Nordic Launches a Zigbee Solution for the nRF52840 Multiprotocol SoC for Smart Home Applications

Nordic Semiconductor has released its first Zigbee solution for use with the nRF52840 multiprotocol SoC. The first engineering release is a production grade Zigbee 3.0 certified release planned for the 2nd half of 2018. This product will expand Nordic’s broad portfolio of mesh networking solutions for the smart home, enterprise and industry. As with its other mesh solutions this enables concurrent Zigbee 3.0 operation with Bluetooth Low Energy using the S140 v6.0 SoftDevice.

Nordic’s multiprotocol solution for the nRF52840 SoC enables use cases that take advantage of several wireless technologies. Examples include interaction with a Zigbee smart lighting network from a smartphone via Bluetooth 5, or a Zigbee security network using Bluetooth beacons for location identification. The SDK includes several examples including concurrent operation of Zigbee and Bluetooth 5 for a smart light bulb and switch.

Zigbee is a global, standards-based wireless solution that takes advantage of the IEEE 802.15.4 PHY and operates globally in 2.4 GHz unlicensed bands (and other frequency bands in some geographical zones). Raw data throughput rates of 250 kbs can be achieved at 2.4 GHz (16 channels) and transmission distances range from 10 to 100 meters, depending on power output and environmental characteristics. The technology supports large mesh networks (which allow nodes to relay messages to other nodes) and low power operation for extending battery life.

Established in 2002, the Zigbee Alliance is a non-profit association of members that has created a thriving global ecosystem. The Zigbee Alliance states that the technology is a global, standards-based wireless solution that can conveniently and affordably control the widest range of devices to improve comfort, security, and convenience for consumers. It is the technology of choice for world-leading service providers, installers and retailers who bring the benefits of the Internet of Things (IoT) into the Smart Home.

Nordic’s strategy is to support the leading standards-based low power wireless protocols on its silicon and through its development tools. Zigbee is one of those leading standards, particularly in the home and industrial automation sector. Nordic will soon offer certified, concurrent support for Zigbee and Bluetooth 5 on its high-end multiprotocol chip to provide developers with complete flexibility in their wireless IoT designs.