Arduino Primo board hosts Nordic Bluetooth LE & NFC silicon

May 18, 2016 // By Graham Prophet
The Arduino Primo integrates Bluetooth low energy and NFC Touch-to-Pair (using the Nordic Semiconductor nRF52832 SoC), Wi-Fi, and infrared connectivity, eliminating the cost and complexity of shields. IoT developers creating innovative applications now have built-in wireless connectivity all on one board.

Disclosing its design win on the board, Nordic notes that to add Bluetooth low energy wireless connectivity and Near Field Communication (NFC), users previously required to add shields to the base board.

 

In addition to being able to wirelessly connect to a wide array of Bluetooth low energy sensors, the Arduino Primo can act as a fully-functional TCP / IP Internet client and server over Wi-Fi; it uses the Nordic nRF52832 SoC's integrated NFC for secure authentication and 'Touch-to-Pair' (a simple Bluetooth low energy pairing function requiring no user interaction), and has embedded IR for traditional remote control.

 

The nRF52832 features a 64 MHz, 32-bit ARM Cortex-M4F processor which claims up to 60% more generic processing power compared to competing solutions, with up to ten times the Floating Point and twice the Digital Signal Processing (DSP) performance. The nRF52832's 2.4 GHz multiprotocol radio is also fully compatible with the Bluetooth 4.2 specification and features -96 dB Rx sensitivity and 5.5 mA peak Rx/Tx currents. The nRF52832 also has 512 kB Flash memory and 64 kB RAM, plus a fully-automatic power management system to optimize power consumption.

 

In addition to controlling the Bluetooth low energy RF protocol software ("stack") and application code, the Nordic nRF52832 SoC's ARM processor has ample computational overhead to supervise and control the Arduino Primo's on-board accelerometer, temperature, humidity, and pressure sensors. For all but the most advanced projects, programming will be done via the established Arduino Integrated Development Environment (IDE) programming interface.

 

Professional developers and Makers who want to access the most advanced features and functionality the Arduino Primo has to offer will also be able to use any Nordic nRF52 Series-compatible Software Development Kit (SDK) or programming tools, for example, to develop IPv6 over Bluetooth low energy applications on the nRF52832 SoC, enabling the Arduino Primo to communicate with other Internet-connected "things" without requiring the resources of a complex and expensive