Nordic SoC Enables Wireless Bluetooth LE Functionality on New Xiaomi Smart Watch

Shenzhen InSo Technology, a subsidiary of Chinese giant Xiaomi, has introduced the new Mi Quartz watch enabled by Nordic nRF52832 System-on-Chip (SoC). The Nordic SoC is the main control chip in the watch, providing the timekeeping functionality in addition to the Bluetooth LE wireless connectivity to Bluetooth 4.0 (and later) smartphones and tablets.

Manufactured from stainless steel with a quick release interchangeable strap, the Mi Quartz Watch weighs 42g, is water resistant to 30 metres, and features a stylish 40mm analog display while also offering both smart-watch and sports-watch functionality. The watch incorporates a three-axis accelerometer to measure steps taken, distance covered, and calories burned, as well as providing vibration alerts for incoming phone calls, alarms, and reminders.

Activity data is synced to the user’s device from where the iOS- and Android-compatible ‘Mi Home’ app enables the user to review their exercise performance, and set alarms, interval timers, and call reminder alerts. The Nordic Bluetooth LE SoC also enables automatic time calibration, quick time zone adjustments, and secure over-the-air device firmware updates (OTA-DFU).

The watch employs a CR2340 320mAh coin cell battery, providing between six and 12 months operation depending on usage between replacement, thanks in part to the ultra low power consumption of the nRF52832 SoC. The SoC has been engineered to minimize power consumption with features such as the 2.4 GHz 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. The result is a Bluetooth LE solution which offers 58 CoreMark/mA, up to twice as power efficient as competing devices.

Nordic’s nRF52832 multiprotocol SoC combines an 64 MHz, 32-bit Arm Cortex M4F processor with a 2.4 GHz multiprotocol radio (supporting Bluetooth 5, ANT, and proprietary 2.4 GHz RF protocol software) featuring -96 dB RX sensitivity, with 512 kB Flash memory and 64 kB RAM. The SoC is supplied with S132 SoftDevice, a Bluetooth 5-certifed RF software protocol stack for building advanced Bluetooth LE applications. The S132 SoftDevice features Central, Peripheral, Broadcaster and Observer Bluetooth LE roles, supports up to twenty connections, and enables concurrent role operation.