Dual Arm Cortex-M33 multiprotocol module powers advanced wireless designs

Written by Glyn High Tech

January 21, 2021

Laird Connectivity’s newest edition to their Nordic Semiconductor based Bluetooth LE portfolio, is the most advanced, most secure and highest performing dual core MCU architecture wireless solution available. The BL5340 series of robust, tiny modules feature the Nordic nRF5340 SoC. It directly targets the highest performance with the lowest power budget, with variants featuring integrated Nordic nRF21540 PA/LNA for higher TX Power applications.

  • Nordic nRF5340 – 7×7 QFN with 48 GPIOs available.
  • Dual Cortex M33 microcontroller cores
    – Application processor – 128/64 MHZ M33 – 1MB Flash/512KB RAM (Including DSP Instructions)
    – Network processor – 64 MHz M33 – 256KB Flash/64KB RAM
  • Extended Industrial Temperature Rating (-40° to +105 °C)
  • Module Choice: Main module (BL5340 with nRF5340) or power amplified variant (BL5340PA with nRF5340 + nRF21540)
  • Antenna choice – integrated pre-certified PCB or Trace pad options
  • Small form factor: as small as 15 x 10 x 2.2 mm (BL5340)
  • Development choice: Zephyr RTOS or utilize Nordic nRF Connect SDK
  • Bluetooth LE: Peripheral/Central, 2 Mbps (high throughput), LE Coded (long range), AoA/AoD, LE Audio / Isochronous Channels, Mesh
  • Advanced Security: ARM TrustZone®, Root of Trust, ARM CryptoCell-312 & KMU, Access Control Lists, System Protection Unit, Encrypted QSPI
  • Firmware Over the Air (FOTA) via MCUboot and Zephyr
  • Fully featured development kits to jump start Bluetooth LE development

Adjustable power boost
The module comes in four variants offering an integrated or external antenna and/or an integrated nRF21540 RF Front End Module (FEM), Nordic’s power amplifier/low noise amplifier (PA/LNA) solution for developers requiring support for high TX power applications. The BL5340 module comes in a 15 by 10 by 2.2mm form factor, or 21 by 10 by 2.2mm for the PA version and is qualified over an extended –40º to 105º C industrial operating temperature range.

The nRF5340 is the world’s first wireless SoC to integrate dual Arm® Cortex®-M33 processors providing a high performance application processor alongside a fully programmable, ultra low power network processor and supporting major RF protocols including Bluetooth® Low Energy (Bluetooth LE), Bluetooth mesh, Thread, and Zigbee. The SoC also incorporates Arm CryptoCell-312, Arm TrustZone® technology, and Secure Key Storage for the highest level of security. The nRF5340 operates over a 1.7 to 5.5 V supply voltage range and incorporates a new, power-optimized multiprotocol 2.4 GHz radio with a TX current of 3.4 mA (0 dBm TX power, 3 V, DC/DC) and RX current of 2.7 mA (3 V, DC/DC). Sleep current is as low as 0.9 µA. The SoC features a wide range of interface peripherals including NFC, USB, QSPI, and High Speed SPI. 

The integration of Nordic’s nRF21540 RF FEM offers a highly adjustable TX power boost up to +21dBm, with the LNA providing +13dB RX gain, and is ideally suited to applications that may require increased range or robust coverage. The nRF21540’s TX power is dynamically adjustable and output power can be set up to 21dBm in small increments.

Flexible programming options
The BL653 module supports both Zephyr real-time operating system (RTOS) and Nordic nRF Connect SDK (Software Development Kit) programming options.

Laird Connectivity’s fully-featured BL5340 Development Kit (DK) includes additional hardware for Ethernet, Bosch BME680 sensors, accelerometers and displays with touch/TFT controllers. Every device on the DK has supporting sample applications written for ‘out-of-the-box’ application testing for users to quickly prototype with and develop from. In addition, Laird Connectivity provides a range of support and engineering services to assist developers get to market faster including RF design and integration, Cloud architecture development and implementation, firmware development, as well as EMC testing and certification.

Interested? Email us at [email protected]

Information extracted from lairdconnect.com (link)

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