Nordic Chipset Improves Performance of Bluetooth Based Asset Tracking Devices

Nordic Semiconductor has announced that Tile, a manufacturer of the Bluetooth tracking device, has selected their nRF52810 Bluetooth Low Energy (Bluetooth LE) System-on-Chip (SoC) to provide the processing power and wireless connectivity for its ‘Tile Sticker’, ‘Tile Slim’, ‘Tile Pro’, and ‘Tile Mate’ devices.

Tiles are designed to be attached or paired with anything a user wants to keep track of such as wallets, purses, backpacks, luggage, or car key fobs. Once activated, the Tile is attached to an item and wirelessly connected to the user’s Bluetooth 4.0 (or later) smartphone or tablet using the nRF52810 SoC. The device then uses the smartphone or tablet’s location services to communicate its location information anonymously to the app.

Other features of the Tile app include the ability for the user to ‘ring’ their lost item. If in range the device will play a loud tune to help it be found. The app also automatically records the last time and place it located the user’s item, so the user knows where to look first. In the event the user can’t find their smartphone, pressing the button on any of their connected tiles will make the smartphone ring, even if it is on silent.

Tile Sticker weighs 5g, comes in a 27 by 7.3 mm form factor, and provides a tracking range of 45m in normal conditions. It provides an adhesive backing for secure attachment to assets to be tracked. Tile Slim weighs 14g, is offered in a slimline 84 by 54 by 2.5 mm form factor, and provides a range of up to 60m. Tile Sticker and Tile Slim are both powered by a non-replaceable enclosed custom battery. Tile Pro weighs 12g, comes in a 42 by 42 by 6.5mm form factor, employs a replaceable CR2032 coin cell battery, and provides a tracking range of up to 120m. Tile Mate weighs only 6g, comes in a 35 by 35 by 6.2mm form factor, employs a replaceable CR1632 battery, and offers a range up to 60m. Tile Sticker and Tile Slim guarantee a minimum battery life of three years, while Tile Pro and Tile Mate provide a battery life of one year in normal operation, thanks in part to the ultra-low power characteristics of the Nordic SoC. The nRF52810 has been engineered to minimize power consumption with features such as the 2.4GHz radio’s 4.6mA 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 SoCs.

Nordic’s nRF52810 multiprotocol SoC combines a 64 MHz, 32-bit Arm Cortex M4 processor with a 2.4GHz multiprotocol radio (supporting Bluetooth 5, ANT, and proprietary 2.4 GHz RF protocol software) featuring reduced radio energy consumption, with 192kB Flash memory and 24kB RAM.  The nRF52810 SoC is supplied with the latest version of Nordic’s S112 SoftDevice, Bluetooth 5-compliant RF protocol software.

The Nordic team has been supporting hardware and firmware engineers to develop Bluetooth LE products since Bluetooth LE started, and they have successfully developed the teams, tools, forums, examples, and documentation to minimize the effort of developing a quality Bluetooth LE product.

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