will combine Qorvo’s UWB transceiver with Nordic’s nRF52833 SoC, a 105°C qualified Bluetooth 5.2 SoC supporting Bluetooth LE, Direction Finding and Bluetooth mesh. Nordic and Qorvo anticipate their partnership and Qorvo’s contributions to UWB will help to accelerate product development.

Bluetooth LE and UWB are complementary technologies suited to a wide range of consumer and industrial IoT applications, particularly those demanding precision location measurement and proximity awareness. UWB was specifically designed to provide micro-positioning accuracy in products including smartphones, the smart home, industrial asset tracking and automotive. Bluetooth LE offers a mature and sophisticated software base, providing guaranteed UWB interoperability, as well as ultra-low TX and RX power consumption. Nordic SoCs have been engineered to minimize power consumption and ‘wake up’ the UWB transceiver when needed, conserving power in critical asynchronous discovery/join scenarios.

Qorvo is a leader in RF Front Ends for cellular IoT systems, and Nordic is a leader in low power cellular IoT and Bluetooth LE. With the addition of UWB to Qorvo’s product range, their collaboration now covers three complementary technologies across a wide range of applications, enabling future innovations for common customers across multiple industries.